There will always be cars made overseas that the American public can’t have. As long as the NHTSA sticks around—which is The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration—then certain cars will remain ineligible for the U.S.A.
Among these forbidden cars are remarkable automobiles a cut above the rest. Whether it’s their raw performance or its sleek design, these cars have a lot to love. Yet as long as these cars remain banned, American car buyers lose out on ever knowing what it’s like to get behind the wheel of one.
We’re looking at cars on America’s banned list that drivers here are missing out on.
20 Lamborghini Strosek Diablo
Behold the Lamborghini Strosek Diablo. While the design is one of the appealing perks to owning one, it’s also partly responsible for America barring it. According to Viral Ventura, the side mirrors and headlights are to blame, the latter of which are too small to be up to par for safety standards.
19 Jaguar XJ220S
This car is rare, pretty and totally banned in America. While The Grizzled reports that one did manage to make it in the States, only five exist. A reason they’re discouraged is due to their performance, as they’re able to do a massive 680 hp. It makes one wonder how much they had to tamper with the one they brought into the U.S.
18 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 6.5 Tommi Makinen Edition
Thanks to The Fast and the Furious series, cars from Japan like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution have had a boost in popularity. Yet for American car buyers, it’s another car they’re going to have to live without. According to The Grizzled, this car is on the country’s banned list.
17 Lotus Elise S1
The Lotus Elise S1 is a small and speedy sports car American can’t have. According to duPont Registry, part of what makes the car special is that it can reach 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds. Despite making the vehicle from 1996-2001, this coveted car still remains banned in the U.S.
16 Noble M600
This stunning car is one of the more desirable entries that remains outside the reach of American car buyers. As of June 2018, Motor Biscuit confirms the car is still on the banned list. Aside from its unique styling, the same source even puts it as the fourteenth fastest car ever.
15 Peugeot RCZ
As of June 2018, Motor Biscuit reports that the Peugeot RCZ is still off limits to the American public. When it comes to what’s preventing car buyers in the U.S. from getting a hold of one, it lies with Peugeot’s disinterest in exporting it. With news that Peugeot will sell cars in America again by 2026 though, perhaps there’s hope for an RCZ that passes the country’s regulations (Car and Driver).
14 Lotus Exige S
There’s a lot of red tape for automakers to go through if they want to sell their car in America. In fact, it's so costly, it could defeat the purpose of making it available to car buyers there. The Lotus Exige S is one such model that, unless it goes through America’s stringent safety tests, probably doesn’t see a future there.
13 TVR T350
There’s no shortage of TVRs on the list. They make attractive performance vehicles that don’t meet American standards when it comes to safety. The T350 is able to do 350 hp thanks to a 3.6-liter engine, as per Motor Biscuit, proving it’s got the parts to match its beautiful exterior.
12 Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R
We have to admit, U.S. roads are probably a lot safer without Nissan Skylines zipping around. Then again, all logic must go out the window once someone hunkers down behind the wheel of a Skyline. Motor Biscuit reports that they made these between 1989 and 2001 and most of them got banned.
11 Land Rover Defender 130
It’s a shame drivers in America can’t get the 2001 Land Rover Defender 130. Wired reports that safety regulations keep this vehicle from finding a home here, which is odd considering how rugged they are. With a huge interest in off-roading cars, the American public would love exploring the Rubicon Trail or Dalton Highway in one.
10 Honda Civic Type R
The lack of a Honda Civic Type R in the States may only distress a select few, but it’s still a shame no one here can easily get one. These failed to meet America’s emission standards, according to Motor Biscuit, all but assuring the Civic Type R won't be U.S. bound.
9 TVR Sagaris
The TVR Sagaris is a no-go in the U.S. for missing important safety features such as air bags, which might be a good idea to have in a car that does 380 hp (Top Speed). What the British car lacks in safety though, it makes up for in eye-catching style.
8 Lotus 340R
There’s a lot of things that separate this car from traditional ones. For example, there aren’t any conventional doors. That didn’t sit well with NHTSA however, which is why it’s not allowed reports Motor Biscuit. Therefore, car enthusiast and speed freaks in the States will have to miss out on the 340R.
7 Volkswagen Beetle Última Edición
Part of what makes the 2003 Última Edición special was that it’s the last of its kind. According to The Grizzled, these were the last Beetles to come out of Mexico. These cars didn’t meet America’s safety standards though, so they remain yet another elusive valuable car for drivers in America.
6 TVR Tuscan
The TVR Tuscan appeared in a Hollywood film, but it’s not allowed on America’s streets. Motor Biscuit reports that models made from 1996 to 2006 aren’t allowed in due to their missing airbags and antilock brakes. As a result, drivers in the U.S. miss out on the performance and unique exterior of the Tuscan.
5 Audi RS2 Avant
The things that make the Audi Avant RS2 appealing is exactly what prevents it from arriving in the States. The Grizzled reports that this 1995 model is able to reach 160 mph, an impressive top speed for a sporty station wagon. That kind of power looks to have done in the Avant RS2’s chances of getting the greenlight though.
4 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Lightweight
Not only is this Porsche still banned from the American car market, but they’re hard to come by as well. Motor Biscuit reports that only 20 units of these exist. Not only do these cars look good, but the motor underneath is able to churn out an impressive 300 hp.
3 Jaguar XJ12
In what Doug DeMuro calls “consistently the cheapest V12 powered sports car you can buy,” The 1988 Jaguar V12 has a lot going for it. While they’re not known for their longevity, they do offer performance and luxury in one complete package. Unfortunately, American car buyers don’t have the option of driving home this affordable V12.
2 TVR Cerbera
Another year goes by, and yet, this long and powerful car still remains unavailable in America. The TVR Cerbera is able to go faster than it looks on the outside. According to Motor Biscuit, it can go 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4 seconds. However, car buyers in the States won’t get a chance to own this V8 wonder.
1 Wiesmann GT MF5
The Wiesmann GT MF5 is a stylish ride that plenty of millionaires in America would love to own. Motor Biscuit reports, however, that as of June 2018, the car still remains banned. Discouraging matters further is the fact that there’s only a limited number roaming the streets out there—but all of them remain overseas.
Sources: Top Speed, Car and Driver, YouTube, Motor Biscuit, Viral Ventura, Motor Biscuit, The Grizzled, duPont Registry, Wired