WLTP emissions regulations, electrification, the proliferation of SUVs and the death of naturally aspirated engines – these things seem to be pushing the sort of car we’ve always found most appealing ever closer to extinction. But as 2019 draws closer it comes with a whole host of new cars and there really is hope.
These themes will continue to dominate headlines and drive the market, but the performance car has plenty of life left in it yet. The best cars coming in 2019 promise to make it a year to remember.
Here’s my round up of the new car launches in 2019 that have got me excited …
It’ll be another big year in Ingolstadt in 2019, as each of the new A8, A7 and A6 models from this year will be receiving their respective S-versions.
The S6 and S7 are expected to drop the current V8 engine in favour of turbocharged V6s, leaving plenty of room for the madhaus RS models that we should also see in 2019.
You might want to wait a few years and find yourselves a good used car dealer for these models since the S7 will see you out of just short of £70,000 next year!
2018 was a big year for Bentley as it relaunched an all-new version of its most successful model ever. Next year will see that single Continental GT model diversify, introducing new powertrains, namely a V8 option, and a convertible variant designated GTC.
2019 might also see the new Flying Spur arrive. Based on the same long, low platform as its Continental sibling, the new saloon should have some extreme proportions if the prototype is anything to go by, not to mention a push upwards to properly rival the next Rolls Royce Ghost, which might also appear next year.
We’re likely to see the all-new 3-series later in 2018, but thankfully, the M3 shouldn’t be too far behind, arriving some time next year or early in 2020. We’re expecting it to once again utilise a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, but will also adopt all of the design, chassis and tech advancements seen in the saloon.
The all-new 1-series will be making an appearance too, although don’t go expecting the same unique rear-wheel drive recipe that made the previous two models such a hoot to drive, as it’ll be setting down onto a front-drive platform.
We’re likely to see other body styles of the new 8-series, namely a two-door convertible, and four-door ‘Gran Coupe’ model. The M8 will also arrive, topping the entire BMW range, while the X3, X4, X5 and probably the upcoming X6 will all be given a thorough once over by the BMW M Division.
Ford’s new Focus has made big headlines this year, and after driving the ST-Line, 2019’s ST should be a corker. The new Focus is smaller, lighter and lower than the current car, all things that should make the next generation ST even sharper to drive. Power is expected to come from a similar 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, powering the front wheels through a manual gearbox.
We suspect a power figure in the region of 270bhp, but the new ST won’t have that much room to spread its wings as it’ll have historic rivals like the Golf GTI and Renault Sport Megane to worry about, not to mention new-age competitors like the Hyundai i30 N.
Granted, the Urban EV is not an evo-centric car in the classical sense, but just look at it. A shameless retro take it may be with its diamond cut alloy wheels, but the all-electric Honda created a massive fanfare as a concept, and will be exciting to drive too, says Honda. The production version promises to keep much of the Concept’s great detailing, so the Urban EV could be a fun, desirable and affordable electric car.
Mercedes has a massive year to look forward to in 2019. Like its German rivals, it will pump out a near-endless array of new AMG performance models as well as some new model lines and refreshed old ones. Firstly, we’re expecting to see the new Mercedes-AMG A35 and A45. The former will probably be revealed in 2018, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for the new A45 flagship, which will doubtless be trading blows with the Audi RS3 for its place atop the hot hatch power standings.
The next-generation CLA is destined to further distinguish itself from the standard A-class hatch (but don’t worry, that sliver of a gap will be filled with a new A-class saloon) by growing and picking up some of the design cues from the bigger CLS and AMG GT four-door. We expect it to also pick up both AMG variants seen on the A-class. Expect plenty of other AMGs too, including a new GLE 63 AMG, not to mention the aforementioned AMG GT Four Door, which we’ll finally get to drive at length.
Peugeot’s plans next year are so far all based around the new 208. The popular supermini is due to get a total refresh, where it’ll be built on a new platform, more easily integrating electrification into the package. We have previously reported that the next 208 GTi might get an electric drivetrain, but don’t fret, as a traditional petrol model is also due.
Porsche’s 2019 will be dominated by the all-new 911. We’re expecting big things, including new styling features, a completely new body, and all-new interior bringing the new 911 bang up to date. Expect the Carrera models first, to be followed up by the new Turbo soon after. Cabrios are also on there way, and there are even rumors of a hybrid model, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
Porsche’s productionised Mission E Concept, to be called the Taycan, will also be hitting the road. The all-electric saloon will be aimed at the Tesla Model S, but with with the extra layer of polish so lacking in many a Tesla.