What’s Not: Base cars are expected to employ Chevrolet’s tried-and-true 6.2-liter pushrod V-8. Midrange cars might also employ the supercharged pushrod engine. We predict Chevrolet will continue to offer a removable targa roof that will store in the cargo area.
When: July 18, 2019
How Much: $70,000-$140,000 (est)
What’s New: Everything. For some time now, the highly anticipated first all-electric Porsche sedan has been caught testing, piling up about 1.2 million miles in the process. It’s looking less futuristic than its Mission E concept, but we know an 800-volt system sends power to two electric motors generating a combined 440 kW (590 hp), and that power is sent to all four wheels. Said to be quicker than 3.5 seconds to 60 mph and with more than 300 miles range, the Taycan will be available at the end of this year. Buyers will receive three years of free charging at the 484 Electrify America public stations across the country. Using DC fast charging, up 60 miles of range can be had in just four minutes or roughly 250 miles in about 15 minutes. Some reports indicate the automaker wants to introduce higher-performance variants and a Targa. We can’t wait.
What’s Not: Even EV skeptic (and longtime Porsche test driver/brand ambassador) Walter Röhrl was impressed: “It’s crazy. In all my years of rallying, I’ve never experienced such performance. The Taycan goes so well at such speed, really tremendous. If I had to drive it blindfolded, I would still know immediately that I was sitting in a Porsche.”
When: Late 2019
How Much: $85,000 (est)
What’s New: The 2021 M3 will carry the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six engine as the X3M and X4M crossovers, meaning 473 hp and 442 lb-ft of output (or thereabouts, due to slightly different tuning for a sedan and crossover). That should result in 0-60 acceleration around 3.7 seconds. (Note: The current model tops out at 444 hp on the CS version.) A year or so down the line, the M3 Competition will provide in the neighborhood of 500-plus hp. The new G20 platform rides with 1.6 inches more wheelbase and has a wider track, which might prioritize corner-on-rails stability over quick-twitch handling. The M3 should allow for both RWD and AWD applications. (AWD might be defeatable to RWD if desired, as on the M5.) There is rumor of a “Pure” stripped-down base model with a stick shift (yay!) but slightly less power (sigh).
What’s Not: Some switches, controls, and knobs. It’s a new platform with upgraded engines, even a new infotainment interface.
When: Early 2020
How Much: $68,000 (est)
What’s New: The Shelby GT500 returns for the first time on the sixth-gen Mustang. Using a new engine and some aero enhancements, Ford promises this Mustang can hit 180 mph and that it won’t overheat at the track. This Shelby ought to be easier to lap, too, as it comes standard with a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic. There are no plans for a manual in 2020.
What’s Not: Although it shares its displacement with the GT350’s flat-plane-crank V-8, the Shelby GT500’s 5.2-liter V-8 is a cross-plane design. Between that and the supercharger, Ford claims power and torque have increased from 526 hp and 429 lb-ft in the GT350 to more than 700 hp and 600 lb-ft in the GT500.
When: Late 2019
How Much: $75,000 (est)
What’s New: The CT5 is a new nameplate for Cadillac. This compact sedan replaces the ATS and CTS and is an evolution of Cadillac’s design language. The standard engine is the new 237-hp, 258-lb-ft 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged I-4 that made its first appearance in the CT6 refresh. A modified 335-hp, 400 lb-ft 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 (smaller turbos) is available and debuts in the CT5. Both are paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. New rear badging will denote a rounded-off torque figure in Newton-meters. Super Cruise will be added in the second model year. A CT5-V is expected in the future.
What’s Not: It rides on GM’s rear-wheel-drive Alpha platform with some enhancements to the carryover front multilink strut and rear five-link suspension. All-wheel drive will be available on all trim levels.
When: Fall 2019
How Much: $48,000
What’s New: Volkswagen’s popular hatchback enters its eighth generation and will reportedly grow slightly in size with a few design tweaks. The sporty GTI will allegedly feature a mild hybrid powertrain featuring a 48-volt electrical system that will power the turbocharger to improve low-end boost before the exhaust pressure builds. It’s not yet clear whether the standard non-GTI Golf will return to the U.S. market.
What’s Not: The new Golf will still ride on VW’s MQB platform, though rumors suggest it’s been revised to cut weight.
When: Early 2020
How Much: $23,000 (est)
What’s New: The Alfieri has been designed from the ground up to be Maserati’s new halo car. It’s available as either a coupe or convertible with three levels of electrification. The EV version featuring three-motor, four-wheel drive and a quick-charging 800-volt battery will top the lineup.
What’s Not: Both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of the Alfieri will use a Ferrari-sourced engine. If that engine is a V-8, it will probably be a version of the 3.8-liter twin-turbo currently found in the Levante GTS.
How Much: $150,000 (est)
Porsche 718 Boxster T/718 Cayman T
What’s New: Following the widely praised “T” prescription that was given to 911 Carrera brethren, the 718 twins will similarly enjoy reduced weight, lowered and further-honed suspension, the Sport Chrono package, and Porsche Torque Vectoring. A six-speed manual is standard; a seven-speed twin-clutch automatic is optional. The 2.0-liter turbocharged flat-four 718 T (likely 300 hp, 280 lb-ft) will slot into the lineup between S and GTS versions in terms of price but surely will be the pointiest 718 available.
What’s Not: Engine output for the States has not yet been finalized, but as in the base car, it’s a 2.0-liter turbo for certain. The Cayman T coupe and Boxster T roadster body lines remain the same; only subtle interior and exterior distinctions are visible.
How Much: $70,000 (est)
What’s New: The Legacy moves over to Subaru’s new Global Platform, which the automaker says is safer, handles better , and maximizes interior volume. An optional 2.4-liter turbocharged flat-four is now available, and the redesigned interior can be had with a large 11.6-inch touchscreen oriented vertically on the dashboard. The EyeSight package of driver assistance technology is now standard, and other driver assist features are available.
What’s Not: A 2.5-liter flat-four engine still serves as the base powertrain, but has been updated with 90 percent new parts and direct injection for the 2020 Legacy.
When: Fall 2019
How Much: $24,000 (est)
What’s New: After a refresh for 2019, the compact Elantra is back with more updates for 2020. The Elantra will feature a new CVT. Like its cousin, the 2019 Kia Forte, it’s likely to grow in size compared to its predecessor. Expect gains in fuel economy, with the base 2.0-liter engine hitting 41 mpg on the highway.
What’s Not: Although power figures haven’t been released, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine has been confirmed once again. It’s likely the model will also continue with 1.4- and 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engines.
When: Late 2019
How Much: $18,500 (est)
Aston Martin Vanquish
What’s New: It’s Aston’s take on a Ferrari mid-engine supercar, specifically at the new F8 Tributo revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March. If it looks anything like the concept and revives the Vanquish name, we’ll be extremely happy. The Vanquish could pack the new V-6 hybrid turbo behind the seats, possibly making north of 700 hp to compete directly with the Tributo. We’ve heard the new model is being developed with the help of Red Bull Racing engineers, so expect the car to have a lot of F1 bits and pieces.
What’s Not: Its name. The name Vanquish has come and gone a couple of times—it was first used from 2001 to 2007 and then again from 2012 to 2018. Aston built a few special editions, but this new supercar will be completely different from anything we’ve seen with the Vanquish badge.
How Much: $350,000 (est)
Alfa Romeo GTV
What’s New: As Alfa’s practical coupe, the GTV will have four seats and a trunk, but that’s where the practicality ends. The front-engine, rear-drive 2+2 is expected to be offered only with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive will be optional. The high-performance Quadrifoglio model will add an electric motor between the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 and the transmission to boost output to more than 600 hp.
What’s Not: At its core, the GTV is a Giulia coupe. Expect the same turbocharged four-cylinder base engine.
How Much: $45,000 (est)
What’s New: Audi’s sexy E-Tron GT sedan will follow the more practical E-Tron SUV to market just a year later but with substantial differences. Electric motors front and rear combine for 590 hp, fed by a 95-kW-hr battery pack with an 800-volt charging system capable of nearly filling the battery in 20 minutes. Range is expected to be similar to the E-Tron SUV’s 204 EPA-estimated miles—but less if you test the estimated 0-60 time of under 3.5 seconds or explore the 149-mph top speed.
What’s Not: Squint a bit, and you can tell it’s a nicely rebodied Porsche Taycan.
How Much: $75,000 (est)
What’s New: The entire fully modular cheap-EV concept. An underfloor battery rack can carry up to four individual 60-mile battery packs, which can be rented when needed. A fifth optional pack slides out from under the driver’s seat for convenient indoor charging. Body panels are molded in a single color with wraps providing other colors. Further personalization is provided by five choices each of roof styles and colors, bumpers, and wheels.
What’s Not: Fiat’s lifelong mission to bring mobility to the masses, which here drives further innovations like 3-D-printable accessories that mount to a mesh grid of holes in the dash.
How Much: $25,000 (est)
What’s New: Is bolder better? Acura has tried to answer that question over the years, with mixed results. Love it or hate it, the new RDX benefits from engaging styling borrowed from the Precision concept—and that bold crossover is setting sales records for the brand. That momentum could continue with the RLX’s replacement, a car that may adopt the Precision’s fastback shape (hello, Audi A7). With very little brand equity in the RL or RLX name, the time could be right for a (slightly) bolder flagship four-door from Acura.
What’s Not: Future Acura cabins will be influenced by the Precision Interior concept, like the RDX with its optimally placed infotainment screen and controversial touchpad controller.
How Much: $57,000 (est)
Karma Pininfarina GT Concept
What’s New: The Pininfarina-designed Karma concept car made its debut at the 2019 Shanghai auto show and previews the California-based automaker’s upcoming lineup. Its design language will be a departure from the Revero, but most of the fundamental engineering is unchanged. If public response goes well, the Pininfarina GT could go from one-off concept to production model.
What’s Not: Karma recently announced a partnership with BMW and will license the German automaker’s turbocharged three-cylinder engine for use as a generator in plug-in hybrid vehicles, including the next-generation Revero.
How Much: $100,000 (est)