NHTSA's 25-year import rule means that a lot of our favorite Japanese- and European-market cars can't come to the US, but it does give us something to look forward to every year—a new group of cars eligible for importation. All these cars turn 25 sometime in 2018, so start scheming if you want to bring one of these classics here. Just remember, a car is only eligible for importation 25 years to the month it was built, and of course, some newer cars are already cleared under the Show and Display exemption.
In the US, we got the naturally aspirated version of this car, the Virage, but Europe got . Yes, the Vantage had two superchargers, which helped its 5.3-liter V8 crank out 550 hp. Crazy numbers for the era, but dulled somewhat by its near-5000-pound curb weight.
Everyone's waiting for the Porsche-built Audi RS2 to become eligible next year, but in the meantime, there's the S2 Avant. This car put the 2.2-liter turbocharged five-cylinder and all-wheel drive system of the Coupe S2 in a more practical body. Audi also built an S2 sedan, but let's be real, you want the wagon.
Maybe you remember this car from Gran Turismo license testing, or that one episode of Top Gear. It combines either a four- or five-cylinder engine with styling from Chris Bangle. Yes, that Chris Bangle. If you're looking for something unique, you can't do much better than this.
The second-generation Delta was introduced in 1993, but Lancia decided to send off the first model with a bang. The Integrale Evo II was the ultimate iteration of Lancia's rally homologation special, complete with 215 hp from its four-cylinder.
Based loosely on Lotus' GT1 Le Mans race car, was the pinnacle of four-cylinder Esprits. As the name suggests, it makes around 300 horsepower, and it got all sorts of race-spec equipment. Unfortunately, just 64 were built, so good luck finding one.
The Mazda Lantis was a Japan-only four-door based on the 323 that hid something very interesting underneath its hood—a V6. Specifically, a 2.0-liter V6 that spun to nearly 8000 rpm and produced around 150 hp. It's no Autozam, but the Lantis a great example of one of the many weird cars Mazda cranked out in the early 1990s.
So, a handful of McLaren F1s have already made it to the US thanks to both the show-and-display exemption and federalization efforts by company Ameritech, but now the earliest examples can come with no trouble. Good news if you're one of the lucky few who can find and afford one.
The R32 Skyline GT-R has been eligible for import for a few years, and in 2018 the ultra-desirable V-Spec can be brought here too.Created to celebrate the GT-R's incredible motorsport success (V stands for "victory"), the V-Spec received bigger brakes, multi-spoke BBS wheels and an active limited-slip differential.
The sought-after 964 Carrera RS first became eligible for US import last year, and now you can bring over the upgraded 300-hp RS 3.8. Just 55 RS 3.8s were built, and you can distinguish them by their ultra-wide bodywork taken from the 911 Turbo. This is the sort of car that makes Porsche geeks go wild.
With the impending launch of the mid-engine Boxster, Porsche's front-engine transaxle sports car wasn't long for the world in 1993. As a send off, it built the lighter, faster 968 Club Sport, which got rid of all the base model's luxuries.
When the Peugeot 205 GTI left production, the Renault Clio Williams stepped in to take the best French hot hatch title. Named for the automaker's partnership with the F1 legend, though developed by Renault Sport, the Clio Williams offered around 140 hp and incredible handling. Plus gold wheels. You can't forget the gold wheels.
The second-generation Subaru Legacy was an icon, and a legitimate performance car in Japan too. The Legacy GT came with a twin-turbo 2.0-liter flat-four that offered 250 hp—a big number for the time. Even better was the Spec B, which did without various luxuries in the name of weight savings.