Once upon a time, before globalism became a favorite buzzword, cars really said something about the countries that produced them. The frugality and reliability of a Honda subcompact spoke to the ingenuity and determination of post-war Japan. The power and size of a tail-finned Cadillac convertible embodied American swagger. And so on. The automobile used to be as much an expression of culture as a country's art or food.
Not anymore. It's true that cars have become better, but in the process, their national identities have faded to the point that naming their country of origin is usually little more than a matter of parts content and politics. What's more American, a Kentucky-built Toyota Camry or a Mexico-built Ford Fusion? Just as important, how do they actually differ from one another?
All of this is why we're drawn to the four coupes you see above. The established car-building countries may be in virtual lockstep when it comes to stamping out family sedans, compacts, and crossovers, but ask them to produce a premium sports car, and you get the Porsche 911 Carrera S, the Nissan GT-R, the Chevrolet Corvette Z06, and, now, the Lotus Evora. Sure, these cars are delightful for the way they look, sound, and perform. But what makes them really appealing is that they're so different from one another, as distinct and vibrant as the countries that produced them. With Lotus launching its decidedly British addition to the field, we decided it was time to celebrate automotive diversity with a good old-fashioned international shoot-out.