for a variety of reasons, from emissions to safety to cost, carmakers don't bother bringing certain vehicles stateside. while many of these cars are pretty undesirable, some are reportedly amazing. so a viewer asked us what forbidden fruit we would import if we had a shady car-smuggling friend who could bring over anything from the world beyond our borders. if you're worried about how we might register such a vehicle, this friend also has the connections and ability to make it street legal. we set a budget of $50,000, set google to translate, and started searching foreign websites.
to answer the window shop challenge, we asked deputy testing director k.c. colwell, senior editor joey capparella, contributor jonathon ramsey, deputy editor tony quiroga, and, of course, road & track senior editor john pearley huffman to scour the internet for contenders. most of the crew makes smart choices. two of the contestants pick hot performance cars from down under, another selects a very special toyota yaris that deserves to be imported, someone else champions a renault that breaks the budget, and pearley presents a car that he could legally import and register in the u.s. today, no shady friend necessary. (if you've watched this show before, you already know that pearley isn't a careful reader of the challenges.)
there are plenty of laughs, a few britishisms, some valuable information, a couple of trivialities, and of course a winner—sort of.