2000 Lotus 340R
The 2000 Lotus 340R is a limited-edition sports vehicle designed by Lotus Cars in the U.K. Featuring a four-cylinder and 16 valve engine, the car’s maximum speed is 133 miles per hour. Body design-wise, it has no roof and no windows. It was such design elements that banned the car from U.S. use. The Lotus 340R is still legal in the U.K. and other European countries, but is rarely seen on the streets. One will have better luck finding a model at a car show or a racing event.
1992 Smart Crossblade
The 1992 Smart Crossblade was designed to be distinctive and future-looking. Compact in size and with its unique look, this car stands out. Similar to the Lotus 340R, the vehicle has no roof or windows. Its compactness serves as one of its central flaws. For such reasons, the 1992 Smart Crossblade has never been legally allowed to be sold in the U.S. The vehicle boasts a 599cc inline-three engine and has a maximum speed of 84 miles per hour.
2008 Alfa Romeo 8C Spider Roadster
First launched in 2008, the Alfa Romeo 8C Spider Roadster is a well-recognized and popular sports car in Europe. It boasts a 4.7-liter V8 engine that can go 181 miles per hour. Additionally, the vehicle features 7,000 rpm. The central reason why the 8C Spider was banned in the U.S. was due to its speed capacity and that its horsepower allows its speedometer to exceed the legal redline. Since many super-fast cars are available in the U.S. market, the ban does not necessarily make sense. Perhaps one-day car enthusiasts will be able to acquire an 8C Spider in the U.S.
2002 Morgan LeMans ’62 Prototype
The 2002 Morgan LeMans ’62 Prototype is a classy and elegant tribute to the automobiles of yesteryear. The reason why this innocent car is banned is not what one might think. The vehicle is not too fast, compact, or lacks necessary safety features. It is illegal due to the misfortunate name of the car’s distributor. The LeMans ’62 Prototype in the U.S. would be distributed by a company called Isis Imports, which is the automobile manufacturer’s partner. Such a name has a significant negative connotation in the U.S. and has made the ’62 Prototype a banned vehicle.
1995 Rover Mini Cooper
The 1995 Rover Mini Cooper was simply too European designed to be approved for U.S. use. Its body style is compact and its design lacks emphasis on safety features deemed essential by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. The vehicle is not overly fast with a maximum speed of 92 miles per hour. There are of course other Mini options available in the U.S., but there is something attractive about the Rover’s look and feel.
1997 Lotus Elise Series 1
First available in 1997, the Lotus Elise Series 1 can go from 0 miles per hour to 60 miles per hour within six seconds. This vehicle is screaming fast! Unfortunately, this is exactly why the Lotus Elise Series 1 has been banned from use in the U.S. The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration has deemed the automobile unsafe for American consumers. Additionally, it also lacks windows and a roof. These flaws were inexcusable to the U.S. government agency.
2011 Saab 9-5 Sportcombi
The 2011 Saab 9-5 Sportcombi, after its initial announcement, became a popular car among U.S. enthusiasts. American car collectors could not wait to get their hands on the 9-5 Sportcombi. Unfortunately, before the car’s manufacturer was able to distribute U.S. models, it went bankrupt and out of business. While some still attempted to purchase the vehicle through other methods, the Saab 9-5 Sportcombi became illegal in the U.S. for undisclosed reasons. Most likely there was a lack of certain safety protocols.
1993 Jaguar XJ220S
The ultra-rare 1993 Jaguar XJ220S’s speed is off the charts! With only 275 cars produced, the vehicle has become a prized possession of foreign car collectors. Due to its legendary speed with a maximum of 212 miles per hour, the car was banned in the U.S.
1978 Brabham BT46B
The 1978 Brabham BT46B is not only banned from use in the U.S., but everywhere else in the world. This is because it is an extremely fast race car that had a flawed design. The car was only used in one race, the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix, before being permanently retired.
Most of the vehicles highlighted have been banned for safety-related reasons. This is understandable as the U.S. has noticeably strict regulations for automobile use. While some of these vehicles would be very attractive to have in one’s car collection, their design and features raise significant safety and wellbeing concerns not only for the driver in control but all parties involved.