Continuing the 25 Year Import Law from Part 1
In part 1 of the USA 25 year import law post series, we covered what the law means. We also looked at what cars it applies to and how a foreign car can be imported into the U.S.
To summarize, any vehicle that is manufactured for foreign markets cannot be imported into the U.S. There are two ways around the 25-year import law:
- First, if a vehicle is more than 25 years old (from manufacture date), it is considered a collector/antique car. This is important because collector/antique cars do not need to adhere to FMVSS and EPA requirements.
- Second, vehicles made specifically for sale in the U.S. can also be imported. This is because these models are already designed to comply with FMVSS and EPA requirements.
More Import Cars That Will Be Available Through the 25 Year Import Law
In part 1 we covered one of the most popular import models, the Nissan Skyline GT-R. In part 2, we’ll take a look at a few other notable JDM and EDM models. These currently are (or will soon be) available for import through the 25-year import law.
Toyota Celica GT-4
The Toyota Celica GT-4 is the performance variation of the base Toyota Celica. This started with the Celica’s fourth generation and was first introduced in 1986. There are three generations of Celica GT-4s. This includes the ST165, the ST185, and the ST205.
The ST165 was the first iteration of the Celica GT-4. It was actually sold in the U.S. after 1988. It has a slightly different body style from the base Celica, mostly in the front bumper area. The ST165 features a powerful 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder 3S-GTE engine. It is capable of producing an impressive 190HP. This engine is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission.
While the ST165 is certainly a cool car, it isn’t too uncommon within the U.S. because there were models sold here.
The ST185 is a much better model since it received several upgrades over the ST165. The first ST185 appeared in 1989 and was manufactured until 1993. This means all models are eligible for import.
Japanese ST185s feature a newer version of the 2.0L four-cylinder 3S-GTE engine that can now make 222HP. It is faster than the ST165 as a result. The ST185 GT-4 is equipped with a limited-slip differential and viscous coupling in the four-wheel-drive system. This gives the ST185 better handling and stability over the previous GT-4.
All versions of the ST185 GT-4 are now available for import in the U.S. They are well worth the import price. However, you might be more interested in the ST205, which is now available to import for the earliest model year.
The ST205 was never sold in the U.S. This makes it a pure import vehicle. This is by far the most powerful Celica model. It is capable of producing 250HP with the improved 3S-GTE engine. The ST205 also features an improved suspension and is overall lighter.
The ST205 is most notable for being a rally car and an impressive one at that. This is due to having incredible power mixed with great all-wheel drive and low overall weight. If you like the Celica body type, you’ll love the performance offered in a GT-4. You can import the 1994 model now and the 1995 model in 2020.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Another popular import model is the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution. Specifically, this includes the four oldest generations, the Evo I, Evo II, Evo III, and Evo IV. These are the only models that are currently (or will soon be) available for import.
The very first Evo appeared in 1992 and was based on the Mitsubishi Lancer. However, the model is equipped with a much stronger engine. This is a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder 4G63T engine that produces a whopping 244HP. It is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. These give the Evo a real racing feel that makes the model popular as a street racer.
The Evo II was sold starting in 1994. This means it has just recently become available for import. Over the previous model, it has superior handling and an improved wheelbase. The engine also received slight upgrades that increased output to 252HP. The Evo II was sold for just a year before the third version appeared.
The Evo III received cosmetic upgrades giving it a much racier feel. It is equipped with an upgraded turbocharger compressor and slight engine improvements. Just like the Evo II, it was sold for roughly a year before the next version appeared. Next year the Evo III will become eligible for import. However, you may want to wait another year for the Evo IV.
The Evo IV is particularly important because the entire Lancer platform changed in 1996. It has a better balance of weight distribution despite being heavier than previous models. Thanks to a new turbocharger, the Evo IV can produce 276HP. This makes it significantly faster.
Another notable feature is that the Evo IV is equipped with Active Yaw Control. This makes the model much easier to handle and extremely responsive. To go with mechanical and technology upgrades, the Evo IV received cosmetic updates as well. There are a pair of fog lights on the Evo’s bumper, making it stand out from previous iterations.
This model is one of the most popular Evos. It was also the last version classified as a compact. Thanks to racing seats and the styling of the interior, the Evo IV feels the most like a street racer. You should definitely wait until 2021 to pick up one of the rare Evo IV models.
Subaru STI 22B
One of the rarest JDM models is the Subaru STI 22B. There were less than 500 vehicles ever produced. This makes it almost impossible to actually find. It was manufactured for roughly 6 months in 1998. The STI 22B closely resembles the Lancer Evolution. This is not an accident because the two models are loosely based on each other.
This sporty car is unlike any other for a few reasons. First, it was only manufactured in the color blue with distinct gold wheels. Second, it is capable of reaching 60 MPH in less than 4 seconds. This is a result of being equipped with an insane 2.2L EJ22G that makes 280HP. It is paired with a 5-speed manual transmission with short gear ratios.
For its time, the STI 22B was one of the fastest cars in the world. It was significantly cheaper than any other vehicle that produced such speed. Throw in exceptional handling and responsiveness and it makes you feel like you’re directly connected to the vehicle. The STI 22B will first be available for import in 2023. Even if you want one, you won’t likely find one for sale. There were such a few models ever made and collectors are likely to hold on tight.
One final import vehicle to think about is the Audi RS2. It is unlike most other notable importable vehicles because it is actually a station wagon. It was manufactured between 1994 and 1995. This means that it has just two model years. Both will be available to import beginning next year.
The RS2 is actually made in collaboration with Porsche, adding to the model’s legacy. This 6-speed manual transmission car is insanely fast. It is equipped with a 2.2L turbocharged five-cylinder engine that makes an incredible 315HP.
The RS2 is capable of reaching 60 MPH in less than 5 seconds. It also has a top speed exceeding 160 MPH. This mark is crazy for a station wagon. It also has a fantastic suspension offering impressive handling. Thanks to a racing-style racing-styled interior, it certainly feels like a fast vehicle and has the performance to back it up.
Importing one is another story because less than 3,000 models were ever made. The RS2 has an extremely devoted following. Plus it is technically half Audi, half Porsche. The price tag on an RS2 will surely be high. Driving one will be absolutely worth it should you ever get behind the wheel.
If you have been waiting for a 25-year old car to import into the United States of America, we are entering into very exciting years! This should lead to an increase in cool and unique cars that you will see from all around the world, that were never seen in the states previously.
Do you have something you would like to import & drive? Let us know in the comments below!
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