In the United States, the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is the authoritative body in charge of defining what constitutes a "safe" motor vehicle. Safe for its occupants, for the road, for the ecosystem, and for the bottom line. There is a lot of legislation enacted and a lot of rules for manufacturers to follow in order to safeguard all of those aspects of American life. Foreign markets, in contrast to the American favourites, offer a wider selection of automobiles for those who can't get their car fix in the domestic market. There are some forbidden fruits you may never get to taste if you continue to reside in the United States and have an extreme craving for importing cars that are illegal in the United States.
Therefore, many vehicles made by foreign manufacturers need an American variant that satisfies all the regulations put forth by the NHTSA; otherwise, they are considered illegal streetcars in the US. However, this is a massive undertaking that not all car companies are willing to take on, so a sizable number of vehicles are unavailable for import to the United States.
Without a doubt, the United States auto market is lacking significant European competition. Thousands of cars are manufactured every year that will never get the chance to burn rubber on Highway 52 or down US-1 due to a lack of interest in the market, inability to comply with American safety regulations and emissions standards, or simple inability to fund the import process.
Always double-check with the DMV or NHTSA to make sure your prospective import passes muster before setting sail for the United States, as this list is subject to change throughout the year. Possibly, the car you've been eyeing is now road-legal in the United States.
Bugatti's primary market is still Europe, so the company couldn't risk changing the look of its new 1500-horsepower hypercar to comply with America's antiquated bumper laws. The Chiron is the Volkswagen Group's pride and joy, so it goes without saying that it's as secure as a car that can reach 261 mph can be.
However, the law is the law, and with the arrival of the first Chirons built to U.S. specifications in New York City, we finally have a good look at how the federal bumper standards in this country affect a $2.6 million car. These unsightly additions, along with the additional amber side markers, are required for all Chirons entering the United States.
The Bugatti Chiron, which currently retails for around $3 million, is arguably the pinnacle of what humans are able to build due to its impressive performance figures that almost match its somewhat high cost. I find it utterly enthralling to think about the lives of the people who can afford such vehicles. I mean, if they can afford a $3 million car, what must their mansions look like? Because of how fast it is, the top speed for this vehicle is 261 mph. Simply put, no legal tyre on the market today can withstand such speeds.
But suppose you win the lottery and replace your Honda Civic with a Bugatti Chiron. Can this really happen in the USA? There are fewer restrictions on Bugatti in Europe than there are in the United States, where the company is headquartered.
In the United States, is it legal to drive a Bugatti Chiron? The Bugatti Chiron can be driven legally on American streets. There are, however, noticeable physical differences between the car you might (very) occasionally see on the streets of Europe and the car you would find in the United States. Bugatti had to make a few modifications, the most noticeable being the addition of rather unsightly rear bumpers to comply with US regulations.
Were changes required to the Chiron for the US market?
For the Bugatti Chiron to be sold in the US, Bugatti needed to make changes to the Chiron. Unfortunately, not only for Bugatti but for American car enthusiasts – the Chiron had to have some physical alterations to their European model. You will find that for the US version there are some side turn indicators, but these aren't too obtrusive. Where the problem comes is with the rear bumpers! Stuck onto the back of the Chiron are two, rather thick, lumps of rubber which stand out like a sore thumb.
It's like making Tom Cruise wear a Jester's hat in Mission Impossible. It's somewhat distracting, and once you notice it, it's hard to see anything else! So, unfortunately, US customers can't quite enjoy the lines of this thing of beauty as much as our European friends. Or can we?
Why were these changes to the Chiron necessary?
To be able to comply with US federal requirements, car manufacturers need to adhere to certain standards. Unfortunately, the Chiron falls foul of a couple of these standards. You see, for every car that is sold in the United States, federal bumper standards apply. For instance, let me share what some of these rules actually are:
Firstly, the construction of the bumper must be from rubber, plastic, steel or aluminium and is attached to both the front and the rear of a car. The purpose of it is to absorb some of the shocks during an impact which will reduce the damage to the car and also the thing (be it another car, a person or whatever) that it hits.
These bumpers are primarily designed to absorb the damage in low-speed impacts, such as around five mph and help to provide protection to some of the important components of a car such as the lights, cooling (such as the front fan), exhaust, fuel, etc.
The law states that it is intended to provide absorption for slow speeds such as a five mph impact into a car that is parked and is of similar mass. The protection this gives must be from 16 – 20 inches higher than the surface of the road. It doesn't necessarily have to be the whole width of the car (as is the case of the Chiron), but it does need to provide this protection.
Can these rear bumpers be removed from the Chiron?
Technically, the bumpers can be removed from the back of the Bugatti Chiron. The bumpers have exposed screws, which is somewhat unusual for a car of this quality…or is it? Having the screws exposed means that they could be removed by anyone. So, would it be possible for the new owner to remove them as soon as they bought the car? Well, yes. Now I couldn't, of course, recommend that owners did this but if it was me? Having just spent around 3 million dollars on a new car maybe I'd prefer the fine you get from the Polic rather than driving around with those large rubber things stuck on the back!
What's so special about the Bugatti Chiron?
Oh, there are many things that are special about Chiron. Would you expect anything less though from Bugatti? The Chiron has an 8 litre (yes, 8!) W16 engine that produces 1,500 PS, around 1,500 hp. It can get to 60 mph in just 2.4 seconds, will reach 249 mph in 32.6 seconds and has its top speed limited to 261 mph as there are no road-tires that can currently handle the energies that would be transferred through them at this speed. To go any faster than this, you need to use a special key that will unlock the higher velocity if this wasn't quite fast enough for you.
Then, there are the somewhat special services that you need to have. When I say 'special', what I actually mean is 'expensive'. Your annual service will set you back about $20,000. Sometimes more. Insurance will depend on your age and experience but regardless, will cost you as much as a small house every year. Tires for the Chiron's predecessor (the Veyron) would require changing every 2,500 miles and cost in the region of $30,000, however, the Chiron might be a little less than this.
To own and drive a Bugatti Chiron is to say that you've done pretty well for yourself and you certainly don't have any financial problems! I wish we could get all the owners of Chiron's in a room and just ask them all, 'what do you actually do?' – I just don't understand how people can afford these cars!
What other supercars required changes for the US market?
Adapting the Bugatti Chiron to meet safety standards in the United States is hardly unique. The effects on one's physical appearance are almost always negative. The Lamborghini Countach is a good example. For many of us, the 1980s, and especially its appearance, made this supercar iconic. Only appears rapid. Certainly in Europe it did. Lamborghini slapped a hideously ugly front bumper on it so it could be sold in the United States, and it immediately ruined the car's aesthetic value.
When you thought you could get anything you wanted in the United States, you'll be surprised to learn that there are some things not even unlimited wealth could buy you. If you're like the average American consumer, you probably believe that money can buy you anything you want. You can find almost anything you want in the United States, as there are so many products on the market. If you want to import something that isn't sold locally, it's simple to do so and have it shipped to your house. But that's not the case with these automobiles. In spite of having an unlimited budget, you are still prohibited from importing the vehicles listed below into the United States.
The United States has a ban on these vehicles, but why? Obviously, the fact that these vehicles are so hazardous to operate is the primary reason why they are outlawed in the United States. In light of concerns that many of these vehicles would be unsafe on U.S. roads, their sale and ownership have been made illegal.
If you're looking for a new vehicle, you should definitely avoid the models listed below. Even though their stunning good looks and impressive functionality make them highly desirable, you should never pursue obtaining them at any cost. Doing so could land you in serious legal trouble and even jail time.
In this article, we will examine the vehicles that are illegal in the USA. Okay, let's start.
Volkswagen Beetle 'Ultima Edicion' (2004)
The United States allows nearly all Volkswagen Beetles on public roads. That being the case, you can simply visit a dealer, look at available models, and drive one home the same day. But that's not true for any old Beetle. In 2004, Volkswagen released the Beetle "Ultima Edicion," which was banned in the United States due to safety concerns. This Bettle was banned not because it's any faster or more powerful than other cars on the banned list, but rather because it has a trunk in the front.
Although the Volkswagen Beetle "Ultima Edicion" (2004) has a slick design, the setup is the primary reason the car was never sold in the United States. If you really want a Beetle, though, you'll have to settle for one of the other models since you can't legally own this one in the United States.
Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R (1999)
The Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R (1999) is so feared that it has earned the moniker "Godzilla," and the name fits. The Godzilla is an extremely potent automobile, which translates to lightning-fast street speeds. Its performance has apparently made it one of the most legendary automobiles ever. The Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec (1999) and the Nissan Skyline GT-T (1999) are two well-liked variants of the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R (1999). (1999). Since they are both illegal in the United States, anyone interested in purchasing them will have to look elsewhere. Both vehicles are illegal in the United States because their power is too great for the roads there.
From the beginning of its production in 1996 until it was discontinued in 2006, the TVR Tuscan was never sold in the United States. John Travolta drove the most well-known model, the TVR Tuscan (2003), in the film Swordfish. Since the release of that feature, it has become a highly desirable vehicle that many people in the United States wish they could afford to purchase.
Because of its safety features, the car was outlawed. The government might have considered legalising it if the manufacturer had installed adequate airbags and antilock brakes. Moreover, it would have benefited from having faster acceleration, which would have made it legal for use on public streets.
With these alterations, the car would have been affordable for American consumers. The TVR Tuscan was not safe to operate, let alone own, due to its lack of safety features.
Jaguar XJ220S (1993)
It's safe to assume that the Jaguar XJ220S (1993), which was once known as the "fastest car in the world," is one of the most desirable automobiles in the world. To be sure, this automobile is a valuable rarity. Because Jaguar only produced six of these cars, it may be next to impossible to get your hands on one. Even if you do manage to acquire one, you won't be able to take it for a spin on American roads because of the danger posed by its incredible acceleration.
If you can't have this car, then settle for the slower but safer alternatives.
It's a shame when mundane regulations stand in the way of something so lovely. In my opinion, these rules shouldn't apply to vehicles like these. I mean, feel free to add as much rubber as you like to the back of your Honda Civic. I doubt that I will observe any difference. You can imagine the frustration of the original designer of a car like the Bugatti if they saw it modified to look like this. Thankfully, the Bugatti allows you to remove them, though doing so is not recommended on public roads.
NHTSA, or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is the ultimate arbiter of what qualifies as a "safe" motor vehicle. Every year, thousands of cars are produced but never get driven on Highway 52 or down US-1 because nobody cares. In the United States, the Bugatti Chiron can be driven on public roads without a special licence. The car you might (very) rarely see on European streets is physically different from the one you would find in the United States. Ugly rear bumpers were required for the US model to meet safety standards.
Federal bumper standards apply to all vehicles sold in the United States. The bumpers can mitigate the effects of collisions with speeds as low as about 5 mph. Because of its failure to meet these requirements, the Chiron's sleek design is unavailable to American consumers. Exposed screws in the bumpers are strange for a vehicle of this calibre. The W16 engine in the Chiron is 8 litres in capacity, resulting in 1,500 horsepower.
It can reach 249 mph after travelling 60 mph in just 32.6 seconds. Why is it illegal to import such vehicles into the United States? The fact that driving one of these vehicles is extremely risky is the primary rationale for their prohibition. In spite of the fact that they are attractive and likely to attract attention, you should avoid going to any lengths to get one. Doing so may result in fines, jail time, or both from the law.
The "Ultima Edicion" Volkswagen Beetle was released in 2004, but it was banned in the USA. While John Travolta piloted the TVR Tuscan, the most well-known model, in the film Swordfish, the Nissan Skyline R34 GT-R earned the moniker "Godzilla" due to public fear of the vehicle. As the "fastest car in the world," the Jaguar XJ220S (1993) once held that title. If sufficient airbags and anti-lock brakes had been included in the production process, the government may have considered making it legal. Were it modified in this way, it could have been sold in the United States at a price that was more reasonable to middle-class families.
- Therefore, many vehicles made by foreign manufacturers need an American variant that satisfies all the regulations put forth by the NHTSA; otherwise, they are considered illegal streetcars in the US.
- Without a doubt, the United States auto market is lacking significant European competition.
- Possibly, the car you've been eyeing is now road-legal in the United States.
- Bugatti had to make a few modifications, the most noticeable being the addition of rather unsightly rear bumpers to comply with US regulations.
- It's like making Tom Cruise wear a Jester's hat in Mission Impossible.
- Why were these changes to the Chiron necessary?To be able to comply with US federal requirements, car manufacturers need to adhere to certain standards.
- Unfortunately, the Chiron falls foul of a couple of these standards.
- You see, for every car that is sold in the United States, federal bumper standards apply.
- Can these rear bumpers be removed from the Chiron?
- Technically, the bumpers can be removed from the back of the Bugatti Chiron.
- Adapting the Bugatti Chiron to meet safety standards in the United States is hardly unique.
- The United States has a ban on these vehicles, but why?
- In this article, we will examine the vehicles that are illegal in the USA.
- In 2004, Volkswagen released the Beetle "Ultima Edicion," which was banned in the United States due to safety concerns.
- Although the Volkswagen Beetle "Ultima Edicion" (2004) has a slick design, the setup is the primary reason the car was never sold in the United States.
- Because of its safety features, the car was outlawed.
- The TVR Tuscan was not safe to operate, let alone own, due to its lack of safety features.
- I mean, feel free to add as much rubber as you like to the back of your Honda Civic.