We are at full swing as we welcome 2019 with open hands. Happy new year and we know a new year comes with new expectations, especially when it comes to cars. 2018 was a great year as we saw the arrival of the new Volkswagen Polo, new Mercedes Benz A-class and the astonishing Volvo XC40. But then 2019 is much more packed with new exciting cars. We have seen a significant number of new releases announced by car manufacturers for 2019. Most of them are interesting but only a few are much more anticipated. Here is our Top Five.
5. Jaguar I-pace
The first ever electric SUV to exist in South Africa is arriving this year. I’m pretty much excited to see how this will play out in the ever so popular SUV segment. The Jaguar I-pace is fairly a good looking SUV and most importantly the production design is much similar to the concept car, almost every detail of the concept model has been adapted. You might think that why would anyone in SA buy an electric SUV, well you should consider the fact how vast our market is. Electric cars would fit so well as a secondary choice for green people if hybrid cars don’t float their boats.
In terms of design and features, the I-pace comes in three trim levels. S, SE and HSE. No matter which trim level you go for, it will still look futuristic. It has an AWD, electric powertrain which operates on a 90 kWh battery pack. This propels the car from 0-100 km/h in just 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 200 km/h. Has an estimated range of 470 km but to achieve that, it must charge for 13 hours to reach 100% battery charge when using the home socket. The I-pace comes with Touch Pro Duo Screens, Heads-up Display and digital driver display for that futuristic feel. We really can’t wait for this one. This will be a great experience to see how it competes against other electric cars arriving later on this year.
4. Audi Q8
The gorgeous Audi SUV has to be one of the epic game changers in the SUV segment. It really is a one of a kind SUV that none of us expected from Audi which we all know tends to make futuristic designs that are rather boring. But the Q8 is all bold and a bit funky which is appealing to almost everyone. The reason why we love this car is that unlike the other German SUV Coupés, it doesn’t have a stupid sloping roofline. From the side it looks good, the massive front grille is alright and the back end looks awesome with it’s LED strip light.
There are three model trims: Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige. I suggest you get the S-line model cause it makes the Q8 way more beautiful to look at. There is only one engine currently available for the Q8 which is a 3.0 liter Six-cylinder Turbocharged engine with 335 hp. It does 0-100 km/h in 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of around 220 km/h. The Q8 comes with good equipment as standard such as the dual screens, Audi’s Virtual Cockpit and Matrix LED lights. This SUV sets the bar really high!
3. Toyota Supra
The Supra is making an epic come back after more than 10 years. We are actually excited to see how this car looks like. It’s set to be revealed at the Detroit Auto Show. You can still see in the camouflage that it will be a stunner for sure with it’s incredible front bumper and sleek body shape. Those headlights are what makes it striking to look at, it’s just too cool. It did a massive showoff at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Motoring when it went public. Toyota wanted to show the public that it packs some punch.
No need to ask yourself if it will be great to drive because this car has been developed alongside BMW. BMW is known for making great driving cars and has never disappointed as such. The Supra will share it’s platform with the upcoming BMW Z4. The chassis has been made to be as sporty as possible. The Supra will come with two engines and both are courtesy of BMW. You can choose from the 2.0 liter Turbocharged 4 cylinder with 262 hp or the much more powerful 3.0 liter Turbocharged 6 cylinder with 335 hp which you get from the M240i. It will be connected to a ZF 8-Speed automatic transmission and it seems unlikely that you will see a manual transmission being offered. The rear wheel drive Supra has been seen testing on the Nurburgring several times. This will be the ultimate driving machine, just you wait.
2. BMW 3 series G20
The top selling luxury compact sedan has been updated very well with an all-new design and features. It is basically a tech fest as this is the most advanced car in its segment. Should you have purchased a BMW 3 series F30 last year, just know you will regret doing that because the new one is much more quite a stunner. The new 3 series has a bigger body meaning more room for occupants, newly designed body panels, new headlights with BMW laserlights, new rear lights, new interior design, actually everything is new on the 3 series. Comes with BMW’s new voice control function which adapts on the commands you give it and replies in a humane way. It has a personality.
Now there are only two engines announced for launch which is the 330i and 320d. The 330i has a 2.0 liter Turbocharged 4 cylinder petrol with 190 kW and 400 N•m of torque, does 0-100 km/h in just 5.8 seconds and top speed is limited to 250 km/h. The 320d has a 2.0 liter Turbodiesel 4 cylinder with 140 kW and 400 N•m of torque, does 0-100 km/h in just 6.8 seconds and top speed is 240 km/h. The existing model trims will be offered but get the M sport package which really makes it look even more attractive at an extra cost of R47 400. The 320i, 318d and 330d are yet to be announced whether they are coming to SA. The extreme M340i will come later in September which will put it’s performance close to the current M3. Since 1975 the 3 series has been the best in its segment.
1. Mercedes Benz A35 AMG
The hot hatchback segment is about get really hot on some 1000°C degrees level. Mercedes-AMG will release it’s affordable car to date in South Africa very soon. The A35 is not only the cheapest AMG you can purchase but it’s rather advanced as well. The A35 sits between the A250 and the upcoming A45 AMG. This has been made to challenge the Volkswagen Golf R and Audi S3 which are very competitive at that level. The A35 has a 4matic system which distributes power evenly to the front and rear axle. But can be rear wheel drive bias if required by the system, it’s not exactly configurable by the driver.
It is powered by a 2.0 liter Turbocharged 4 cylinder with 225 kW and 400 N•m of torque. Goes from 0-100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds. It uses a 7-speed AMG Speed shift DCT 7G transmission. Top speed limited to 250 km/h. It came as a surprise when the A35 was announced, we all thought that it was a replacement for the A45 but it’s only a soft choice for those who want sensible power. The upcoming A45 is said to push power to 300 kW. Now, the A35 comes with a compelling look. It’s hard to tell it apart from a normal A-class but if you get it with the AMG Aerodynamic package, it looks much more aggressive with the additional bumper detail and rear spoiler. This will surely be the first choice of hot hatches as we South Africans are really passionate about hot hatchbacks.
We shall see what more 2019 has for us concerning cars and the development of technology in cars.