When it comes to cool cars, its not uncommon to see manufacturers announce that their vehicle wont be coming to the USA. We watch videos about these cars that we would never get the chance to drive. Let us look at some of those cars that we have envied for so long and see what made them so amazing. If you have a vehicle that you would like to have mentioned, make sure to leave a comment below or visit my contact page.
Number 1: The Audi RS2 Avant
The 1994 Audi RS2 Avant was the first Audi to carry the RS badge. It was a sick sleeper car that could blow the doors off of any other supercar at the time. This car started Audi’s legacy of making fast station wagons. If it wasn’t for the Audi RS2, then we would have never had cars like the Volvo V70R, the BMW M5 Wagon, the Cadillac CTS-V, and more.
Also, it co-developed by Porsche so it had a ton of parts from the 911. They literally have the same wheels, mirrors and taillights. The brake calipers also say Porsche on them. The engine is a 2.2 liter, inline 5 from Audi produced 311 horsepower and 308 pound-feet of torque. All of which was set down to the ground via the legendary rally derived Audi Quattro all-wheel-drive system. It had a top speed of 166 mph and went from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds.
As the RS2 is now over 25 years old, it can be legally imported to the USA. We can finally get our hands on the wheel of this legend without having to travel outside of the country. This car was practical, fast, and good looking. It was basically the perfect vehicle however the Audi execs in Germany decided that America wouldn’t get it.
Number 2: The Nissan Skyline GTR
I know that this is vague because there are four generations of the GTR however I will include them all because it was very disappointing that not one of them made it to the USA. It was one of the iconic 90’s JDM poster cars. It was powered by twin-turbocharged 2.6 liters, inline 6 RB26 engine which produced 276 horsepower at 6,800 RPM. Now that engine was carried over from the arguably more influential R32, but the R33 was more aerodynamic and faster. It was known as “Godzilla” because it was just so fast and would destroy anything that would try to face it.
Now you may be wondering why a car like this wouldn’t be sold over here. The answer; regulations. Basically, 99.9% of the countries in the world make their cars to a safety standard made up by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Now the US has its very own set of rules. And that’s why we have worse taillights, uglier bumpers, stricter emission standards.
Some people say these different regulations could be a form of a non-tariff trade barrier. Basically, the US is making it financially ineffective for foreign automakers to import their cars so that we’ll just buy American cars. So if a car company wants to bring a car here, they got to know that they’re gonna sell a ton of them and sadly, that doesn’t often happen for high performance, low volume production cars like the GT-R family.
Number 3: The Lancia Stratos
This car was arguably one of the greatest rally cars of all time. This terrifying, to-drive hatchback was homologated in low numbers to allow it to compete in the World Rally Championship in the 1970s. It was designed by legendary designer Marcello Gandini during his time in Italian styling house Bertone. It was powered by a 2.4 liter Ferrari V6 poured from the Dino which produced 190 horsepower, and could launch the car from zero to 60mph on practically any surface in 6.8 seconds. Though today this may seem slow, this was actually quite fast for the 70s.
Fun fact, at one point the Lancia Stratos was the shortest car in the entire world. The reason that it was so short was because shorter wheelbases allow a car to turn a lot quicker. The one downside to this though was that the Stratos was very squirrelly, hard to control, and unpredictable. This meant that the car needed a very skilled driver to be able to use the car to its full potential. However, when you had the right drive, this car was extremely fast. It ended up winning the WRC championship in 1974, 1975 and, 1976.
This car would have been an insane car to drive on the streets over here however there were only 500 built and not one of them ever made it here to the USA. Lancia only sold them in Europe.
Number 4: The Ford Escort RS200
Well this one is quite sad. A car that came from an American company was still not sold over here. This just shows how common it is to not get cool cars in America. Anyways, the Ford RS200 is another rally car that made this list however, it’s from the golden era of Rally; Group B.
Now this car was what’s known as a homologation special. Essentially, a race car made legal for road use and sold in extremely limited numbers in order to convince the racing governing bodies that the car is a production car and not a race car developed purely for racing. Although, I want to make it very clear, That is exactly what all of them were. Now much like the rally car version that it homologated, this car had a mid-engine, all-wheel drive configuration, and retained many of the same ultra cool, ultra strong, lightweight race car parts.
It was conceived and built by Ford in the UK, and was powered by a 1.8 liter, turbocharged four cylinder engine that came from legendary tuners Cosworth. Now in base form, it produced 250 horsepower, but here’s the thing. You can order it from the factory with a bunch of the technically strictly rally equipment in it which reportedly brought the power up to over 350 horsepower in the ’80s. That’s very impressive, especially for a car with such a small engine. It was also coupled with a five speed manual transmission and 3 differentials. Only 146 of them were ever made, all of them sold in Europe.
Number 5: The Suzuki Jimny
I know that this car is a lot different to the others but i figured that I would include it just because i love it so much. Like all the Jimnys before it, the new one is tiny. It’s about as long and wide as a Fiat 500, but nearly as tall as a Ford Edge. Those proportions give it more space inside than you might expect of a vehicle with such a small footprint. There’s a rear seat, but when it’s in use the cargo hold is all but nonexistent.
In my words, this car is basically a mini jeep. There is a 1.5-liter engine replacing the former model’s 1.3-liter unit. It delivers 102 metric horsepower (100 bhp) at 6,000 rpm and 130 Nm (96 lb-ft) of torque at 4,000 rpm. Though its underpowered, its still very light and can still do everything a jeep can (almost) off road. This is an extremely under rated car that I don’t think gets enough attention.
Now I obviously could have put a lot more cars on this list but i wanted to put my five absolute favorites while still having some variety. Thank you for reading this article on engine-block. Please continue to read through my website if you liked this.