The 15 Best Cars You Can't Buy in the US

Some of the greatest cars on earth can't be legally registered for the roads in the United States. These are the best.


Our 25-year import law limits US buyers to what sorts of cars we can legally import. Here are some of the best cars that we can't quite bring to our shores just yet.

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Brendan McAleer
Renault Sport Spider

The Renault Sport Spider is an absolute treat to drive. It's like a wonderful French twist on the Lotus Elise. Because Renault doesn't sell cars here, obviously, we didn't get it in 1996 when it was new. Only two more years before early examples become legal to import.

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BMW sent off the E92-chassis M3 with a sweet track-focused GTS version. It came with a sweet orange paint job, a big rear wing, a roll cage, and, most importantly, a bored-out V8 engine. Instead of the GTS, the US got the Lime Rock Park Edition (which was nice, but not as nice as this thing).

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Subaru Levorg

Sad to see the Subaru WRX hatchback disappear for this newest generation? Well, Subaru actually makes a wagon version of the turbocharged all-wheel drive car—it just doesn't sell it in America. The Levorg is for customers in Europe and Japan only.

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Pagani Zonda

While you can certainly buy the Huayra Stateside, the same can't be said for Pagani's first car, the Zonda. It was never homologated for US roads, and therefore, was never officially sold here. You won't be able to get one here via the 25-year rule until 2024.

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J-Auto ShowYouTube
Toyota Century

The Century has Rolls-Royce-levels of comfort and luxurious features, yet, Toyota doesn't see a version in the US, even under the Lexus brand. That sort of makes sense—who would pay Maybach prices for a Lexus Stateside? Still, we'd love to see a V12 version here (those won't be available to import until 2022). Pictured here is the 2019 Century GRMN, which is a secretive edition that may or may not be mass produced. Nobody seems to know.

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Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)

The R34-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R is the holy grail of JDM desire, a dream car for those that grew up in the era where import cars where all the rage. But since the R34 didn't start production until 1999, there are still a few more years left to wait—unless you count the handful that were legally imported by Motorex when new, of course.

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Honda S660

Though it has a name akin to the iconic S2000, the Honda S660 is more of a Beat revival than anything else. Like the tiny convertible Kei car that came before it, the S660's engine sits in the middle, sending power to the rear wheels. Like many good small cars, the S660 is sold in the Japanese market only.

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Top GearYouTube
Alpine A110

The legendary Alpine A110 was revived last year as a mid-engine sports car, and by all accounts, it's a wonderful machine. Since Renault doesn't sell cars here, it's no surprise the A110 didn't make it to our shores. We'd still love to drive one, though. Maybe in 25 years.

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Holden Ute

GM's now-deceased Australian brand has made some of the coolest modern Utes on the planet, but we've never gotten any of them.

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Audi RS6 Avant

Audi has imported the RS6 to the US in the past, but never in wagon form. We get the RS7 fastback, which is nice—but it's no wagon. The RS6 Avant can truly do it all, and it's a real shame we'll have to wait so long to get one imported.

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TVR Sagaris

The Sagaris is one of many TVRs the US never got, free of things such as ABS, traction control, and stability control, in true TVR fashion. It won't be until around 2030 that we'll be allowed to import them.

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Aston Martin
Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf

Aston Martin's long-awaited revival of the Lagonda nameplate came in 2015 with the arrival of the Lagonda Taraf. Since it was aimed at the Middle Eastern and European markets, Aston didn't import any of the 200 examples to the US.

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Lotus Exige and Elise

Lotus sold the Exige and Elise here up until around 2011, when new safety laws meant they couldn't pass crash tests. Newly updated versions of both cars are sold in Europe, and we've driven them. As you'd expect, they're wonderful.

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DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles
Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio With a Manual Transmission

You can't buy a manual Giulia Quadrifoglio in America, but you can in Europe. We drove one, and it's everything you want it to be.

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BMW made a hot version of the E46 M3 beyond the competition-package model called the CSL, but only sold it to European buyers. The upgraded 3.2-liter S54 straight-six could rev to nearly 8000 rpm, and push out 360 horsepower.

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