Importing a Rallye 100% will cost in excess of $10-15,000 on top of the cost of the car.
Shippnig charges, import fees at the port (daily storage, searches by hand, with dogs, with X-Ray machines), transportation costs via a bonded carrier to a Registered Importer.
Once at the Registered Importer they can basically charge you WHATEVER THEY WANT - and they do. $5,000 (or more) to install US Spec head lights, seatbelts, and an instrument cluster?...you better believe it! Oh, and you say where is the RI going to get the US Spec parts to install? The dealer. Ever call them to see how much an instrument cluster costs?
Think you can save a few $$$ by doing the work yourselves? Think again. You can't touch the car.
And don't forget the Rallye headlights, taillights, cluster, seatbelts, and maybe even bumpers are not US Spec and the Registered Importer is required by law to destroy them in the importation process.
And all the above is JUST for the DOT approval. The EPA approval process is a whole different ball game. To legally import a Rallye it needs EPA certification....and NOT A SINGLE RALLYE IN THE USA has had that done. It costs $5,000 and they put the Rallye on a dyno in a sealed changer, use special gas and run the car for several hours, and then continue testing for 24 hours after the car is shut off to test for fuel vapor. IF the car fails? You pay another $5,000 and have it tested again....
IF a Rallye had been certified by the EPA previously, the engine code/unibody combination would be on recored already and you wouldn't have to do the above....but as of right now, its not.
All the above is from 1st hand knowledge.....
[QUOTE=VW_IS_life]sound like it would have cost much to make it legal? QUOTE]