The Nissan Skyline has never been legal in the US for many reasons. Some have speculated the reason for this is the power that can be had in the Skyline is much greater than any police vehicle in the US and the Skyline uses AWD where most police cruisers are set up with RWD. Others feel the Skyline hasn’t been legal here because it has received a negative reputation of being one of the most dangerous cars on the road and it’s not desired in the US at all. Both these trains of thought are incorrect.
While a Skyline can be tuned up to massive horsepower numbers and even without the use of NOS canisters this car can shoot out like a rocket and reach speeds that near the 200 mph mark, this wouldn’t be a reason for the US to make it illegal. The Skyline also has not been singled out in any way. There are many vehicles that are legal to drive in other countries but aren’t part of what conforms to the US regulations, making them illegal to drive here. The reason for a car to be deemed illegal can vary from the emissions controls to the safety features of the car, but one thing’s for sure, the US has some of the strictest guidelines in the world.
For many years those who traveled abroad, mostly military members, learned they could save a lot of money by importing a less expensive version of the same car they wanted in the US from another country. These folks learned the could even import cars that weren’t sold in the US, such as the Nissan Skyline, and then enjoy them once they returned to the US. This was called the Grey Market and was so successful some companies that already imported cars to the US were being affected.
Because of the effect of this Grey Market on the imports in the US, companies such as Mercedes-Benz lobbied for regulations and were able to have the Motor Vehicle Safety Compliance Act passed in 1988. This made sure the Nissan Skyline wouldn’t make it the US and affected other vehicle models that were being brought to the US by way of private import, causing these vehicles to be turned away and no longer allowed to be brought in the US for use on our roads.
The Nissan Skyline was a car that was not in high demand until the past fifteen years. This is a car that has been made famous through racing video games such as Grand Theft Auto and in the movies as it’s a feature car in the Fast and Furious series. Because this car was of such low demand it didn’t make sense for Nissan to pay the nearly $2 million per model that it costs to bring a car model up to the specs of the US to be sold. While most of us never knew of this car until recently and it was not in high demand, this is a car that unfortunately will continue to live as a car that has no home here in the US. Check out this video to learn more about why Nissan Skylines are illegal in the US.