Like everyone, we've got a Christmas wish-list of stuff we'd love to find under the tree but don't expect to.
We've been lusting after Audi's R8 V12 diesel since it rolled out of the fog-machine smoke at the Detroit auto show 11 months ago. But so far, Audi has no plans to build it.
That's typical. Automakers are famous for seducing us with sweet concept cars that get amazing fuel economy, offer insane performance or just plain look cool. We fall in love and the automakers tease us with suggestions that one day we might possess the object of our desire. Sometimes we do. Often we don't. And occasionally our hearts break when they are sold only in Europe or Japan.
We're tired of being teased. Here are 10 cars we want now.
Audi R8 V12 TDI concept - This diesel demon gets 24 mpg and meets the ultra-stringent EU emissions rules coming in 2014. But the best thing about the R8 TDI is it does zero to 60 in 4 seconds, hits 186 mph and produces glorious quantities of tire-shredding, neck-snapping torque when you stomp it. Photo by Audi.
BMW M1 Hommage - BMW marked the 30th anniversary of the legendary M1 with a sexy prototype that masterfully updates Giorgetto Giugiaro's original design. The Hommage doesn't actually run (hence the Photoshop job above) and some say it looks like the new Camaro, but at least it doesn't have a Bangle butt. Photo by BMW.
Citroen C-Metisse concept - Maybe it's the absinthe, but no one designs cars quite like the French. Take the C-Metisse that appeared at the Paris Auto Show in 2006. It's a diesel. It's a hybrid. And it's got four scissor doors. The only thing that could make it any cooler is hydropneumatic suspension. Photo by Citroen.
Ferrari Millechili - Millechili is Italian for 1,000 kilos, which is what the next pavement-peeler from Maranello will weigh. That's less than a Mazda Miata, and it shows Ferrari is serious about improving fuel economy by reducing weight. The next-gen Enzo won't be named Millechili, but with 600 horsepower, it will again mean Ferrari is Italian for awesome. Photo by Ferrari.
Fiat 500 - This beautiful update of the iconic microcar isn't a concept, but it may as well be because we can't get it here in America. Too bad, because the 500 is everything you want in a city car -- stylish, efficient (how's 45 mpg sound?) and a blast to drive. We hear it's even reliable, so Fiat no longer means "Fix it again, Tony." Photo by Fiat.
Ford Verve Concept - Ford builds some great fuel-sippers that are sold only in Europe, and the company raided its European stable to design the Verve. The sedan arrives in 2010, but we really want the hatchback concept (shown here at the Detroit auto show) because it's a small car that doesn't look cute or cheap or both. Besides, the world needs more purple cars. Photo by Ford.
Honda CR-Z concept - Someone has finally designed a sexy, affordable hybrid. Honda says it absolutely, positively will build the sweet gas-electric sports car it's been showing off for about a year now, but so far it hasn't said when. No matter -- the fact it's coming is enough to make us finally forgive Honda for killing the CRX. Photo by Honda.
Mini-E - The all-electric runabout that debuted at the L.A. Auto Show is the ultimate city car, and we wish BMW would build more than 500 of them. BMW says the limited run is a field-test for the new technology, but we suspect the company discovered only 500 people can meet the leasing requirements and afford the $850 monthly lease. Photo by Jim Merithew / wired.com
Tesla Motors Model S - Yes, Tesla is laying off employees and cutting expenses and its plans for the Model S aren't going anywhere without $350 million from Uncle Sam. But that doesn't make the idea of a $58,000 all-electric sedan any less seductive, even if the company ought to be focusing its attention on ramping up production of the Roadster. Photo by Tesla Motors.
Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid - A growing cottage industry is busy converting Prius hybrids to plug-ins capable of 100 mpg. Heck -- three ecogeeks did the job in the L.A. Convention Center parking lot. Yet an automaker synonymous with hybrids says it won't have a plug-in Prius until 2010 and even then will offer them only to fleets. What gives? Hurry up already! Photo by Toyota.