9 Cars You Can Import To The US In 2019

Car Culture / 21 Comments

25 years have passed, making these cars legal in the US.

In the United States, we have a silly and rather pointless law called the Imported Vehicle Safety Compliance Act (otherwise known as the 25-year law). Basically, the 25-year law was created to stop grey market imports from coming into the US and stealing sales away from dealerships. It stipulates that no car may be imported into the country if it doesn't meet safety or emissions standards unless it is 25-years old.

Each year, new cars are eligible to be imported into the US, many of which are cool and collectible. Now that we're in 2019, we have picked out nine cars built in 1994 that are now eligible to be imported legally. It is worth noting for each of these cars, they are only eligible for import based on their individual build dates.

Mitsubishi FTO

The Mitsubishi FTO was a two-door sports coupe built from 1994 to 2000 for the Japanese market. Like the US-market Eclipse, the FTO featured a front engine, front-wheel-drive layout with either a 1.8-liter inline-four or 2.0-liter V6 under the hood. Two transmissions were offered, a manual or a semi-automatic and the more potent V6 model offered 168 horsepower. This may not sound like much but the FTO only weighed around 2,500 pounds.

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II

The second Mitsubishi on our list is the Lancer Evolution II. In the US, we didn't start getting the Evo until the seventh generation but the second generation model is now eligible for import. It features the same 4G63T turbocharged four-cylinder as the Evo I with increased output to 252 hp. Power was sent to AWD through a five-speed manual and the handling was improved compared to the Evo I.

Subaru WRX STI

Just one year after the Mitsubishi Evo was introduced, Subaru struck back with the WRX STI. Like the Evo, we didn't start to receive the STI until around a decade later. The original STI was powered by a 2.0-liter turbo flat-four producing 250 hp going out to AWD.

Toyota Celica GT-Four

Even though the Toyota Celica was sold in the US, we never received one quite like the GT-Four in the ST205 generation. The GT-Four was a homologation Rally car with a 2.0-liter 3S-GTE turbocharged four-cylinder pumping out between 239 and 252 hp depending on the market. As you'd expect of a rally car, the power went out to AWD.

Photo credit Toyota

Opel Tigra

Before Opel was purchased by PSA Group, it was owned by General Motors from 1927 to 2017. In that time, Opel built many cars that were never sold in the US, including the Tigra. It was based on the Corsa sedan but featured a futuristic coupe body. The most potent 1.6-liter engine produced just 99 hp, which means you'll be full throttle almost everywhere you go.


Audi RS2

The time has finally come for the US to have a taste of Audi's first RS car, the RS2. Co-developed with Porsche, this unassuming wagon packed a turbocharged 2.2-liter five-cylinder rated at 311 hp mated to a six-speed manual. The sprint to 60 mph took just 4.8 seconds, which is fast even by today's standards. Only 2,891 were ever built so you'll have to pay a pretty penny for one.


Renault Clio Williams

The US missed out on many French hot hatchbacks over the years but we wanted to focus on the Renault Clio Williams. It was developed with help from the Williams F1 team and was powered by a 2.0-liter engine producing 145 hp. Although it wasn't a powerhouse, the Clio Williams only weighed just over 2,000 pounds.

Maserati Quattroporte

You may already be familiar with the Maserati Quattroporte but you may not have realized there was one built back in the '90s because the US didn't receive Maserati's four-door until 10 years later. This Quattroporte was built from 1994 to 2001 and included a variety of engines. The base 2.0-liter V6 produced 283 hp while a larger 3.2-liter V8 offered up 331 hp. Unlike a new Quattroporte, it could even be had with a manual transmission.


BMW 3 Series Touring

Even though the US did receive the E30 generation 3 Series Touring, we never got the E36 model. As you'd expect, the E36 generation wagon was available with a variety of engines, though there was never an M version. Gracefully, there was an Alpina version called the B3, which produced 247 hp from a 3.0-liter inline-six.

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