The grass is always greener on the other side, they say and in our case, horses are faster and louder. As you already know, cars that weren’t originally sold in the United States have to reach 25 years of age to be legally imported, registered and used on the road.

Given that the global automotive market isn’t really global, each year unlocks a number of cars, from ordinary commuters to some extraordinary machinery. For 2021, the magic year is 1996 and here are some of the coolest cars that debuted on the international markets.

1. Lotus Elise

Lotus Elise S1 front three quarter view

Via: Lotus

The definitive lightweight British sports cars got to the US shores only in 2005 as the 111R and the reason for that was its noncompliance with United States’ safety regulations. But, as the Elise got introduced in 1996, the original Rover-powered S1 can now be legally imported stateside.

Even though it was powered by a measly 118 horsepower Rover K-Series engine which turned out to be prone to a few issues, the S1 Elise was altogether an amazing great car, being only 1,598 lb in weight and designed specifically for extracting surgically precise handling. The introduction of the Elise was a pivotal point in Lotus’ history, making the original iteration a valuable modern classic. On the other hand, should one want it for its driving abilities, it’s also the lightest foundation for any further modifications.

Price range: $20,000 – $40,000

2. Renault Sport Spider

1996 Renault Sport Spider

Via: Motor1

One of the greatest injustices out there is that Renault made it to the US only as a forgettable LeCar, leaving all the fun to its native European continent. Fortunately, the majority of heated up R5s have long turned 25, the Clio Williams is available for import too and for 2021, there’s another amazing Renault joining the list of cars you could and should bring to this side of the Atlantic, especially if you believe the before mentioned Elise isn’t focused enough.

The birthplace of the Renault Sport Spider is in Dieppe, the same place where Renault developed its racing programme under the Renault Sport division. Given that Renault won five out of six F1 constructors titles between 1992 and 1997 as an engine supplier for Williams, it’s safe to say that the Renault Sport Spider came during the brand’s golden era in motorsports.

This trackday-friendly 2000 lb open top was built around a lightweight aluminum chassis and was powered by a mid-mounted 16-valve 2.0-liter F7R inline four from the famed Clio WIlliams hot hatch, pushing 150 horsepower to the rear wheels. The composite body is unlike any other sports car from the era, with a go-kart-meets-concept-car design, butterfly doors, tiny wind deflector as standard and an optional windshield starting from 1997. Originally, the Sport Spider was built for one-make racing, but in the end, around 1800 were made for track and street use.

Price range: $40,000 – $60,000

3. Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R LM Limited

Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R LM Limited Rear Side View

Via: Twitter

The iconic R33-generation Skyline could be imported to the US

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By: Djordje Sugaris
Title: Incredible Cars Turning 25 This Year (Ripe for Importation to the USA!)
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Published Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2021 18:20:47 +0000




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