It is January 2019. Here are two cool cars eligible for import, the Audi RS2 Avant and Toyota Celica GT-4 st205
Another year is upon us when a new group of vehicles never before available in the United States can be imported. I am talking about the US Department of Transportation 25 year exclusionary rule.
The rule is pertains to the importation of classic or antique cars for personal use and states that if a motor vehicle is at least 25 years old, it can be lawfully imported into the United States without regard to whether it complies will all applicable DOT Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). The anniversary date runs from the date of manufacture.
This next year, while there are many cars that are eligible for importation, there are two in particular that really stand out as worthy of attention of car fans. They are the Audi RS2 Avant and the Toyota Celica GT-4 ST205
The Audi RS2 Avant
If you are a fan of high performance versions of Audi cars and specifically the ‘RS’ versions, you know about the Audi RS2 Avant. Also known as the Audi 80 RS2, the Avant was a limited edition, high performance Audi five-door, five-seat estate car or station wagon.
Manufactured between March 1994 and July 1995, the Audi RS2 Avant is unique and historical for several reasons. Reasons include:
- It was built as a collaboration between Audi and Porsche.
- It was Audi’s first “RS” vehicle
- It was the most powerful and most thoroughly developed version of Audi’s inline five-cylinder turbocharged engine
- It was the first of Audi’s line of high performance station wagons
Based on the Audi 80 station wagon and built on their B4 platform, it was powered by an inline five-cylinder double overhead cam (DOHC) with 4 valves per cylinder turbocharged engine. It produced 315 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 302 ft-lbs of torque at 3,000 rpm.
While many of the underlying parts of the car were manufactured by Audi, the car itself was assembled by Porsche at the same factory, in the same manner as the product of another notable collaboration, that of the Mercedes Benz 500E. The factory was Porsche’s Rossie-Bau plant in Zuffenhausen, Germany, the same factory where the legendary Porsche 959 was produced.
The engine in the RS2, like the rest of the Avant, was a unit that Audi had already produced. However, the engine was extensively modified at the hands of Porsche engineers. The engine was given a noticeably larger turbocharger, a heavy duty intercooler and higher flow fuel injectors were added along with a newly designed camshaft. Also added was a more efficient induction system and a low-pressure exhaust system. Modifications were topped off with a new engine management system.
As with current RS models, performance of the first RS was impressive. The Audi RS2 Avant was able to rocket from 0 to 62 miles in 4.8 seconds with traction through all four wheels. The RS2 Avant used a modified version of Audi’s Quattro all-wheel drive system. The top speed of the vehicle was 163 miles per hour.
In 1995, Autocar magazine timed the Avant RS2 from 0 to 30 miles per hour in a breathtaking 15 seconds. This was faster than the legendary McLaren F1 road car and also Jacques Villeneuve’s Formula One car at the time.
The Audi RS2 Avant is a rare bird. While 2,200 were planned but due to strong demand, 2,891 were actually produced.
As of this writing, there are two Audi RS2 Avants offered for sale. A restored example with 131,000kms is offered in Italy for 54,000 euros or almost $62,000. A second ‘authentic’ example with 155,000kms on the clock is offered in Germany for almost 60,000 euros. This is $68,343 at current exchange rates.
The Toyota Celica GT-4 ST205
The Toyota Celica GT-4 ST205, like the Audi RS2 Avant was a limited edition high performance vehicle. In order to satisfy homologation requirements as a Group A car in the World Rally Championship, Toyota was required to build 2,500 copies.
uilt starting in February 1994, 2,100 copies were produced for the Japanese market and 300 were sent to Europe with the balance going to New Zealand and Australia.
The GT-4 ST205 was the most powerful Celica produced to date putting out between 239 and 252 horsepower for the Japanese domestic market (JDM) version. Powering the GT-4 was an updated version of the 2.0 liter 3S-GTE engine matched to the 5-speed manual E154F gearbox that was strongly influenced by Toyota Team Europe, the racing team participating in the World Rally Championship.
Built as a rally car, the Toyota Celica GT-4 ST205 launched from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 6.3 seconds accelerating through to 152 miles per hour. This was of course through an all wheel drive system.
The Toyota Celica GT-4 ST205 does not have quite the legacy of the RS Avant. As a result, they are more readily available at a much lower price point. There is a copy with 66,000 miles for sale out of the UK.
While there are several cars that can be imported into the United States under the DOT 25 year exclusion rule, there are the most awesome.
Are there any cool cars eligible for import that I am missing? If so, let me know in the comments below.