Every now and then we’re reminded that there are a lot of cars North American enthusiasts aren’t able to enjoy.
Most recently, the Audi RS Q3 Performance was unveiled, a high-performance crossover sporting a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine with 367 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. With how booming the crossover segment has become in the U.S., you would think the RS Q3 Performance is a natural fit. Unfortunately, Audi doesn’t even sell the RS Q3 in the U.S., so it’s more than likely that the RS Q3 Performance will never grace our shores.
That inspired us to take a new look at some of the hot new cars introduced in the last few years that aren’t making it to the U.S.
Nissan Patrol NISMO
NISMO all the things! While U.S. enthusiasts mostly get to enjoy the Nissan 370Z NISMO, Juke NISMO and the GT-R NISMO, shoppers overseas get to enjoy the Nissan Patrol NISMO. The full-size SUV isn’t offer in the U.S. because the Armada takes the spot, which is a damn shame considering there’s a NISMO variant that looks awesome. Powered by a 5.6-liter V8 engine churning 428 horsepower, the NISMO version adds 28 ponies over the standard model. On top of that, there’s more aggressive styling, 22-inch Rays forged-alloy wheels and NISMO-tuned Bilstein suspension.
It’s almost like beating a dead horse, but it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense that Volkswagen doesn’t offer a pickup truck in the U.S. The Amarok features Volkswagen’s signature styling elements with a practical interior and it actually looks pretty cool. Unfortunately given how things are going with the German automaker’s diesel scandal in the U.S., it’s now even more unlikely that the Amarok will come over.
For years the Ford Ranger was a staple in the American automaker’s lineup, despite the popularity of the F-150. But in 2011, Ford decided to kill off the Ranger in the U.S. While that hasn’t been a big deal, the company introduced an all-new model in 2015 and we really think the nameplate needs to make a return. It’s almost insanity that 180 other global markets can get their hands on the Ranger, but it isn’t available in the U.S. where consumers absolutely love trucks. Perhaps it will reconsider with the Chevrolet Colorado now in the mix, but something tells us the success of the F-150 is more than enough for the brand.
Holden Maloo R8 LSA
And while we’re talking about trucks, it would be a shame if we left out an entry from Holden. The Maloo R8 LSA is powered by a monstrous 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine delivering 536 hp and 495 lb-ft of torque. Yes, that’s the same LSA engine found in the likes of the Cadillac CTS-V, where it makes 556 hp. It also comes outfitted with four-piston brakes, Continental tires, and a six-speed Tremec manual transmission as standard. Yeah, it’s sort of like a Camaro with a truck bed.
Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf
The Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf originally launched with availability exclusive to the Middle East, but since then Aston Martin has expanded it to EU-complaint markets including the U.K., Europe and South Africa. Limited to just 200 units, the Lagonda Taraf is sleek and is arguably more appealing than the Aston Martin Rapide. Alas, the British automaker has no intentions of bringing it to the U.S.
Audi RS Q3
High-performance crossovers are quickly becoming popular in the U.S. and it’s a damn shame that Audi RS Q3 isn’t offered. With the Mercedes-Benz GLA 45 AMG and the Porsche Macan Turbo being viable candidates in the marketplace, it’s strange that Audi doesn’t wish to compete. Oh yeah, and then there’s a wide array of BMW crossovers and SUVs, some of which are M models packing massive performance.
The Peugeot brand doesn’t even exist in North America but that won’t stop us from wishing the sporty RCZ was offered. The stylish French sports car comes with as much as 266 hp and 243 pound-feet of torque from a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Unfortunately the Peugeot RCZ is no longer in production with the last one rolling off the assembly line in September 2015. It’s a shame really that it never had a presence in the U.S.
Volkswagen Scirocco R
We should probably be happy enough that the Golf R 400 will eventually make its way to the U.S., but why can’t we get our hands on this hot hatch? The Volkwagen Scirocco R features a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine churning 276 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque and while those aren’t Ford Focus RS figures, it’s still pretty formidable. Not to mention the latest model actually looks nice and mean. It will be interesting when the next-generation Scirocco is built on a new platform and whether the German automaker deems it worthy to be sold in North America.
Lotus Exige Sport 350
Lotus has been on a spree recently, showing off new model after new model, many of which aren’t even coming to the U.S., and that makes us really sad. The one that hurts the most however is the Lotus Exige Sport 350 sporting a zero-to-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds, 345 hp and tipping the scales at a scant 2,480 lbs. By using a supercharged V6 engine, the Exige Sport 350 also packs plenty of torque at 295 lb-ft. Too bad none of it is being enjoyed stateside.
Honda Civic Type R
We get it. Honda is promising that the Civic Type R will come to the U.S. in due time. But we want it now! The current European Civic Type R is one serious front-wheel-drive monster sporting a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 306 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. It has even claimed top honors for a front-wheel-drive car at the Nurburgring, which means it can tackle the turns and twists as well as it accelerates from zero-to-60 in about 5.5 seconds. Oh yeah, there’s a six-speed manual transmission too. Some of us have been waiting for the Civic Type R to grace North American shores since 1997, when the first model debuted, so don’t you dare call us impatient.
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