Twenty cars to look forward to in 2020

The Mercedes EQC will be one of a number of luxury electric cars to be launched in SA this year.
The Mercedes EQC will be one of a number of luxury electric cars to be launched in SA this year.
Image: Supplied

From SUVs and hatchbacks to electric vehicles and fire-spitting sports cars, the dawn of the new decade is set to be a busy automotive year. Here are 20 of the most anticipated new cars due for launch in SA in 2020.

VW Golf

The eighth generation of Volkswagen's popular hatchback is a huge step forward, boasting a smart new touchscreen-dominated interior and more driving appeal. The chassis has been updated to deliver crisper steering and a gentler ride, together with the option of adaptive dampers that can soften or stiffen the ride.

Our drive at the Golf's recent international launch revealed that the car reasserts itself as the world's best hatchback.

Its semi-autonomous driver assistance systems include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and autonomous emergency braking.

Arrival date: late 2020

The new Volkswagen Golf.
The new Volkswagen Golf.
Image: Supplied

Toyota Corolla sedan

If the impressive new Corolla hatchback launched here last year is anything to go by, the four-door version is a car to look forward to.

Along with its more upmarket feel and smooth ride quality, the new Corolla also adds sassier styling to the mix, which should attract a younger customer base.

The engine lineup isn't confirmed yet, but the sedan is likely to get the same 1.2-litre petrol turbo as the hatch, paired with either a six-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox.

Arrival date: early 2020

Toyota Corolla sedan.
Toyota Corolla sedan.
Image: Supplied

Porsche Taycan

Besides having up to 560kW of horizon-chasing power and a range of up to 450km, the first all-electric car from the German sportscar firm still follows the spirit of the brand: “Every Porsche has a soul”. 

The five-seater sports sedan can be juiced up to 100km of range in just five minutes at one of the fast chargers Porsche will be installing around SA. 

Arrival date: late 2020

The 2020 Porsche Taycan.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan.
Image: Supplied

Audi e-tron

The e-tron is one of three new battery-powered cars headed for SA in 2020, even as the country experiences ongoing load-shedding and import duties on electric vehicles remain high.

Audi's first all-electric vehicle boasts 300kW, quattro all-wheel drive and a 400km range. 

It replaces traditional side mirrors with cameras that display the view on screens in the doors.

Arrival date: 2020

Audi e-tron.
Audi e-tron.
Image: Supplied

Mercedes-Benz EQC

The first member of the fully electric EQ family, the GLC-based vehicle generates 300kW and 765Nm, and has all-wheel drive courtesy of an electric motor at both the front and rear axles.

The heavy SUV promises a 0-100km/h sprint time of 5.1 seconds and a claimed range of just over 400km.

Arrival date: 2020

The all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC.
The all-electric Mercedes-Benz EQC.
Image: Supplied

Lexus LC 500 Convertible

The sun-loving version of the Lexus sports coupé goes into open sky mode with an electric soft-top that opens and closes in 15 seconds and at driving speeds up to 50km/h. The roof, available in various colours, retains the silhouette of its metal roof coupé sibling when closed.

Neck heaters and a transparent wind deflector enhance the driving experience.

Under the bonnet is a sweet-sounding naturally aspirated 5.0l V8 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission

Arrival date: unconfirmed

Lexus LC500 Convertible.
Lexus LC500 Convertible.
Image: Supplied

Mercedes-Benz GLA

The brand's entry-level compact SUV, which is based on the A-Class, is reborn with a higher roof, added rear legroom, more power and improved safety.

Active Brake Assist comes standard on all models, and the MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) infotainment system has one of the market's best voice control systems.

Arrival date: second quarter

Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Mercedes-Benz GLA.
Image: Supplied

BMW X6

Behind its enlarged set of kidney grilles (which are optionally illuminated), the third-generation X6 has grown longer and wider than the outgoing model - but also lower, to give it a more crouched stance.

The flagship model of X5's sexier cousin offers 390kW of turbo V8 power, with an even more powerful X6 M Competition waiting in the wings.

Arrival date: first quarter

BMW X6.
BMW X6.
Image: Supplied

Renault Clio

The fifth generation of Renault’s compact hatch is sleeker, more dynamic and more connected than ever.

While the exterior has undergone an evolutionary change, the interior update is far more prominent, including a large new multimedia screen angled towards the driver, and a digital instrument panel for the first time.

The 74kW 1.0l turbo petrol is likely to be the mainstay of the range, while the peppier 95kW 1.3l turbo petrol may also be offered.

Arrival date: second quarter

Renault Clio.
Renault Clio.
Image: Supplied

Land Rover Defender

Yes, it has a unibody chassis instead of the time-honoured body-on-frame design - and that smart new digitised interior doesn’t exactly lend itself to being washed out by a hose.

Traditionalists may scoff, but Land Rover says its reborn icon, while aimed at a more tech-savvy audience, is as offroad-capable as ever.

The ground clearance is impressive and the touchscreen-controlled Terrain Response system offers four-wheel drive settings that will apparently take the new Defender deep into untamed turf.

Arrival date: unconfirmed

Land Rover Defender.
Land Rover Defender.
Image: Supplied

Jaguar F-Type facelift

The midlife update to Jaguar’s two-seat sports car involves a restyle to give it a more assertive stance, while the cabin has been modernised with a new high-definition virtual instrument cluster.

The range-topping F-Type R all-wheel drive model huffs and puffs with more aggression, with power in the supercharged 5.0l V8 upped to 423kW and 700Nm.

Arrival date: unconfirmed

Jaguar F-Type.
Jaguar F-Type.
Image: Supplied

Mazda CX-30

Mazda’s new compact crossover SUV slots in between the CX-3 and the CX-5, with its 4,395mm length pitting it against rivals like the recently launched Kia Seltos and Volkswagen T-Cross.

Drive will be sent to either the front axle or all four wheels, but it seems Mazda’s innovative Skyactiv-X petrol motor with diesel-like compression ignition is not on the menu due to the quality of our fuel not being up to scratch.

Arrival date: unconfirmed

Mazda CX-30.
Mazda CX-30.
Image: Netcarshow

Opel Corsa

Fresh from its international launch late last year, the sixth generation of Opel’s compact hatch recently won the "Best Buy Car of Europe in 2020", chosen by a panel of journalists from 31 countries.

The car introduces an adaptive glare-free IntelliLux LED matrix light, which Opel offers for the first time in the small car segment. In addition, there are numerous state-of-the-art driver assistance systems, such as Forward Collision Alert with Automatic Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, as well as radar-based Adaptive Speed Control.

Arrival date: fourth quarter

Opel Corsa.
Opel Corsa.
Image: Supplied

Hyundai i30N

Hyundai’s first hot hatch will arrive in the next few weeks to light up the performance car wars.

With 202kW and 353Nm from its turbo-charged 2.0l petrol engine, the i30 N will directly take on the Renault Megane RS 280 Lux (205kW/390Nm) while outgunning the VW Golf GTI’s 169kW and 350Nm.

Harnessing the power is a computer-controlled suspension and an electronic limited slip differential.

Arrival date: first quarter

Hyundai i30N.
Hyundai i30N.
Image: Supplied

Mitsubishi Xpander Cross

Mitsubishi’s new crossover MPV is a seven-seater that will compete against affordable people carriers like the Toyota Rush and Honda BR-V.

It has front-wheel drive only, but a decent 225mm ground clearance gives it some gravel ability. Power comes from a 77kW 1.5l petrol engine and there will initially be one derivative.

Arrival: third quarter

Mitsubishi Xpander Cross.
Mitsubishi Xpander Cross.
Image: Supplied

Audi RS Q8

The quickest SUV to lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife to date, the hot version of Audi’s Q8 was seven seconds quicker than the previous record holder, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63 S.

Power comes from a 4.0l twin-turbo V8 with outputs of 441kW and 800Nm. It’s the same fire-spitting engine found in the Audi RS6 Avant and RS7 Sportback.

Arrival date: second quarter

Audi RS Q8.
Audi RS Q8.
Image: Supplied

Aston Martin DBX

The British firm is late to the all-terrain party but expects its first SUV to become its best-selling vehicle and boost its total sales by two thirds. Judging by the popularity of prestige SUVs like the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus, we won’t bet against that happening.

Behind the signature DB grille is a 4.0l Mercedes-AMG V8 flexing 405kW and 700Nm-sized muscles. With its height adjustable air suspension, the DBX can alternate between sporty handling and decent offroad ground clearance.

Arrival date: third quarter

Aston Martin DBX.
Aston Martin DBX.
Image: Supplied

Maserati Levante Trofeo

The most powerful incarnation of Maserati’s Levante SUV is gunned along by a 3.8l twin turbo V8 packing 433kWand 730Nm, for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint time of 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 304km/h.

Power is transferred via an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox used on all the Levante versions, and the vehicle features intelligent all-wheel drive.

Every Trofeo will have Maserati’s exclusive Pieno Fiore Italian leather as standard, and is equipped with a 1,280W, 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium surround-sound audio system for a concert hall sound experience.

Arrival date: first quarter

Maserati Levante Trofeo.
Maserati Levante Trofeo.
Image: Supplied

Ferrari Roma

The hard top version of the Portofino convertible grand tourer also adopted a new name.

Going up against the Aston Martin Vantage, the prancing horse’s 2+2 coupe is powered by a turbocharged V8 engine putting out 456kW and 760Nm - good for a sprint from 0-100km/h in 3.4 seconds.

Arrival date: first quarter

Ferrari Roma.
Ferrari Roma.
Image: Supplied

Kia Seltos diesel

In November the Seltos arrived to join the battle of small SUVs, initially only in petrol models in four variants – all front-wheel driven.

It will soon be joined by a 1.5l turbo diesel version, giving the Seltos range a possible edge over rivals like the VW T-Cross and Citroën C3 Aircross, which offer petrol models only.

Arrival date: first quarter

Kia Seltos.
Kia Seltos.
Image: Supplied

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