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The Coolest Cars You Can Legally Import to the U.S. Now That It’s 2024

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI

1999 mitsubishi evolution 6 in blue

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Evolution is a gradual thing. In that vein, Mitsubishi made moderate alterations to the Lancer Evolution in 1999. The newly minted Evolution VI shared many features with its Evolution V forebear, including a 276-hp turbocharged four-cylinder and all-wheel drive, but the newer Evo’s modest tweaks made it a better all-around sports sedan.

Revised fascias and improved engine cooling contributed to the car’s styling improvements and aided in making the VI a more durable machine. Meanwhile, a retuned suspension with aluminum bits up front improved handling and lowered the front roll center. More legible gauges also made it easier for the driver to keep an eye on engine vitals while rowing through the Mitsu’s five-speed manual transmission.

Overeager Evo fans won’t miss out on much by jumping the gun and importing an already 25-plus-year-old Lancer Evolution V. That said, those who remain patient and wait until 2024 to import an Evo VI will ultimately be rewarded with a superior—even if only slightly—rally rocket.

Nissan Silvia (S15)

1999 nissan silvia spec r s15 in blue

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Nissan pulled the 240SX from our shores following the 1998 model year. Though the 240SX’s story may have come to a close at that point for us Yanks, it continued in other markets. Dubbed the Silvia in Japan, the four-cylinder coupe got a redesign in 1999.

Known among fans as the S15—the prior model, predictably, bore the S14 designation—the latest (and final) generation of the Silvia entered the market with two engine options: a 2.0-liter inline-four and a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four, the latter of which made just shy of 250 horsepower when paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

That’s the sort of Silvia we’d want to import and park in our garage. Still, there’s really not a bad S15 option, as all variants wear attractive sheetmetal that complements a playful rear-drive chassis.

Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)

1999 nissan skyline gtr r34 coupe

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The R34 is the ultimate Skyline GT-R. What about the wicked R35 GT-R that Nissan sold in the U.S. for the better part of a decade?

Well, technically that’s just a GT-R. The R34 marked the last time that Nissan pinned the GT-R moniker to a variant of the Skyline model line. And while it may lack the dedicated sports-car underpinnings of the R35, the R34 is arguably the more engaging GT-R. Credit the older car’s lesser mass, six-speed manual transmission, and smooth straight-six engine.

If numbers are what you’re after, then don’t bother importing an R34 Skyline GT-R, because the R35 GT-R that is already sold here does a better job of ticking those boxes. Those willing to sacrifice some power, though, will find a more joyous behind-the-wheel experience from the driver’s seat of this still incredibly quick and capable all-wheel-drive Skyline variant.

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Porsche 911 GT3 (996.1)

2000 porsche 911 gt3 996 silver

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There’s no such thing as too many Porsche 911 GT3s in our book, which is why we’re including the 996.1 GT3 on this list. No, it’s not much different than the revised 996.2 GT3 that Porsche started selling in the U.S. for the 2004 model year, but it isn’t exactly the same either.

Arguably, it’s the lesser of the two 996-era GT3s (although only slightly), as its high-revving 3.6-liter flat-six is down about 30 horses to the 375 hp produced by the later U.S.-bound GT3. Plus, as on all 996.1s, the earlier GT3 shared its egg-yolk headlights with the cheaper mid-engine Boxster of the era.

Still, the 996.1 GT3 shares one key trait with its more powerful and more distinct-looking follow-up: grin-inducing dynamics. With Porsche sending around 1000 996.2 GT3s to the U.S., it’s not every day a GT3 of this 911 generation comes to market.

Now you can expand your search to the slightly less powerful but equally thrilling 996.1 GT3. And if the example you’re looking at has a 1999 build date, then you’ll be able to drive it on American roads at some point in 2024.

TVR Tuscan Speed Six

tvr tuscan speed 6 swordfish movie car

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The TVR Tuscan Speed Six may lack the dynamic polish of the abovementioned Porsche, but it’s no less exciting a machine. This is a striking vehicle with classic front-engine/rear-drive sports-car proportions, and hiding under that long hood is a wicked straight-six engine that belts out more than 350 horsepower at 7000 rpm. The Tuscan Speed Six is for buyers in search of a sports car with head-turning looks and an engine that yearns for regular and repeated wide-open-throttle launches.

Headshot of Greg S. Fink

Despite their shared last name, Greg Fink is not related to Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s infamous Rat Fink. Both Finks, however, are known for their love of cars, car culture, and—strangely—monogrammed one-piece bathing suits. Greg’s career in the media industry goes back more than a decade. His previous experience includes stints as an editor at publications such as U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Motor1.com, and MotorTrend.

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