Top Gear’s Top 9: forbidden fruit cars
Nine cars we wish were sold in the UK – but their cruel makers chose not to import ‘em
The twin car to the brilliant (and sold-out) Toyota GR86 isn’t being brought to the UK – despite Toyota’s measly allocation of boxer-engined rear-wheel drive coupes selling out faster than tickets to a hot cake convention. Come on Subaru, we won’t even ask you to paint the bodywork blue and bolt on some gold wheels. Promise.Advertisement - Page continues below
And the BRZ isn’t alone in the ‘driftable Japanese two-doors Brits are denied’ club. The new Z has a 400bhp bi-turbo V6, the choice of manual or automatic gearboxes, and no tickets to a British port.
Still, the Toyota Supra is now available with a manual gearbox and it’s getting better through the corners, so that makes the Zed’s absence a little less painful.
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
American’s premier supersaloon offers 668bhp of supercharged 6.2-litre V8 fury with rear-drive. If you ditch the 10spd auto and go for the manual gearbox it weighs less than a £140k M5 CS, but costs the equivalent of £62,000 – well-specced M2 money.
No-one does bargain performance quite like our American cousins.Advertisement - Page continues below
The two-seat targa-top kei-car weighs just 830kg, and is propelled with a mere 63bhp. It’s like a well-dressed entry-level Caterham, and gets more relevant with every passing day. Pretty please Honda, we never did get an S2000 replacement…
Toyota GR Yaris GRMN
Only Japan got this more extreme version of the sensational GR Yaris. Think of it as a Toyota hatchback getting the Porsche GT3 treatment: a stiffer body, no back seats, lower ride height, wider tracks, a 20kg weight saving and racier aero. The sterling price would be in the region of £47k. So, this or a Cayman?
Hyundai Veloster N
Yes, we have a rich tapestry of N models in the UK: the i30N hatch and fastback, the i20N supermini and the wild Kona N crossover. But we’re greedy, and the N cars are all fabulous. So we’d also liked the lopsided door-count Veloster coupe, please.
Mind you, even in America you’ll have to be quick: Hyundai has announced it’s killing off this characterful oddball in July 2022.
Actually, on the subject of Korean weirdos not for sale in the UK, the Telluride SUV might make you look twice at gambling on a second-hand Range Rover. Handsome, vastly spacious and on sale Stateside for £33k – that’s £27,500 over here.
Harder to park than a Sorento, we grant you, but it’s a lot of metal for your money and nicer to look at than any current BMW SUV.Advertisement - Page continues below
Might this entry-level EV yet make it to British showrooms? The Spring offers just 44bhp but light weight means a 143-mile range (better than a Honda e) for a third of the price. The perfect car for a cost of living meltdown? Dacia is currently working out how to make it in right-hand drive without breaking the bank…
The enduring, sweetest forbidden fruit, Toyota’s Century limo has been off-limits to German metal-obsessed buyers of luxury bargains ever since 1967. The latest model swaps a V12 for a downsized V8 hybrid, but retains squeak-free wool seats, curtains, and a deeply honourable cool factor.Advertisement - Page continues below