PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- Oh, you've got a whole lot of money and think that entitles you to any car you want? There's a waiting list full of like-minded people just waiting for you to join the bottom of their pile.
Exclusivity is tough to come by in a world of 7 billion people or so. As economies around the globe evolve and advance, newfound wealth is turning global roadways and driveways into the next iterations of London, Monaco or Dubai. Even in the U.S., the overall automobile market is starting to favor the sellers again. After plummeting to roughly 10.4 million vehicles sold in the U.S. at the height of the recession in 2009, automakers sold 15.5 million vehicles in 2013 and sales are up 5% so far this year.
But for buyers looking for the bespoke luxury vehicle of their dreams or the most eco-friendly car available, supply is falling far short of demand. Either they're still in the test stages and just looking for some tongue-wagging saps to string along or they're being produced in such short supply -- or for such exclusive company -- that buying one is more a matter of position and influence than of money.
The following vehicles are just a few of the hottest vehicles available only in dreams and theory. If you want one, you're going to have to wait it out:
It's getting a lot more difficult to believe Lamborghini was once a little boutique automaker with supercars that were as tough to spot as a snowman in the Sahara.
In the past decade, Lamborghini has sold 14,000 of its popular Gallardo models and made that car its equivalent of the Honda Accord. Maybe not as practical but, by Lamborghini standards, every bit as ubiquitous.
That car is going away and its replacement Huracan comes roaring in with a 5.2-liter, 610-horsepower V-10 engine. It's lighter and faster than the Gallardo thanks to some creative use of carbon fiber and it's considered the "cheap" Lambo with a starting price of around $200,000. Unfortunately, that's made it every bit as popular as the Gallardo and has its waiting list at a year and growing.
No, it's not all carbon fiber and brawn like its $400,000 stablemate Aventador, but it's an easier way to get into a Lamborghini that -- oddly enough -- is making it a fairly tough get.
Honda Fit EV
At least a Lamborghini waiting list gives you a shot at getting the car. No such luck for those pining for an all-electric version of this modular, comfy Honda hatchback.
When Honda announced its Fit EV program last year, it noted that only 1,100 would be made over the 2013 and 2014 model years and that they would be leased to customers for a three-year period. Then they announced the monthly lease price: $389. That didn't woo anyone, so they dropped the price to $259 a month and dropped mileage restrictions completely.
With the vehicles being leased in just eight states -- California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island -- that led to deep waiting lists that Honda dealers could only whittle down at a rate of 40 to 50 vehicles per month. Basically, any Honda EV that comes into the U.S. through the end of the production period this fall is already accounted for. Considering that the whole purpose of this exercise is to decide if an electric Fit will go into full production against the Chevy Spark and Ford Focus Electric, only Honda will know if the rest of us will ever get a shot at driving one of these efficient little hatchbacks with the myriad cupholders, multiple seating arrangements and myriad tech toys.
The great news for first-time Ferrari buyers is that the 2015 model has a 3.8-liter, 553 horsepower engine, tops out at 196 miles per hour and has a new 6.5-inch infotainment screen, digital touchscreen performance menu and pushbutton transmission controls straight out of its higher-end F12Berlinetta.
The bad news? That $200,000 is about all Ferrari is going to let you spend on its vehicles until you prove you can own one like a grown-up.
Ferrari doesn't care about your money: Everybody who owns one has lots of it. The family cares about its mark and what you're doing with it and has created a culture that protects the brand from its buyers. Its 458, F12berlinetta, FF and LaFerrari hybrid (available to just 499 people worldwide) have consistent 18-month to three-year waiting lists.
Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo can go to Dubai for the Gran Prix one weekend, shake a bunch of hands and sell off his year's supply of top-line Ferraris. The chances of him just giving one to some random stranger who walks into a dealership is about nil. Ferrari owners work their way up the chain, and the bottom link is a California that you'll see sometime in 2016 if you order it now.
Kia Soul EV
Oh, it's happening.
The box on wheels once sold with the help of dancing hamsters and LMFAO songs is getting an electric upgrade and, for perhaps the first time in Kia history, there are waiting lists for its products. The touchscreen infotainment system and its charge status updates, charging station navigation, climate control and sound system with beat-sensing mood lighting are all secondary concerns -- as is the boasted top speed of 149 miles per hour.
This vehicle's already going into global production and looks as if it's going to be a nationwide offering here in the United States. What it won't be is cheap. Know that $14,500 price tag on your typical Kia Soul now? Waiting list occupants will be paying nearly triple that amount for the privilege of an all-electric ride with small-SUV cargo space.
Corvette Z51 Stingray
The auto world went absolutely nuts when it was revealed that the 2014 Corvette was going to revive the stingray body style that Chevrolet hadn't used since 1982. When it turned out that you could buy one that came ready for a day at the track, about 75% of potential owners signed up.
Well, here we sit a little less than a year after most of those buyers put their names on the waiting list and they're still waiting. The Z51 is about a $4,000 markup from the standard coupe, but comes equipped with llarger 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels; a dry sump oil system; electronic limited slip differential; larger front brakes with black calipers; specific shocks, springs and stabilizer bars; differential and transmission cooling; unique Aero Package that reduces lift for high-speed stability; summer-only tires; available Magnetic Selective Ride Control and Performance Traction Management; HD Cooling; slotted brake rotors and performance gear ratios. For a certain breed of Corvette driver, that's a list of must-haves.
Unfortunately, supplier problems created a production backlog, which put everybody's Z51s on hold. If you haven't picked one up yet, you're in back of a whole lot of traffic that's just waiting to punch it once they get the green light.
-- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.
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