We know it’s cliché, but it’s hard not suffering over the cars we don’t get here in the U. S. of A. And we’re not just talking about brown diesel wagons with manual transmissions, either—there genuinely is a hearty crop of hot stuff strutting around Europe that isn’t sent our way. Events like the 2014 Geneva auto show only serve to heighten our lust for these taboo rides, so we decided to vent a little and share with you our favorite off-limits cars from the show.
Our inner hot-hatch nerds are drawn to the S1 just like Spock to the Enterprise via tractor beam. The S1 features a 231-hp turbo four, plus plenty of go-fast bits, and we shamelessly named it to our 10 Hottest Geneva Auto-Show Debuts list. Our favorite features? The blacked-out pillars, roof, and panel between the taillights that absolutely look the business. S1 DETAILS, PHOTOS ››
Why we don’t get it: Feel like shelling out Golf R money for something Mazda 2–sized? Didn’t think so.
Citroën C4 Cactus Aventure Concept
Believe it or not, the new Citroën C4 Cactus actually is a production car. It has wild looks, pop-out rear windows for weight savings, and is inexplicably neat looking. Next to the gaggle of multi-colored C4s on the Geneva show floor stood this gem, the so-called “Aventure” concept. The Frenchies toughened up the Cactus with beefy off-road tires and black steel wheels, a brush guard, and a roof rack suspending a spotlight-equipped cargo box. The nuclear-camouflage-on-white paint scheme is entirely appropriate, we say. MORE ON THE CACTUS ››
Why we don’t get it: For starters, it’s only a concept. But the regular C4 Cactus is French, so it’s not coming here anytime soon, either.
Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake
If the Euro-only Jaguar XFR-S Sportbrake, a car upon which we’ve waxed poetic since first catching a glimpse of it, were six inches higher off the ground and wore a heavier, less-agile body, this would be a very different report. But the Sportbrake wouldn’t be nearly as cool (or, conversely, as American-proof) as a crossover. Instead, it’s a traditional wagon through and through, despite even the best efforts of its track-ready suspension, 550-hp supercharged V-8, and searing French Racing Blue paint to convince bystanders to the contrary. Hey, at least we get the ultra-limited production XFR-S sedan stateside. XFR-S SPORTBRAKE DETAILS, PHOTOS ››
Why we don’t get it: For some reason, 500-plus-hp station wagons just haven’t caught on. Yet.
Opel Astra OPC Extreme
Like a Mountain Dew–chugging dude-bro attempting a backflip from the bed of one moving pickup truck to another, Opel’s Astra OPC Extreme is EXTREME. Indeed, capital letters is how Opel prefers the hardest-core Astra model name be presented. Pass the Dew, we’re struggling to find the energy to hit the caps lock key. The Extreme lives up to its visual and nomenclature promise with a built-in roll cage, a 276-hp turbo four, and a rockin’ body kit. Here in the States, if you want a purpose-built track toy from the factory, you’ve gotta go German or something a little less factory. Buick’s and Opel’s lineups are nearly shared, so . . . EXTREMELY DETAILED OPC PHOTOS, INFO ››
Why we don’t get it: Buick and roll-cage-equipped track-prepped hot hatches are still a long way from being uttered in the same sentence.
Volkswagen Multivan Alltrack
Despite the onslaught of Euro-derived commercial vans on the U.S. market, regular minivans are a dying bunch. They also are as uncool as sin and cargo models creep out the neighbors. That is why VW’s Multivan Alltrack concept is so damn awesome, because on the surface it flips those trends the bird. Peeking beneath its boxy skirt, the tall ride height is perfect for crossover-ravenous suburban families, the all-wheel-drive system will appeal to Snow Belters, and the 180-hp diesel four should enrapture, well, us. Plus, it has a kitchenette. A kitchenette! MORE ON THE MULTIVAN, PLUS ITS KITCHENETTE ››
Why we don’t get it: We could begin at the diesel part, or just skip to the expensive van part.
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