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The 18 cars we wish we got in Australia


Chasing Cars takes a look at the vehicles we wish were sold in Australia, both from the past and the present

The Australian new car market is a relatively small one when compared to other regions of the world. 

While we do receive a high percentage of new cars when they go on sale, sometimes others slip through the cracks. 

The main reason for this is due to the fact that some manufacturers only sell their vehicles in left-hand drive, rather than making a more complex production line for both left- and right-hand drive markets. 

Australia gets lots of interesting cars, but not all of them

Other reasons for not getting certain models and model variants in Australia that were manufactured for right-hand-drive markets include lack of demand, different buyer tastes and previously slow sales, for example. 

Here is a list of all the cars we wish came to Australia on official release, both old and new.  

Audi RS2

Developed in conjunction with Porsche, the Audi RS2 Avant was fitted with a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder engine producing outputs of 232kW/410Nm

But this was a rare car, with around 2200 being produced over a one year period. Of all these, only 180 were manufactured for right-hand markets including the UK, New Zealand and South Africa. Sadly, none came to Australia via official channels.

The Audi RS2 had a warbly five-cylinder soundtrack and plenty of power

Volkswagen Saviero ute 

The Volkswagen Saviero is the ute we wish could have taken on the Subaru Brumby in Australia. 

Also known as the Gol in its home market of South America, the Saviero had a 1.6-litre petrol engine that only produced 75kW of power, but we can just imagine how handy a car like this would be in Australia.

Volkswagen Saviero ute rear 3/4 static
We think that the Volkswagen Saviero ute could work well in Australia

Ford Mustang Mach E

Although confirmed for New Zealand, there has been no word on the Mustang Mach E electric car for the Australian market. 

Still, we would love to see this all-electric SUV come down under, especially in the flagship GT trim line. This variant can produce up to 358kW/860Nm and sprint to 100km/h in a claimed 3.5 seconds. 

The Ford Mustang Mach E might come to Australia eventually, but for now its off-limits

Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

While Australia did get special Mustangs such as the Bullitt and Mach 1, what we did miss out on was the GT350 and GT500 models sold in the USA. 

What was particularly special about the GT350 was its ‘Voodoo’ 5.2-litre flat-plane crank V8 engine that could rev all the way to 8250rpm. 

The Shelby GT350 scored a flat-plane crank V8 that revved to over 8000rpm

Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 

The Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was raced locally during the Australian Touring Car Championship of 1988 and 1989, where it won the famous Bathurst 1000 race both times. 

However, the Cosworth wasn’t sold here to much sadness. Only 1600 road cars were built, making it a very rare Ford performance vehicle, indeed.

1986 Ford Sierra Cosworth rear 3/4 static
The Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was very successful in Australian touring car racing


Only 453 M1s were built, making this model one of the rarest in BMW’s history. This supercar was powered by a 3.5-litre inline-six engine that produced outputs of 204kW/330Nm. 

The M1 was also extensively used in motorsport, including at the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in France and even in rally competition. 

The M1 was unlike anything that had come before it, but not many were produced

Polestar 1 

While we currently have the Polestar 2 in Australia – and will soon get the Polestar 3 SUV – we never received the first sole Polestar model, the 1. 

Using a twin-charge Volvo four-cylinder engine along with a plug-in hybrid system featuring two electric motors, the Polestar 1 produced 454kW of power and 1000Nm of torque. 

Even though the 1 had incredible performance numbers, it was still able to travel up to 150km in electric-only mode. 

We never got the Polestar 1, but we certainly wanted it!

Ford Bronco 

Australia has never received the Ford Bronco SUV. Instead, we got SUVs like the Ford Territory and Escape while Ford Australia was mainly interested in selling large sedans such as the Falcon. 

The Bronco has been around since 1966 and has spawned six generations since then. We wish we got the newest of the lot, including the 298kW Raptor version, but there has been no word on Australia receiving this model that’s currently only built in left-hand drive.

You can read more about deputy editor Curt Dupriez’s drive experience with the Bronco Raptor here

2023 Ford Bronco Heritage Edition
There are several variants of the Bronco now, including a hot Raptor version

Dodge Challenger/Charger 

The bad boy muscle cars from Dodge have never made their way to Australian shores, although some have been privately imported (at great expense). 

Our pick for Australia would be the Challenger and Charger Hellcat models that both have ‘Hemi’ 6.2-litre supercharged V8 engines under their bonnets that produce 527kW/881Nm. 

A limited-run, wide-bodied SRT Demon model that came later was another car we missed, making an incredible 603kW of power. 

Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody driving on track
Dodge put an incredibly powerful engine into the bay of the Charger and Challenger

F-150 Lightning 

While the new Ford F-150 truck has been confirmed for Australia, however the all-electric Lightning variant has not officially been slated for the local market. 

It’s only a matter of time before utes become hybrid or electric and we can’t wait to see what is in store for the F-150 locally. 

In the US, the Lightning is available in four grades, with the largest battery pack providing an estimated 514km of claimed range. 

Ford F-150 Lightning 2023 black
The Ford F-150 Lightning may one day come to Australia, but it’s not confirmed yet

Hyundai Veloster N

Locally, the Veloster N was the only N car that got away. We did receive the Kona N, i20 N, i30 N and even the i30 Sedan N, however the Veloster version never came to Australia. 

It’s a quirky looking car, using the same powertrain as the i30 N – a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. Outputs for the Veloster N were 202kW/353Nm. 

If it’s anything like the rest of Hyundai’s N range, the Veloster could be a treat to drive. 

2019 Hyundai Veloster N driving
The US got the Veloster N while we received the rest of the N range

Toyota Century 

The Century was Toyota’s answer to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series, however it was never sold here directly from dealerships. 

While you might come across one from time to time (some were imported), we think this model has class written all over it. 

Our pick of the range would be the V12-powered second-generation car – the first and likely last Toyota model to be equipped with such an engine. 

2018 Toyota Century rear 3/4
Luxurious and comfortable are two words to describe the Toyota Century

McLaren F1 

Known as one of the greatest driver’s cars of all time, and also owned by the likes of Rowan Atkinson (and crashed by Mr Bean, too), the McLaren F1 used a BMW-sourced V12 engine that produced 461kW/650Nm

With its iconic central driving position, the F1 was developed by Gordon Murray, who has since made a successor in the form of the GMA T50. 

The McLaren F1 once held the record as the world’s fastest production car, but was overtaken years later with the release of the Bugatti Veyron. Only 106 F1s were made, and legend has it that only one example was ever brought to Australia.  

McLaren F1 orange front 3/4
The McLaren F1 has been owned by the likes of Elon Musk and Rowan Atkinson

Mazda 3 Turbo 

In Australia, the most powerful Mazda 3 money can buy is the 139kW/252Nm 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine. 

But in overseas markets such as the US, the current Mazda 3 is available with a turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol engine that makes 186kW/420Nm. 

Think of it as the spiritual successor of sorts to the Mazda 3 MPS that was available in Australia from 2006 through to 2013. 

Mazda 3 turbo front 3/4 in red
Australia is yet to receive the turbo version of the Mazda 3

Any model produced by Arctic Trucks 

Although they are based in a very niche off-roading industry, Arctic Trucks build arguably some of the coolest creations to help conquer the most challenging conditions.

Arctic Trucks will take your Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max or even your Land Rover Defender and fit larger wheels, beefier tyres and better suspension to make the ultimate off-roader.

And not only will an Arctic Truck perform well when off the beaten path, it’ll also look tough, too. Unfortunately, Arctic Trucks are based far from Australia in countries including Russia, Iceland, Norway, the UK, Poland and the Middle East. 

Arctic Trucks Land Rover Defender 2023 front 3/4 snow
Arctic Trucks tinkered most recently with a Land Rover Defender to make it even better off-road

Nissan Terra  

You may not have heard of it before, but the Nissan Terra is the SUV version of the Navara … and we never got it locally. 

It’s a strong competitor for the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest and even the Mitsubishi Pajero Sport and is sold in South-East Asia, as well as in the Middle East as the X-Terra. 

Available engines range from a 2.5-litre petrol engine to the 2.3-litre twin-turbo diesel engine available in the Navara locally. 

The Nissan Terra would be a solid competitor against the Toyota Fortuner

Toyota Tacoma 

We never got the Tacoma utility vehicle locally, however in markets such as the US, the Tacoma has been around since 1995. 

It has been available with mainly four-cylinder and V6 engines, with the current Tacoma available with a 3.5-litre naturally-aspirated V6 engine with 207kW.

The Tacoma is likely not sold locally due to strong presence of Australia’s best-selling model, the Toyota Hilux ute. 

Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro edition front 3/4 static
The Tacoma is one tough ute, but it might not work if introduced to Australia

Nissan GT-R R34

Arguably one of the most iconic performance cars ever created, the R34 version of the Nissan Skyline GT-R was not sold in dealerships here in Australia when it began production in January 1999. 

Featuring the world-renowned RB26 engine turbocharged inline-six engine, the R34 GT-R also used an all-wheel drive system and a six-speed manual transmission to put around 206kW of power to the ground – however models that left the factory were known to produce more than that. 

Interestingly, the R34 was imported into New Zealand, but not Australia.

Nissan GT-R R34 V-Spec on road
The mighty Nissan GT-R R34 V-Spec