For fans of classic imports here in the US, 25 (years) is a special number. That is the age a car has to be before the US government no longer requires it to pass emissions and safety testing. As the new year approaches, so does a list of more cars that will be easier to import to the US. We picked out 5 that we thought were particularly cool. Some basic math will tell you that these cars all came out in 1994. Though, it must be noted: That rule of 25 years is 25 years to the day.
Thanks to our friends at Autoblog for inspiring this post with their list of 13 cars!
5) Audi RS2
If an Audi has an RS badge, you know its going to be fast. The Audi RS2 was the first car to wear such a badge. Back in 1994, Audi took an Audi 80 Wagon, shoved a 2.2L turbocharged five-cylinder under the hood and co-developed the car with Porsche. The end result was a wagon that made 311 horsepower and 302 lb-ft of torque. Being an Audi, it had to have Quattro AWD and thankfully the only transmission choice was a 6-speed manual.
4) Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II
The Lancer Evo is no longer produced, but fortunately, we will soon be able to buy one of the very first ones made. Under the hood is a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that made 252 horsepower. Of course, that power was sent to all four wheels, through a 5-speed manual transmission.
3) Nissan R32 GT-R V-Spec II
The R32 generation Nissan GT-R was produced up until 1994. However, ’94 was the only year they made the V-Spec II version. V-Spec stands for Victory Specification and, as you can imagine, the car came with some special upgrades. Under the hood was a 2.6L turbocharged straight-6, per the usual. However, for the V-Spec, Nissan also gave the GT-R Brembo brakes, 17-inch BBS wheels, an aluminum hood and an updated version of the ATTESA all-wheel drive system. The only difference between the normal V-Spec and the V-Spec II was that the II got wider tires as well.
2) Mitsubishi Pajero Mini
It should be no secret that we love small, Japanese off-road vehicles. We own a 1987 Suzuki Samurai, after all. Though it was not sold in the US, the Pajero Mini is definitely a small Japanese off-roader. Technically speaking, it was a Kei car, which tells you it’s engines were no larger than 659 CC. Unlike some of the cars on this list so far, Mitsubishi made a lot of Pajero Minis which means it should be fairly easy to find a clean one for a decent price.
1) Subaru Impreza WRX STi
The WRX STi has been a staple of young car owners collections for many years. However, Subaru never sold the first generation here in the US. 1994 brought us the STi nameplate, stuck on an Impreza WRX with a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder. It made well over 200 horsepower and, of course, sent power to all four wheels through a manual transmission. Plenty of people have made replicas of this early WRX STi. But now, we can get the real thing here in the US.
Bonus) Toyota Celica GT-Four
The Celica was sold here in the US. However, Toyota made a turbocharged AWD variant that was not sold here in the US. The name, GT-Four, tells you exactly what it is. Under the hood is a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder that made as much as 252 horsepower (depending on the market). Power was sent to all four wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission.
There you go, that is five (plus a bonus) non-US market cars that we will finally be able to import in 2019. We hope you guys liked this list. Be sure to drop a comment down below and tell us which one you would like to import when the opportunity presents itself. I know my choice will be the Audi RS2.
Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for the latest news, views & real-world reviews and more news about the latest batch of 25 year-old cars that can now be brought stateside.
While you wait, why not check out a fun video with our 1980’s Japanese Import, the Suzuki Samurai: