10. Any Japanese Kei Car
Ask a Japanese person what the best selling car in their country is, and they'll probably tell you something that will have to be put phonetically into Google Translate. But Google will tell you it's the Kei Car. This type of micro machine was the defibrillator to the cardiac-arrested post-war Japanese auto industry. They were made specifically for the person without the means to buy a car, but with the need for something more safe than a motorcycle.
Their 660cc engines may only produce a maximum 63hp, but they're punchy as hell, made to rev, and come in many different drivetrain configurations, making for a range of driving experiences. Plus they're economical and come in a variety of models, ranging from a 4-door hatchback to a pickup truck. Can we please import these things in exchange for all of our Priuses and Smart Fortwos?
9. Volkswagen Scirocco R
So Volkswagen, a fairly prominent auto manufacturer in the US, makes cars that are trendy, look good, and are fun to drive. Why the hell don't we get this car stateside? It checks all the usual boxes, makes 261HP, and in the looks department, makes the Golf GTI look like a Pontiac Aztek. Not to mention it's based on the Audi S3 platform, so all performance parts are interchangeable. One downside is that it's front-wheel-drive, but even the Mona Lisa had a few split ends.
I guess the states will have to make do with the Scirocco from the 80s, which is like replacing a 42" Plasma HDTV with a grammophone.
8. Alfa Romeo Brera
Alfa Romeo and the US have had a more-than-rocky past. Even in the 90's, where GM was building cars to last a maximum of (insert warranty length here), Alfas were particularly unreliable, tough to work on and their parts needed to be imported from Italy, so they could be installed for a premium and work for another 2 weeks, when something subsequently would start smoking/making a weird noise/falling off the car.
Alfa Romeos in Europe still have the same reputation, but their looks make them so worth the chronic case of lightwallet. The Brera is no different. This is one of the only cars in the world that looks exactly the way the concept car did. The engine is a potent 3.2L V6 with 11.2:1 compression, 260HP, and all wheel drive with a 6-speed manual gearbox. And for the love of everything that is holy, Look. At. It.
This is the maximum amount of pictures I can show you of this car without me having to put a legal disclaimer for distributing pornography.
7. Citroën DS3 Racing
Citroën is one of the weirdest car manufacturers. Ever. The fact that this car doesn't have a rear-facing steering wheel and left wheel drive is a modern-day miracle. The added bonus that it's a capable, good looking and fast hot hatchback is nothing short of a hand-delivered winning Powerball ticket from God.
It's has loads of power from its 4-banger engine, looks in its stock form like an SCCA race car, and since it's French, it doesn't give a crap about what you think of it, which makes you want it even more.
Photo: Top Gear
6. Holden HSV Maloo R8
Here in the land where a man is worth his weight in freedom fries, we love pickup trucks. So much that the top 2 best-selling cars in the country are vehicles that have big honkin' V8s up front, and a long bed out back.
Now what we have here is a mix between a Corvette, America's answer to the supercar, and a Silverado. It has a 425HP 6.2L LS3 engine with a 6-speed manual and no reasons not to immediately convert the rear tires into smoke. If you look up the definition of "no-brainer", you'd see a picture of yourself driving this car. The only reason GM didn't release this here is because the public is apparently still so sore from the El Camino Platform that ended nearly 30 years ago that they wouldn't want to chance it.
...and also that it would've been badged a Pontiac.
I don't care. I want one, and if I have to weld the ass end of a Ford Ranger to a GTO, I'll do it.
5. Audi RS6
What's better than a luxury sedan that's well-built, reliable, and has gorgeous, yet stately looks? That exact car with a twin turbo V10.
Now we do have the A6 and S6 here, but the RS6, with its 570HP 5.0L twin turbo V10, remains out of reach for those on this side of the Atlantic. Some analysts say it's because it would be the equivalent of $160,000 and it wouldn't make sense for our consumers.
Here's my argument: We have the Lamborghini Gallardo, a car that sells extremely well, despite its $230k price tag. Now you add 2 turbos, 2 doors and trunk space, and suddenly that's not a formula that works? This car would knock a Quattroporte into the middle of next week and come back for a second round with an M5.
Two words: "Yes, please."
4. Bowler EXR Nemesis
OK, I know exactly why this isn't allowed in the states. Just getting into it will most likely violate the Geneva convention. It's a supercharged 5.0L V8 in a heavily modified Range Rover Sport body, so "fuel efficiency" isn't really in this car's repertoire.
Its body is so reinforced that it can be dropped from 20 feet directly on its front, with no damage except for a sizable crack in the pavement. It also has a 109 gallon gas tank, so you might not want to fill it up unless you're planning on competing in the Baja 1000.
But if you're buying this car, that's probably exactly what you're doing.
3. TVR Sagaris
TVR is without a doubt the most dangerous auto manufacturer in the world. What you get for your cheap as chips pricetag is a car that's 2,300 lbs, has an agressive 380HP inline 6, and zero driver aids. The safety features include a seat belt and the fact that you'll probably be going so fast that in a collision, you'll be killed instantly.
Its insane performance and driving characteristics are second only to its bonkers looks. Its sideways tailpipes and enormous sliced-up hood make it look like a mix between a shark and something that a kid from the 1950s thought an alien spaceship would look like. TVR is to subtlety as Honey Boo Boo is to critical thinking.
2. Nissan Skyline GTR (R32/R33/R34)
This is the reason a lot of us are car enthusiasts. It's a shining example that an auto manufacturer can release an astonishing car from the factory, and with some aftermarket modification, it can be un-freaking-stoppable.
All three generations had variations of the same 2.6L RB Inline-6 engine with the ATTESSA AWD system that seemingly worked on witchcraft. Oddly enough, all generations had the same 276hp power output due to the Japanese gentleman's agreement between auto manufacturers. This meant a lot of brochures lied and the car ended up making 20-30% more than advertised. Not to mention that you can see examples overseas with well over 700 horsepower.
A few companies actually imported these into the US years ago, but they all went under because of legal trouble and not enough demand, which is ironic because they are among the most sought after and recognized cars in this country's collective car culture.
My theory on why we don't have it here: We're simply not worthy.
1. Pagani Zonda R
This isn't just illegal on US roads, it's illegal on pretty much any paved road on the planet Earth. This isn't a car, it's a way to dropkick the sunset.
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