Some of the world’s most interesting cars have remained forbidden fruit to American shores thanks to many complicated safety and emissions regulations. There are some ways around this hurdle in the from of grey imports, or bringing a car in under show and display rules, but they are a bit restrictive if you want to drive your car freely.
Thankfully, the US ’25 Year Law’ allows cars to be imported and drive to its owners content, providing the car in question is older than 25 years-old. 2019 unlocks plenty of interesting new vehicles that can at last be shipped stateside.
Coming into service in the final days of 1993, the Mitsubishi Evo II built upon the success of its rally-bred forefather. This super saloon produces 252 hp from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, making it one of the most powerful cars of its breed. All-wheel drive enables it to punch well above its weight, shaming many more costly, and far less practical, sports cars.
Sticking with Mitsubishi for a moment, the FTO can now be imported to the US. While some might scoff at its front-wheel drive layout, this car actually won ‘Car of the Year Japan’ in 1994.
The sports car harks back to the classic Galant FTO and features dramatic coupé styling. 170 hp comes curtesy of a 2.0-litre V6 engine, but if you can hang on one more year, in 1995 the GPX model boosted this to 200 hp.
The Peugeot 106 is a humble little car that offered simplistic motoring to the masses of Europe. The limited-run Rallye car, as the name suggests, was a homologation special for motorsport. Its little 1.3-liter engine only produces around 100 hp, but the 106’s lightweight nature makes it very agile.
Subaru’s answer to Mitsubishi’s Evolution models, the now legendary Subaru Impreza WRX STI will be high on importers priority list. Its 2.0-litre flat-four boxer engine packs 250 hp, and when combined with all-wheel drive, makes for a potent rally fighter.
You’ll have to wait until 2023 if you want to import the iconic Subaru Impreza 22B, though.
Another WRC homologation special on this list is the sought after Toyota Celica GT-Four ST205. The all-wheel drive coupé is already starting to increase in value across Europe, so notwmight be the perfect time to bring one stateside.
239 hp is delivered to all four wheels via a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, making the car capable of 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds. Just 2,500 GT-Fours were ever built.
The Renault Clio Williams hot hatchback launched to such celebration from enthusiasts, that in 1994 a second batch was produced. Called the Clio Williams 2, this Formula 1 tie-up features only a few small tweaks over the original.
It retained the same 145 hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as its predecessor, as well as its agile handling. Changes made were primarily in regards to improved safety equipment.
The R33 generation of Nissan Skyline GT-R has a cult following, and why not? This advanced Japanese supercar embarrassed many more costly high performance cars and showcased much of Nissan’s technical prowess.
Last year marked the first time an R33 could be imported to America, but 2019 enables a more focused special edition to follow suit. The V-Spec II used the same twin-turbo 2.6-liter inline six as its siblings, but this car added wider tires, smart 17-inch BBS wheels, and stronger Brembo brakes.
During 1994 BMW introduced the four-door BMW M3 in Europe, a car that truly let you have your performance cake and eat it. Not only did you have access to the mighty 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, but your rear passengers could now also comfortably experience 282 hp.
The model did come to America in 1997, but with just 240 hp.
We think that this car is the star of the list. The Porsche developed Audi RS2 is not only a fantastically fast car, but also one practical enough to fit a dog in the back. It’s the ultimate classic daily driver thanks to a 311 hp 2.2-litre engine and all-wheel drive.
It’s a far cry from the Audi 80 on which it’s based.
This hardcore variant of the 968 was never offered in America, which is a shame as this lightweight model was a real driver’s car. Gone were all of the luxury toys, even the electric windows, and in their place were sportier alternatives such as Racaro racing seats. Speaking of seats, this Porsche ditched the 2+2 layout of the regular 968 to become a strict two-seater.
Its increased performance and agility earned the model numerous awards from the world’s media. 0-62mph took 6.3 seconds, and it would go onto a top speed of 163mph.
If you wanted a few creature comforts in your Club Sport, you could always import the UK-only ‘Sport’ which served as something of a halfway house.