Among other reasons to celebrate the new year, 2016 also brings us a number of cars that we can now legally import because they're 25 years old. A number of reasons have kept these cars from crossing into our borders, whether it was because the cars didn't meet emissions and safety standards, that the carmaker believed they wouldn't sell well, or because the brand just didn't have an American presence. Regardless, your chance to finally own one of these is right around the corner.
The Lotus Carlton was the fastest sport sedan in its day. Back when Lotus was still owned by GM, there was a need for a fast sedan. So, the twin-turbo straight-six engine produced 377-hp and the car used a six-speed manual transmission from a Corvette ZR1. And if you don't want the inconvenience that comes with right-hand drive, import a Lotus Omega, which was the European-market version of the car.
Later in 2016 you'll be able to import one of the ultimate versions of the Lancia Delta Integrale, the Evoluzione. It was wider than the standard car and had an extra 10 horsepower, bringing the total up to 210.
If you think the Figaro looks older than its 25-or-so-odd years, you'd be right. It was built during a time that Japan was going through a classic car boom, and predictably, became a classic itself. The clean and simple lines would definitely make the Figaro a head turner if you drove it down your block.
The Eunos Cosmo probably would not have sold well in this country when it first came out. For one, it was costly—most likely more than what people were willing to pay for a Mazda. It had a very exotic engine, too: a 2.0-liter twin-turbo triple-rotor. It was also automatic only, since that was the way the Japanese market preferred it's big cruisers back then. Bad fuel economy was also a problem, but how do you say no to a goddamned three rotor car?
Like Lancia, TVR didn't have a U.S. presence that would allow them to bring the Griffith over. Such a shame, too, if you just looked at the curves on the Griffith. It had a big engine for such a small, two-seater coupe: a 4.0-liter V8 that produced 240-hp was tucked in the hood.
Tiny, with two seats, a mid-mounted engine, rear-drive, and a convertible top. All the ingredients for greatness. And it was designed by Pininfarina. Japan gets the Beat's successor, the S660, but we'll be able to get our own Beats come May of next year.
This is the story of one of those boutique supercar manufacturers that disappeared into anonymity. Founded in France, Venturi had companies like Ferrari set in its cross hairs. The 260 had a that made 256-hp. 0-60 came in 5.2 seconds and top speed was about 167 mph. Pretty good for 1991. So if you aren't in the mood for a 90s Ferrari like everyone else, be different. Buy a Venturi.
Powered by a , the Shamal made about 326-hp. It could hit 60 from a standstill in 5.3 seconds. And just look at those rear arches. Both elegant and aggressive, they did well to offset the car's pointier nose. While you could argue that the Maseratis of today flounder a bit in image, the Shamal was a Gandini-designed standalone great.
Did we leave anything out? Let us know in the comments!