5 Amazing Cars That Are Legal To Import In 2018

Car Culture / 17 Comments

Twenty-five years couldn't come soon enough for some of these cars.

2018 is right around the corner, which means that a new crop of cars will be turning 25-years old. As any US car enthusiast already knows, an overseas market car has to be 25-years old before it can be legally imported into the country. 2016 gave us some awesome contenders like the Lancia Delta Integrale and Lotus Carlton, while 2017 had some oddballs like the BMW M5 Touring and Ford Escort Cosworth. For 2018, cars that were built in 1993 will now be eligible for import, and we have rounded up our five favorite options that we'd bring over.


The McLaren F1 still stands as one of the most incredible engineering marvels that the human race has ever created. Unfortunately, getting one in the US has always been extremely difficult. A few were brought in under the show-and-display exemption, but only seven out of 64 road cars were ever federalized for US use. Of course, the McLaren F1 will never be an easily obtainable car, but it will soon be slightly easier for someone to buy and drive it in the US.


The US-spec E36 BMW M3 is one of the biggest insults to the American market that a foreign car company has ever created. While the Europeans were busy enjoying their 286 hp 3.0-liter inline-six, the US was stuck with a lesser version that only produced 240 hp. The Europeans later received a larger 3.2-liter engine with 321 hp and a six-speed manual to replace the five-speed unit. BMW really shunned its US fans with the E36 M3, but enthusiasts will now be able to import the one we deserved all along.

Aston Martin

Back in 1993, Aston Martin sold a V8 Vantage model based on the Virage. This new model was fitted with a 5.3-liter twin-supercharged V8 with 550 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. It certainly wasn't the prettiest car Aston Martin has ever built, but it is certainly one of the coolest. Zeo-60 took just 4.6 seconds, and power was later upped to 600 hp.

The Mazda Lantis is the strangest car we have put on this year's list. There are more memorable JDM cars that can be imported this year, but we went for the oddball Mazda. The closest sibling to the Lantis ever sold in the US was the MX-6, which had the same engine. This 2.0-liter V6 is one of the best-sounding V6 engines of all time.

Fiat wasn't even selling cars in the US back in 1993, which means that we missed out on the Fiat Coupe. This simply named coupe was an incredibly cool car designed by Chris Bangle, who was also responsible for the most controversial design period in BMW's history. We happen to love Bangle's designs, and the Fiat Coupe is no exception. The Coupe only came with FWD, but featured two turbocharged 2.0-liter engines in four and five-cylinder configurations. The five-cylinder produced 217 hp, which made it one of the fastest and best-sounding FWD cars at the time.

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