What we can't wait to drive in 2005

The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is expected to go on sale during the second half of this year for a listing price of $1.1 million.
The Bugatti Veyron 16.4 is expected to go on sale during the second half of this year for a listing price of $1.1 million.Forbes.com
/ Source: Forbes

Over the recent holidays, Forbes.com wrote a different kind of letter to Santa. We didn't want a plasma-screen TV or a handmade fly rod. What really sets our collective hearts racing is the thought of being able to drive the newest, coolest cars of 2005.

It is a wish we make every year--and we reckon that so far we have been pretty nice because ol' Saint Nick keeps answering our prayers. Last year, for example, we had the pleasure of blasting off in such beauties as the Ferrari F430 coupe, the new Mercedes-Benz SLK and the new Bentley Continental GT, to name a few. So, this year, we once again sat down and wrote out our wish list for the coming year.

What follows is a preview of ten of the most exciting 2005 or 2006 model cars that, at press time, are scheduled to appear in showrooms this year. However, we may need to prepare ourselves for disappointment: It is possible that, in at least one or two cases, the manufacturer's announcement of a 2005 release may be a trifle optimistic.

For example, Volkswagen has now been talking for years about when it will give its Bugatti subsidiary a proper homecoming by releasing the million-dollar Veyron 16.4 two-door that the resurgent, storied French automaker has in development.

In a statement released in March 2004, Bugatti said that it was on track to release the Veyron in the second half of 2005. Some car publications, having touted the Veyron's arrival last year and the year before, have not listed it in their 2005 preview issues. We'll see what happens.

We'll also be surprised if we see any of the $660,000 Fétish electric sports cars that will be made by Venturi, another exotic name with a French accent. The tiny company, which is based in Monaco, says the Fétish will be available in America--but that it is planning a production run of only 25 models.

In the meantime, join us for some wishful thinking and see our list of dream cars for the coming year.