10 Phenomenal Cars Banned In The US
When it comes to cars, we Indians have a lot to catch up with the rest of the world. While budget, reliability, maintenance, ‘Kitna Deti hai?’ attitude of the people are the major factors. Adding to that the stringent emission rules, safety and taxes from the government have kept car-makers away from offering the Indian car-enthusiasts machines which have ruled the roads in the rest of the world. But guess we’re not alone, there are a number of cars that are banned in the US too. Wanna find out which ones? Here’s a list.
10. Lotus Elise Series 1
This lightweight beauty might seem small but can accelerate from 0 to 96kmph in less than 6 seconds. Given its lightness, the car is nimble and a treat to drive on twisty roads. But sadly for the people of the US, every model year of Elise Series 1 (1996 to 2001) is on the NHTSA blacklist! Just like their Indian counterparts, the ‘no roof, no window’ design doesn’t work with American regulators.
9. 2008 Fiat 500 Abarth
The car never came to the Indian market but we car-enthusiasts know and adore this little monster. And America’s got their share of this hatchback darling after 2010 but a car-lover who might wanna show off a 2008 European model will be disappointed. This one is on the list of blacklisted cars. What’s more fascinating about the US version is that Sergio Marchionne, former Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO, said Fiat loses $14,000 on every 500e it sells, and only produces the cars because state rules require it. And we thought our government rules are strict!
8. 2010 Alfa Romeo 8C Spider Roadster
We see some eyes turning all dreamy at the mention of Alfa Romeo. Talking about its specs is just ridiculous because, hello, it’s an Alfa! Unfortunately, they didn’t allow this beauty on the American roads either because it has serious ‘safety issues’. Guess Alfa never really bothered about America as a prospective market.
7. 1989 Porsche 959 S
Porsche made the world’s fastest and most advanced street-legal car when it came out but soon Ferrari beat them with the F40. When it first rolled out of the factory floor, the 959 became the fastest with a maximum speed of 313 kmph. The car came equipped with million things we’d never seen before like tyre-pressure sensors and magnesium wheels with hollow spokes. No wonder Bill Gates bought one! But this beaut wasn’t made according to US specs, so it was banned in the country.
6. 2004 Volkswagen Beetle ‘Ultima Edicion’
While the neighbouring country across ‘the Wall’ loved the Beetle, US didn’t find the car to satisfy its safety policies. Mexico was the last country where the classic Bug was produced. The last produced was the 3000th unit of a special production run names the “Sedan Ultima Edicion”! It is a legend among the Mexicans who call it Vochito with love. They probably learned to drive and had their first kiss or their first accident in a Beetle. Is it just us or the sheer love of Mexico for Beetle a reason to not allow it in the US?
5. 1992 Porsche Carrera 911 RS (964)
The 964 was produced by the German car-maker between 1989 and 1994. This beast powered by a 3.6 Lt engine had a top speed of 265 kmph. Now the first thing that we might see as a reason for banning it may appear to be its name- 911. But it’s a crude joke and not the actual reason! According to the US regulators, 964 fails to meet the emission and safety standards of the country. So, banned!
4. 1993 Jaguar XJ220S
A true car-enthusiast won’t deny that this Jag wasn’t their dream car. It’s posters decorated the walls of every petrol-head in their childhood. The car was the fastest production car from 1992 to 1993, recording a top speed of 341 kmph during its trial runs. Jaguar only made 6 and only one was allowed to touch the US tarmac while the rest 5 remain banned.
3. 1993 Lamborghini Strosek Diablo
Well, not many would be affected by its ban because only a few could afford it. But still, watching it dash down the street like a stabbed rat as fire spurts out of its exhaust, that’s a view! The car’s sleek, low-slung design was true to its Lamborghini blood but that’s what kept it away from rolling down the US streets. The side mirrors and miniscule headlights shun American safety regulations big time.
2. 1994 Toyota Supra
Along with Honda and Mazda, Toyota led the revolution of JDM culture. The Supra was made in Japan between 1978 and 2009 but its 1994 model never saw the night skies of US streets. The car is blacklisted by NHTSA. But while the 94 models are blacklisted, you could easily lay your hands on one made in some other year.
1. 1999 Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R
Yep, the one Paul Walker raced in 2 Fast 2 Furious! When a car is nicknamed “Godzilla”, you know that car packs some serious punches. Back in Japan, R34 was the perfect car for geek auto-enthusiasts to tinkle with. And well, the same reason raised the eyebrows of the American Highway regulators.