The United States has one of the biggest automobile markets in the world. Around 45 automakers sell cars in the US. However, many models are not sold here.
Every market has different needs and tastes, and for this reason, most of the vehicles of this list would not sell well in the US. Most of them have small engines, tiny cabins, or are made by small companies that have no presence in the US.
There is a law in the United States that allows you to import a used car as long as it's older than 25 years old. With this law, there is no need for any kind of costly homologation. The car doesn't have to meet any kind of regulations, it can even be a right-hand drive! So, if you really like some of the cars below, don't worry, you may be able to get one someday.
In this list, we are going to take a look at 15 sports cars that were never sold in the United States.
15. Volkswagen Scirocco
The Scirocco was a sports car that had two generations; the first one was sold in North America from 1982 to 1988, which was later replaced by the VW Corrado. The second generation was sold from 2008 to 2017, but sadly, it wasn't offered in the US.It came with a 1.4L as well as a 2.0 L. Production ended in 2017.
14. Toyota Sera
The Sera was built from 1990 to 1996; it came equipped with a 1.5L that delivered 104hp. The Sera’s most characteristic feature was its futuristic butterfly doors inspired by the McClaren F1. Although only 15,941 units were made, you can find some examples for sale in the US for around 10k as they were imported from Japan as a classic vehicle.
13. Mitsuoka Orochi
Mitsuoka is a small Japanese automaker that is known for taking production cars and rebuilding them with all kinds of crazy designs. The Orochi, in particular, is based on a Honda NSX and is equipped with a 3.3 V6 Toyota. The name Orochi comes from a mythical Japanese dragon that has eight heads.
12. Alpine A110
The original Alpine A110 was produced from 1961 to 1977. In 2017 Alpine (owned by the French automaker Renault) re-invented this vehicle; now, it comes with a 1.8L rear mid-engine that delivers from 249hp to 288hp. This beautiful car is not sold in the United States. But we sure wish it was.
11. Peugeot 308 RCZ
The Peugeot RCZ is the sports car version of the hatchback 308, which is one of the best selling vehicles in Europe. This version was sold between 2009 and 2015, and it came with a 1.6L as well as a 2.0. This affordable sports car had a double-bubble roof inspired by the 1959 Alfa Romeo Zagato. This design choice allows more interior space while preserving an aerodynamic shape.
10. Renault Sport Spider
This French sportscar was produced to become the base of a new car racing series; there were around 1800 units produced. It came with the same 2.0L, 148 hp from the Clio Williams and the Megane Coupe. This very light car (2,000 lbs) was based on an aluminum chassis. One of the unusual features of this car besides its crazy styling is that it didn’t have a roof.
9. Fiat Barchetta
The Barchetta was a small roadster produced by the Italian automaker Fiat; its name means ‘’little boat’’ in Italian. This car was based on the same platform as the Fiat Punto, and it came with a 1.8 liter. This car was produced from 1995 to 2005, and it was never sold in the United States.
8. Alfa Romeo Brera
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This beautiful car was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro (same designer as the DMC DeLorean, VW Golf Mk1, Lotus Esprit, etc.). The Brera was produced from 2005 to 2010; mainly sold in Europe, but also offered in some Asian and South American countries. It came with a 1.7, 2.2, and 3.2 L.
7. Lancia Stratos
This mid-engine rally legend designed by Marcello Gandini (the same designer of the Lamborghini Miura and the Countach) was offered with a 2.4L that delivered 190 HP. The Stratos won the WRC in 1974, 1975 and 1976. Pininfarina is making 25 units of a modernized version of the Stratos, based on a Ferrari 430 Scuderia chassis.
6. Daihatsu Copen
The Copen is sold in Japan with a 0.6L turbocharged engine, and in some European markets with a 1.3L non-turbo. It was first introduced in 2002 and produced until 2012. In 2014 a new generation came out that is still commercialized until this day. This fun roadster is also quite cheap. To have an idea, the Copen is sold in Japan for less than half the price of a RAV4, (1,105,000 yen for a Copen, while a RAV4 costs 2,656,600 yen)
5. Honda S660
via car scoop
Another Kei-car with a sports car shape, the S660, is powered by a small 650cc engine that produces 63 horsepower. In Japan, it is positioned below both the Honda CRZ and the much larger and expensive NSX. We would love it if Honda offered this small, fun sports car in the US.
4. Smart Roadster
The Smart Roadster is a mid-engine, RWD car equipped with a 770cc turbo engine, it was built from 2003 to 2005, and it was a sales failure. Only 43,091 examples of this funky-looking sportscar were sold throughout Europe, and although in the US it was never officially sold, there’s one example in a private collection.
3. Byd S8
Although the Chinese automaker BYD has become quite an important player, this BYD belongs in the era where Chinese car companies made horrible copycat designs. The S8 had the back of a Renault Megan CC and the front of a Mercedes Benz CLK. Thankfully, only 103 units of this awful model were sold.
2. Opel Tigra
The Tigra was a German sports car that had two generations, the first one was sold from 1994 to 2001, and the second one from 2004 to 2009. It was sold in the UK as a Vauxhall, in Australia as a Holden and in Latin America as a Chevrolet. It came equipped with three engine options, a 1.3, 1.4, or a 1.8 L.
1. Autozam AZ-1
via hemming motor news
The AZ-1 is a mid-engine key-car sportscar manufactured from October 1992 to 1994; it came equipped with a Suzuki 657cc engine that delivered 64 hp. Although this car has a super small engine, the AZ-1 only weighs 1587.33 pounds.
Even though this car was exclusive for the Japanese market, some examples were imported to the US by using the 25-year import law; you can buy one them for 15k - 20k.
Sources: autotrader, autoblog, km77