Euro-spec Ford Focus ST, Renault Sport Megane ph2 and GR Yaris occasionally cruise the streets of Southern California
5 hours ago
To Stephen Rivers
Southern California drivers sometimes see cars that are unfamiliar here in America. This is because cars in the Mexican market are free to cross the border as long as the documentation is up to date. One enthusiast takes full advantage of it, occasionally showing off his three hot hatches, which are banned in the US.
Just to clarify, this is not a loophole regarding registration of these vehicles in the US. This allows them to drive on the roads of America without fear of NHTSA unexpectedly crushing them. Southern California is known for its rich automotive culture, so he’s one of those places where Ro Samper enjoys cruising in unusual vehicles.
I first noticed him on the GR Corolla owner’s Facebook page about looking for a GR Corolla owner who wanted to take pictures of his car with the GR Yaris. It has a powertrain, but slightly less power.
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The GR Yaris is Thumper’s latest hot hatch addition to the garage. He also has a Euro-spec Ford Focus ST and a Renault Sport Megane ph2. If you’re looking at trends surrounding these cars, it’s by design: “I grew up being a huge rally fan and a Gran Turismo enthusiast. Those two things about him made me who I am today.” It led me,” Thumper told his Carscoops.
That passion led Samper to launch his own automotive engineering company, RoArt Engineering and Aditiv Revolution. In fact, his Ford served as the first test car for a product he currently sells to other Focus ST owners. The product range also includes other models such as the GR Yaris and the Audi TT.
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As for what the experience of bringing a Mexican market car across the border is like, Thumper says it’s no big deal. “I am Mexican and have a house in Tijuana, so I am registered in Mexico… I drive with all Mexican documents (passport, visa, driver’s license, etc.) We had no trouble driving it.” So if you’ve ever seen one of these hot hatches at Socal, you know how they got there.
Thanks to Ro Samper for sharing his photo with us!