Now that the Scion FRS is officially the JDM-style Toyota 86, and Ford’s Focus RS is on its way to our shores, American roads are becoming distinctly more international. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a number of lust-worthy cars that still aren’t available to us — and probably never will be. Take the Land Rover Defender (R.I.P), an epic off-road vehicle that checked out of the U.S. market after airbag restrictions tightened in 1998. Today, there’s such a demand for them that people are willing to risk the wrath of the federal government to import them illegally.
Whether safety restrictions, marketing plans, or distribution issues stand in the way, American consumers still can’t get some of the coolest cars drivers around the world enjoy. Here are eight of the most lust-worthy models U.S. consumers would love to have but can’t. And please, try to resist the urge to smuggle them in.
1. Vauxhall VXR8 GTS
Vauxhall, a subsidiary of Opel (itself a subsidiary of GM in Europe), produces some slayers in its VXR performance division. Take the Vauxhall VXR8 GTS, for example. If it looks a bit familiar, that’s because it’s a close cousin to the 415 horsepower Chevy SS sedan. But this quad-exhaust monster packs a 6.2-liter Eaton supercharged V8 capable of 576 horsepower and 545 pound-feet of torque. And while the Chevy can go from zero to 60 in 4.7 seconds, the big Brit can do it in 4.2 seconds, and top out at 155 miles per hour.