The exotic European automobiles on these pages are not the most practical vehicles on the road. Not even close. But there are times in our lives when the "p" word should be banished from our vocabulary, and we'd argue that now is one of them.
JAGUAR F-TYPE
Exclusivity: 8
Euro flair: 9
Real world civility: 10
OK, so it's not exactly European. And it's not exactly available. But if you've spent even a second (and we're betting it's been a whole bunch longer than that) star- ing at Jaguar's upcoming F-Type roadster, you know exactly why we made an exception. Given that the car is still two to three years away from production, specifics are shaky. All we can tell you is that the F-Type will be affordable (by Jag standards), and is designed to evoke fond memories of the famed E-Type, which was unveiled in 1961. And that if it drives half as fine as it looks, Jag will have a winner on its hands. (800) 452-4827 or www.jaguar.com

QVALE MANGUSTA
Exclusivity: 11
Euro flair: 9
Real world civility: 7
Makes you want to learn the language of its homeland: 8
By stuffing a 320-horsepower Ford-built motor into an Italian chassis, Qvale (say "kah-vah-lee") delivers a car capable of running neck and neck with pure-bred Italian supercars, at less than half the price (the Mangusta goes for a relatively paltry $70,000). Concessions? Well, the red-blooded powerplant lacks the refinement and punch of Europe's best. But even if the Mangusta needs five and a half seconds to reach 60 mph, and even if it sounds more like a snoring lion than a purring leopard while doing so, it's the perfect car for drivers who demand exclusivity but don't have three-quarters of a million dollars to buy it. In fact, the Mangusta is a far rarer beast than any Ferrari; only 175 were sold last year. And when mechanical maladies rear their ugly heads, a quick (and relatively inexpensive) visit to your local Ford dealer should set things straight. (800) 544-6288 or www.qvaleauto.com