2019 will see plenty of exciting new performance cars with it, here’s what to look forward to
Electrification, WLTP emissions regulations, the death of naturally aspirated engines and proliferation of SUVs; these factors and others sometimes seem to be pushing the sort of car we find most appealing closer and closer to extinction. But as we enter 2019, there is hope. These themes will continue to drive the market and dominate headlines throughout the industry, but the performance car still has plenty of life in it. The best cars coming this year promise to make it a year to remember.
So what is there for us to look forward to? The three German powerhouses will all continue their exponential growth, as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz flex their technological muscles with new RS, M and AMG-badged products.
We’re also expecting all-new versions of the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio, each eventually spawning new hot hatches to rival the new Fiesta ST. An all-new eighth-generation Volkswagen Golf will also be arriving, not to mention new versions of both the Audi A3 and BMW 1-series to compete with it.
It’ll be a big year for all the car industry stalwarts, all under pressure to reform their winning packages not only for the new emissions legislation, but also what’s to come over the next eight or so years.
Below is our round up of the new car launches that have got us excited in 2019…
Aston Martin’s expansion will indeed continue into 2019, as the British brand plans not only on launching some new models, but also on taking its new Welsh manufacturing facility online. What will be coming out of that factory is the DBX, the marque’s first SUV and in all likelihood, its biggest seller.
The DBS Superleggera is also likely to get the Volante treatment if the spied prototypes are to be believed. As the DBS standard coupe actually shares its body-in-white with the more laid back DB11, the transition to convertible form shouldn’t be too big a job as the DB11 was launched in soft top guise earlier this year. The Valkyrie is also in continued development, so although the new model is well underway, it’ll be touch-and-go to see if it reaches customers by the end of 2019.
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.
What of the RS6 and RS7? As exclusively reported by evo, the RS7 will probably be available in two states of tune for the first time. The first will be a 4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 with somewhere around 484kW, but the second, and arguably more interesting variant will be hybrid-boosted version likely to sit at around 521kW. The RS6 should also be picking up these two powertrain options, and if the widened arches and massive wheels on the prototypes are anything to go by, it’s destined to look pretty mean, too. The next-generation A3 should also show up, along with it the new S3, which we expect to be a little more potent in its fourth generation.
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 and eventual Speed variant, too.
2019 will 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. There is also a strong likelihood of a high-performance Speed variant of the Bentayga arriving in early 2019.
We’ve already driven the all-new G20 3-series, with mixed opinions, but thankfully an aggressive 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. All the current 4-series variants will also be revealed throughout 2019, with M4s to follow.
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 200kW, 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, but the all-electric Honda created a massive fanfare as a concept, and will be exciting to drive, too, says Honda. Judging by the spotted prototypes, 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 all-new ‘992’ 911 was revealed in the last months of 2018, but 2019 will bring with it a barrage of variants including a new Cabriolet, Turbo models and the next-generation GT3.
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 the extra layer of polish so lacking in many a Tesla. A ‘Sport Turismo’ variant is also on its way.
Porsche has a new 911, BMW a new 3-series, so it’s only fitting that VW has itself a new Golf. The next-generation car will sit on a revised version of the MQB platform that currently underpins everything from the SEAT Ibiza to the massive VW Atlas, an American market seven-seat SUV.
Expect big changes in the cabin, where the new Golf is most likely to receive an interior based on that of the latest Touareg SUV. But it’ll be the GTI and R models that are most interesting to us. The Golf R is expected to get a big jump in power, to somewhere around 260kW to fend off the new Mercedes-AMG A35, while also leaving a bigger space underneath for the new GTI to grow in power and better rival cars like the Megane RS and Hyundai i30N. T-Roc and Tiguan SUVs should also undergo the R treatment, the first time a VW SUV has done so since the mad V10-powered R50 Touareg of 2008.
Volvo’s most exciting new model won’t actually be a Volvo at all, as it’ll be known soley as the Polestar 1. We already know much about the high performance GT, including the fact it’ll be powered by a turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors to produce a combined 441kW. It won’t come cheap, though, as its £135k pricetag will put it against rivals like the Porsche 911 Turbo and Aston Martin DB11.
Polestar’s influence on actual Volvo models will also be felt, as a range of ‘Engineered by Polestar’ models will initially reach the S60 and XC60, with other Volvo models likely to follow.