Start your engines: The cars we can’t wait to drive in 2020
From Ferrari and McLaren’s latest supercars to the electric vehicles sparking interest in the industry, these are the cars that have our motors running
Before we fire up these enviable engines, let’s start off with a little disclaimer: when we put this list together, we tried to exercise a little restraint. We really did. Let’s try not to make it all super sleek sports cars, we thought. Let’s throw in some everyday drivers to even things out. Unfortunately, the hypnotic, high-octane offerings of the more expensive marques soon sped into view and shifted things up a gear — or three…
And so, allow us to present our list of the eight most magnificent motors of 2020; highly anticipated cars that we just can’t wait to get behind the wheels of. There’s an American import on here, as well as a couple of heavily-horsepowered Italian stallions and a very unexpected SUV. An electric current also runs through our choices, not to mention a fair share of drop-top coupés. But the real uniting factor? Sheer, uninhibited allure. Start your engines…
The 2020 Chevrolet Corvette looks devilishly fun
Surprised? We’d have scoffed, too — before we saw it. Despite being brashly American, and a far cry from our usual fare of refined classics and sleek British sportsters, Chevrolet has upped the ante with its reborn Corvette. But this isn’t really anything more than a spiritual successor to the classic Corvette; less next generation, more next level. It looks to be a mid-engined masterpiece, delivering 495 horsepower from a 6.2-litre V8.
Inside, we’ll be able to control up to 12 performance variables using the Driver Selector Mode, turn up the 14 Bose Performance Series speaker and chart a course for anywhere with the 3-D view navigation. We can hardly wait. And that’s before we even get to its looks. Pointed, low-slung and waspy, this new Corvette is equal parts angry and angular — and proves to be one hell of a ride. Long live Chevrolet!
The Maserati Alfieri is a sleek tribute to the brand’s centenary
Planned production on Maserati’s latest begins this year, and we can hardly control ourselves. Named for one of the five Maserati brothers, the Italian carmaker is really pulling out the style stops for its 100 year anniversary. That’s right; it’s been a whole century since Maserati started building cars — and what a front-engined, sleekly built ode to their own history the Alfieri looks to be.
It’s powered by a 4.7-litre Ferrari-Maserati collaboration, which may change to a straight Ferrari V6 for the production model. But, if we’re quite honest, it’s not the performance we’re interested in with this one. Instead, it’s the number of heads we can turn. Our estimate? A lot. With that deep, concave grille, clean glasshouse and light, rounded design feel, this could be a front-runner for the most beautiful car of the year.
The Mercedes EQS will revolutionise the electric luxury market
Maybe it’s best not to get your, or our hopes up with this one. The concept you see here may also have been called the Mercedes EQS, but the electric S-Class that shares its name and will be rolled out later this year likely won’t look quite so futuristic. One design feature we are hoping makes the transition? The headlights. On the concept, they saw four holographic lenses domed over a thousand LEDs — and could perform light shows.
Elsewhere, the German carmaker has included high-tech steels, aluminium and even carbon fibre in a bid to keep weight down. This lightweight approach, paired with the huge 100kWh battery, will allegedly give the EQS a range of more than 435 miles between charges. For an electric car at all, let alone one of this size, that’s big news. And, as we’re always keen on an electric roadtrip, we can’t wait to put Mercedes’ latest to the test.
The enigmatic new Tesla Roadster is writing some big cheques
Tesla, Tesla, Tesla. You unpredictable, temperamental, incredible enigma. Who really knows what to expect from the new Tesla Roadster? It’s the first time Elon Musk’s brand has rolled out a successor to a previous model; in this case, the 2008 car of the same name. But what leaps and bounds has the carmaker made during the last decade? The new Roadster has a removable glass roof, for one, affording this Tesla a level of style the other cars from the brand have arguably been lacking.
In fact, it just looks good in general. Born from the brain of designer Franz von Holzhausen, those pointed lines are there for aero efficiency — meant to eke out every drop of juice from the onboard batteries. And what batteries they are! Pinches of salt at the ready, though, as Tesla’s stats can usually be found filed under ‘too good to be true’. On the Roadster: 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds; a top speed of 250 mph; a 620 mile range at full charge. Our eyebrows are raised, but that’s why we can’t wait to fire the new Roadster up — if it lives up to its spec sheet, we’ll be blown away.
The Ferrari Roma sees classic styling meet modern engineering
We’ll always shout about a new Ferrari. And, although this one has a touch more ‘Aston’ about it than we’d usually tolerate from a non-British carmaker, any trepidation melts away when we imagine hooning a classic red Roma around some quaint Tuscan villages. Elegantly designed, Ferrari tells us that its new supercar is ‘a contemporary representation of the carefree, pleasurable way of life that characterised Rome in the 1950s and ‘60s’. We’re not sure exactly what that means, but it sure looks good.
With this one, we’re more interested in the engine. The Roma promises to be the pinnacle of performance in its category; the turbo-charged V8 under its bonnet coming from the same family of engines that have won the International Engine of the Year award for four years running. Couple that with the new eight-speed DCT gearbox and you’ve got an automotive combo for the ages. Molto bene!
The Aston Martin DBX is a strange, mysterious machine
It’s strange. The Ferrari Roma above looks more like an Aston Martin than this actual Aston Martin. But that’s why, in part, this latest release from the British brand made our list. We’re more intrigued than excited about the DBX. Was anyone actually asking for this? Should it look better than it does? Why has it taken so long to build? We thought Rolls-Royce’s Cullinan was late to the luxury SUV party when it was revealed to the world in 2018. But compared to the DBX, it was virtually the first through the door.
Built upon unique body architecture, the DBX can do 0-60 mph in an impressive 4.5 seconds, and boasts a neatly tailored interior fit for the most stiff upper-lipped, gentlemanly explorer. But we’re just not sure about those looks. Is ‘mediocre’ too mean a word? Let’s withhold judgement until we get behind the wheel of the DBX at least. Car of the year? Only time will tell.
The McLaren Elva is the British brand’s lightest production car yet
Now you’re talking. Could anything be more exciting this year than McLaren’s first open-cockpit road car? It’s the latest car to speed into the British brand’s Ultimate Series range, and also the lightest production car it’s ever made. The Elva (it means ‘she goes!’ in French) looks like a four-wheeled superhero — pared back and highly advanced — and we’re chomping at the bit to get behind its well-crafted wheel.
There’s also a whole load of ground-breaking tech to back up the Elva’s beauty. We’ll enjoy the effects of a pioneering active air management system that guides high speed air over the open cabin and away from the driver and passenger. The 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 is mated to a seven-speed twin-clutch gearbox, and electro-hydraulic steering guarantees one of the most frenetic, fun, fantastic drives of the year. Watch this space, our review is incoming.
The Polestar 2 is the only true Tesla alternative arriving this year
Now this is us exercising our restraint. The wholly more attainable Polestar 2 is a four-seater electric family car — but that doesn’t mean it’s out of place on a list of concept speedsters and hypercars. Far from it. Some of the technology in this EV pushes the envelope further than even Ferrari or McLaren. In fact, when we found out about Polestar earlier this year, we liked what we heard so much that we went behind the scenes of the brand to discover how they’re shaking up the industry.
And the Polestar 2, the brand’s first fully electric vehicle, is an exciting prospect. A vegan interior, Google interface and three ‘themes’ of trim — Shanghai, Berlin and London: it’s the ideal car for the modern man. Will it be a Tesla-killer? Probably not. But, with a range of 500 km, 408 horsepower and the ability to hit 0-100 kph in under five seconds, we’re still itching to have a go.
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