These cars will be 25 years old when 2017 rolls around.
Living in the US, it is difficult to buy a car that was never imported by a manufacturer. Due to a stupid law from the 1980s, the only way to bring over a car that was never imported is to wait until it is 25-years-old. This law may be dumb, but it looks like it is unlikely to change any time soon. Since 2017 is right around the corner, we thought we would take a look at five cars that will be hitting the 25-year age very soon. 2016 had some cool 1991 models, but this year's crop of cars from 1992 might be even better.
Homologation cars are some of the coolest vehicles in the world. In this case, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth was a Group A rally car that was built in limited numbers from 1992 to 1996. The car was powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 224 hp. That is more than a brand new Fiesta ST. 0-60 took just 5.7 seconds thanks to grippy AWD. A very small number of these cars were imported into the US and converted to meet all regulations, but they have been very expensive. 2017 will be the first chance to import one without paying an insane price for one of the coolest hatchbacks of the 1990s.
Along with the Subaru Impreza, the Mitsubishi Lancer became a legendary Japanese icon. The more powerful Lancer Evolution was a sport sedan that began back in 1992. Since then, there have been 10 generations of the Evo. The first Evo that was ever sold in the US was the Evo VIII in 2003, so that means there were plenty of generations that were never sold in the US. 2017 is the first year that one of these cars will be available for import. The Evo I came with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine and AWD. The 4G63 engine produced 244 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque, which are admirable numbers even by today's standards.
The E34 generation M5 was imported into the US as a sedan, but Europe also received an awesome wagon variant that the US never got. The E34 M5 was the last of the hand-built M cars, and the wagon variant was extremely rare with just 891 units ever built. The wagon was only built from 1992 to 1995 and came with the more powerful 3.8-liter S38 engine. This larger inline-six engine produced 311 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque through a six-speed manual transmission. A few E34 wagons were imported into the US and converted to meet regulations, but now the car will be fully legal to import into the country.
In 1992, Porsche released a lightweight version of the 964 911 called the Carrera RS. It was based on the Carrera Cup race car and it is basically the predecessor to new models like the GT3 RS. The car came with a revised version of the standard car's flat-six engine producing 260 hp. The interior was stripped out with no power windows, rear seats, sound deadening, air conditioning, cruise control, or stereo system. The car was never imported into the US because Porsche didn't think the aggressive tuning would be popular. The US did get a similar car, called the RS America, which was a bit tamer. This awesome 911 is sure to be a collector's item.
Alfa Romeo has been making its long-awaited, but slow return to the US. The 4C was a nice start, but the Giulia will be the first practical car from the brand when it arrives in 2017. If the Giulia's price is a bit steep, an Alfa Romeo 155 may be a much better option. The 155 was built from 1992 to 1998 as a replacement for the 75. The most powerful Q4 version came with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and four-wheel-drive powertrain from the Lancia Delta Integrale. The 155 was a bit of a disappointment over the 75 because Fiat had just purchased Alfa Romeo and made the 155 FWD-based instead of RWD. Still, it does have one of the best badges in the auto industry.