And what about that icon of the sports car world, the Porsche 911? You will have to make up your own mind on this one, but the company has been developing the new 911 for the past few years. This year is the company’s 70th anniversary. Join the dots… And while we are speculating, we won’t be surprised if we see the production version of Porsche’s electric Mission E, although it is not likely to go on sale this year, as the company is still preparing the infrastructure required to support it.
The Mission E will be more of a Gran Tourer (GT) sports car though, and we will also see a few more from this genre arrive. Bentley will bring out the new Continental GT, with its very clever rotating infotainment screen and sharper exterior design lines. Mercedes will offer the four-door AMG GT, and we might also see the new BMW 8 Series arrive.
And luxury sedans — remember those? They still exist, and the battle continues between the major German players. Mercedes launched its new S-Class at the beginning of the year and Audi plans to launch its new, tech-laden A8 towards the end of 2018. Still no sign of a new Jaguar XJ, but it has to be close; and Lexus will launch its new LS in the middle of the year.
Other major models to look out for include a pair of superb and stylish new Volvos. The first will be the new XC40 small SUV-crossover, while the extremely popular XC60 will arrive sporting the new family look and feel in the middle of the year. Volkswagen will launch a seven-seater version of its Tiguan, termed the Allspace, and it will also try its hand in the premium market once again with the Arteon four-door coupé. And let’s not forget the final member of the Cayenne-Q7-Bentayga family: Volkswagen will reveal the new Touareg in March and it is very possible we will see it in South Africa before the year is out.
You might have noticed that we have not mentioned the electric vehicles expected in South Africa this year. We will see the updated BMW i3 and the second-generation Nissan Leaf. We will also see… actually, that’s it.
Which brings us to the elephant in the room: Tesla. If you are one of those who paid a $1 000 deposit, you are probably wondering what the heck is going on. So are we. Tesla CEO Elon Musk promised that Tesla Motors would be in South Africa in 2018, but then it all went quiet as Musk focused on rockets. The company is having major issues with production of the new Model 3, and no representatives we’ve spoken to can confirm whether Tesla will hit our shores this year. If it does, then it could signal a major change in the local automotive landscape. And if it doesn’t? Well, there’s always the Nissan Leaf.