This year heralds a revolution for some of the best-known cars on the road. Electric power, 21st century design and cutting-edge technology will transform familiar vehicles into the future of motoring.
Among the models due to arrive in 2019 is an electric version of the Mini, an all-new relaunch of the Land Rover Defender – the first for 70 years – and a brand new Volkswagen Golf.
There will be a new Ferrari, Porsche 911 and Mercedes hypercar. Almost as exciting are the best-sellers due for replacement, including the Nissan Juke, BMW 1 Series, Range Rover Evoque and Renault Clio, which has just been revealed.
But the biggest trend of the year is the wave of new electric cars. As well as the Mini, you’ll also see Audi, Mercedes, Porsche, Honda and Polestar (Volvo’s electric car brand) launching battery-powered cars, the beginning of a new dawn in driving that will only continue to expand and improve into 2020 and beyond.
Seeing how small the driver looks in comparison to the windscreen of the image above, should give you an idea of how vast BMW’s X7 is. The company’s largest SUV is claimed to offer space for adults to sit comfortably in any of the car’s seven seats, and it should feel airy too, thanks to a standard-fit panoramic sunroof.
For the price, it’s unsurprising that the car comes with a two-screen digital dashboard, Merino leather, ten-speaker sound system and BMW’s new voice control system, which is claimed to be similar to smartphones, giving occupants the ability to control functions by saying, “Hey BMW” and then speaking conversationally. Whether it’s enough to give the car an edge over luxurious rivals, such as the Range Rover and Mercedes, remains to be seen.
Citroen C5 Aircross
Citroen finally has a rival to the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai, in the guise of the C5 Aircross. It is a large, practical five-seat family SUV that hopes to win over drivers with its overtly adventurous design.
The company is initially launching the C5 Aircross with front-wheel drive and a system called Grip Control, which helps maintain traction on slippery surfaces. A four-wheel drive model and plug-in hybrid are expected to join the range at a later date.
DS 3 Crossback
The popular DS 3 is being replaced with a crossover version that’s taller than the existing car. The all-new DS 3 Crossback promises to be significantly more luxurious, and will be available with a Nappa leather interior, flush-fitting door handles that pop out when the driver approaches the car, and high-end Focal sound system. Expect to pay more for these last two features when the car goes on sale this Spring.
The new car retains the “shark fin” between the windows – like the old car, but comes with two rear doors as standard, giving it a much chunkier and less compact design. An electric E-Tense version will also go on sale next year.
Land Rover Defender
Replacing the original Defender with an all-new model fit for the 21st century has been no easy task. The DC100 concept car, above, was unveiled in 2011 and mixed reactions sent Land Rover back to the drawing board. It’s now been two years since production of the old car ceased and potential rivals haven’t been slow in coming forward, including a new Jeep Wrangler and a privately-funded start-up company that’s aiming to produce the modern equivalent of a Defender.
So, expect the new Defender to be revealed late this year before it goes on sale in 2020. Rumours are that it will be even better off-road than before and have a close family resemblance to Range Rover models.