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Alfa Romeo 156

Early examples of the Alfa Romeo 156 are set to show 25 years outdated in 2022. Regardless of its front-drive underpinnings, the 156’s driving traits, engaging design, and state-of-the-art (for the time) common-rail diesel engine helped it earn the 1998 European Automotive of the Yr award. We’re explicit followers of 1997-built 156s geared up with the Italian model’s 189-hp 2.5-liter V-6. Moreover the actual fact it is probably the most highly effective engine Alfa supplied in these early 156s, the six-cylinder’s particular person consumption runners give the powerplant a glance that properly enhances the automotive’s scintillating model.

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BMW M Roadster

We all know what you are pondering: “BMW bought the M Roadster in America.” True, however till BMW dropped the E46 M3’s S54 inline-six engine underneath the hood of its two-seat droptop (and later hatchback counterpart) within the early 2000s, the M Roadster that BMW despatched to America was a special beast than these it bought in different markets. Blame the corporate’s resolution to suit our M Roadster with the 240-hp inline-six (or S52 in BMW-speak) of the U.S.-spec E36 M3 fairly than the extra highly effective (or S50) inline-six that motivated E36 M3s bought throughout the pond. Whereas most M Roadsters rolled off the manufacturing line after the calendar turned over to 1998, a handful of those machines managed to flee the manufacturing unit in 1997.

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Ford Falcon GT thirtieth Anniversary Version

In early 1997, Ford celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the unique Falcon GT by kicking off manufacturing of the then present EL-generation Falcon GT thirtieth Anniversary Version. Fewer than 300 of those machines left Ford’s manufacturing unit, with gross sales primarily restricted to Australia and New Zealand. Fitted with a wild—and completely ’90s—physique equipment, replete with an enormous rear wing and tacked-on fender flares, the limited-run Falcon GT thirtieth Anniversary Version complemented its over-the-top decor with an equally extreme engine: Ford’s 4.9-liter V-8. With roughly 270 hp, the large engine despatched its grunt to the sedan’s rear wheels by means of a five-speed handbook or four-speed computerized transmission. Certain, the Falcon GT thirtieth Anniversary Version appears a little bit underpowered by right now’s requirements, however again in 1997, it was an absolute monster. Between its rarity, rear-drive chassis, V-8 energy, and era-specific styling, the Ford Falcon GT thirtieth Anniversary Version is an epic automotive piece of 1997-built forbidden fruit.

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Ford Puma

With styling paying homage to the later and bigger (and bought in America) last-generation Mercury Cougar, the 1997-built Ford Puma paired its athletic appears to be like with a spunky 1.7-liter inline-four engine producing 123 horses. Regardless of its fairly low output, the little four-cylinder did a effective job of motivating the 2222-pound Puma. The automotive’s restricted mass additionally benefited its dealing with, with the Puma’s tossable nature contributing to its pleasant driving traits. Whereas Ford didn’t allow us to benefit from the Puma again in 1997, the Blue Oval’s little two-door could quickly unfold its joyous nature to Individuals trying to import 25-year-old examples of the automotive in 2022 and past.

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Holden Commodore SS

Holden kicked off manufacturing of its VT-series Commodore in 1997, with the rear-drive mannequin sharing its fundamental structure with different Normal Motors automobiles of the period, together with the Cadillac Catera. One factor the Commodore most definitely didn’t share with the Caddy that zigged, nonetheless, was its out there V-8 engine. Whereas the Catera got here completely with a 3.0-liter V-6, the Commodore supplied a variety of powertrains, the very best of which was arguably the SS mannequin’s 262-hp 5.0-liter V-8. Even higher? The Commodore SS was additionally out there with a Getrag-sourced five-speed handbook gearbox. Whereas Normal Motors ultimately introduced this fundamental recipe to america within the type of the Chevrolet SS of the mid-2010s (a mannequin that was based mostly on the later VF-series Commodore SS), the bow-tie-badged rear-drive sedan nonetheless instructions excessive {dollars} on the used-car market. The precise VT-series Commodore SS with a 1997 construct date, nonetheless, gives the identical V-8, rear-drive thrills of the later Chevy SS at a probably cheaper value. On the very least, the right-hand-drive Commodore SS ought to show loads of heads attributable to its relative rarity in America.

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Honda Civic Kind R

The unique Honda Civic Kind R is lastly free from import restrictions come 2022. Launched (and initially produced) in 1997, the primary Civic Kind R mixed the compact Honda’s hatchback physique model with a high-revving 1.6-liter inline-four belting out 182 horsepower at 8200 rpm. Though Honda fanatics begged for the automaker to ship the Civic Kind R to America, the corporate ignored the pleas. Honda ultimately caved and began promoting the Tenth-generation Civic Kind R in America for the 2017 mannequin yr. Whereas the latest Civic Kind R is an absolute thrill to drive, its turbocharged engine is a far completely different animal than the unique (or EK9) Civic Kind R’s naturally aspirated unit.

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Mercedes-Benz A-Class

It’s neither probably the most luxurious nor probably the most sporting Mercedes mannequin, however the unique A-class is a crucial a part of the German automaker’s historical past. Not like the model’s flagship S-class sedan or SL-class convertible, Mercedes’s A-class aimed to draw a much less moneyed viewers to the model. The subcompact hatchback introduced quite a few improvements to the three-pointed star, too. Due to its front-drive structure, the stubby and tall A-class’s inside was far roomier than its exterior’s small shadow implied. Whereas later first-generation A-class fashions supplied a wide range of powertrain choices, together with fuel-efficient diesel engines, fashions in-built 1997 had been supplied completely with certainly one of two gas-sipping inline-fours, every paired to a five-speed handbook transmission: an 82-hp 1.4-liter unit or a 102-hp 1.6-liter engine. The primary-generation Mercedes-Benz A-class arguably stuffed the void between the soon-to-come Good ForTwo metropolis automotive of the late Nineteen Nineties and the compact Mercedes-Benz C-class of the period, combining among the quirks and character of the previous car with quite a few the consolation and comfort options related to the latter.

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Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution

The Mitsubishi Lancer isn’t the one car from the Japanese automaker to obtain the “Evolution” therapy, as evidenced by the limited-run Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution. Basically a performance-oriented two-door model of the four-door SUV that Mitsubishi bought in America because the Montero, the Pajero Evolution earns its efficiency stripes courtesy of the 276-hp 3.5-liter V-6 that resides underneath its hood. In the meantime, the SUV’s flared fenders, four-wheel impartial suspension, four-wheel drive, and extra underbody safety ensured it was correctly ready for off-pavement adventures. A complete of 2500 Pajero Evolutions left the manufacturing unit over the course of its multi-year manufacturing run. Whereas not all Pajero Evolutions will flip 25 years outdated in 2022, a quantity will. Discover one, and also you’ll be capable of benefit from the Lancer Evo of Mitsubishi SUVs on U.S. roads earlier than the calendar turns over to 2023.