SA's hottest new cars for 2019
The sales forecasts for 2019 may not seem rosy, but that will not stymie the hankering floodgates for desirable new metal in SA. Whether you plan to purchase or nurture a dream, there is plenty to look forward to this year.
In alphabetical order, Alfa Romeo will release the potent QV version of its Stelvio sport-utility vehicle. It shares many of the same basic ingredients as the Giulia QV — such as a sonorous V6 engine — albeit with a higher ground clearance and all-wheel drive, of course.
Next up, Aston Martin: expect the long-awaited DBX, its first contribution to the ubiquitous luxury sport-utility vehicle genre. More traditional is the Vantage Roadster.
After a quiet 2018 in which virtually no new products were launched, Audi will see a far busier 2019 as it ramps up to launch its Q8. The model was shown at the SA Festival of Motoring last year.
Bentley plans to release the GTC version of the two-door Continental.
Fans of the blue-and-white-propeller brand will be amply catered for. This year BMW is launching the latest generation of the 3-Series and Z4. We are also going to see the revival of the 8-Series in coupé and convertible formats, while the X7, with its sizable grille, joins the fray. So too does the revised 7-Series — also with larger breathing apparatus.
A number of additional derivatives will be introduced. This includes an i3 with a bigger battery, the X3 and X4 M40d, the X3M and X4M, X2 M35i and lastly, the M8.
Following the release of the enhanced Go last year, Datsun will introduce a few more minor changes to its hatchback this year.
Fiat has an assortment of tweaks planned for its underrated 500X.
Ford and its perennial battle for pick-up truck supremacy will intensify with the new Ranger — and that also means a new Everest. More enticing is the prospect of the Ranger Raptor. Expect the new Mustang, in addition to the special edition Mustang Bullitt, commemorating the 50th birthday of the iconic movie starring Steve McQueen.
Honda has a single introduction for 2019, an upgraded version of the C-segment Civic.
Meanwhile, Hyundai aims to up the ante in the entry-level market, with the rebirth of the Atos nameplate. Capitalising on the compact crossover trend, the South Korean brand is also considering the Styx, which will be positioned below the Kona and Creta.
Local consumers will get their first exposure to the reinvention of the Jaguar brand in 2019, in the form of the I-Pace. The fully electric model is unlike anything with the growler emblem before. The fiery F-Pace SVR is also on the cards.
If internal combustion and brutish performance are what you seek, Jeep has answers in the Grand Cherokee Trackhawk. It will be the most powerful of its kind in the segment when it arrives this year. Also expected is the new Wrangler and Compass, as well as enhancements for the compact Renegade. The Gladiator, however, is not yet confirmed.
The Lamborghini stable sees the arrival of the Huracán Evo and Aventador SVJ, one of the few performance vehicles wielding a dozen cylinders in this era.
Lexus gains a compact crossover in the form of the UX, while the RC coupé gets a subtle makeover.
For Land Rover, the news is limited to its Range Rover sub-brand. Keep an eye out for hybrid versions of the full-sized Range Rover and smaller Range Rover Sport. Meanwhile, the next chapter of the successful Evoque story will be released.
McLaren will woo local customers and enthusiasts with the 720S Spider, 600LT Spider and the otherworldly Speedtail, revealed globally last year.
Mazda will release updates for the CX-5, which remains one of its top-performing models in the stable from a sales perspective. The new 3 in hatchback and sedan variants will land towards the end of the year.
It is not often that one has news from Mitsubishi these days but the brand will launch the Eclipse Cross, in addition to the upgraded Triton.
Mercedes-Benz has a decent number of products in the pipeline. That includes diesel derivatives of the latest A-Class. The brand confirmed that the A-Class sedan will be sold alongside the CLA-Class. The CLS-Class, GLE-Class and fully electric EQC are also coming. From the Mercedes-AMG sub-brand you can look forward to the C63, E53, CLS53, GT four-door, A35 and A45.
Nissan is planning a range expansion for the B-segment Micra and internal upgrades for the popular Qashqai and X-Trail.
Opel is ready to release a brace of new models in a bid to reposition itself further up shoppers’ lists in SA. Look out for the Corsa GSi, Corsa 120Y, Astra Sport, Combo and Vivaro. Meanwhile, the Crossland X and Grandland X receive new derivatives.
Porsche has the latest Macan and Panamera up its sleeve. And the newest instalment of the evergreen 911 will also be launched in coupé and cabriolet guises.
Next month sees the launch of the new Renault Koleos, followed by the Duster 4x4. The Kwid receives anti-lock brakes while the Mégane RS Trophy will pander to hot hatchback aficionados.
Rolls-Royce joins the SUV brigade with the Cullinan.
Suzuki seems poised to continue its upward trajectory with a new Ertiga plus the enhanced Vitara, Baleno and Ciaz. We cannot forget the latest Swift Sport – now with a turbocharger.
It will be a notable year for Toyota, with the launch of the sporty Supra already sparking its fair share of debate. The daringly-styled RAV4 will join the line-up, as well as the Corolla hatchback. The Prius will gain a host of tweaks.
So far, Volkswagen has only confirmed its T-Cross for the second quarter.
Volvo says that we should not hold our breath for the new S60 — though there is a chance it may land before the year ends.