Mercedes-Benz EQC.
Mercedes-Benz EQC.
Image: Supplied

From SUVs, to hatchbacks, electric vehicles and fire-spitting sports cars, the dawn of the new decade is shaping up as a busy automotive year. We look at 12 of the most eagerly anticipated new cars due for launch in SA in 2020.

1. 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 sports car firm still follows the spirit of the brand — that “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 at various points around SA. 

Porsche Taycan.
Porsche Taycan.
Image: Supplied

Arrival date: late 2020

2. AUDI E-TRON

The E-Tron is one of three new battery-powered cars headed for SA in 2020, even as the country experiences more 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.

Audi E-Tron.
Audi E-Tron.
Image: Supplied

Arrival date: 2020

3. 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 more than 400km.

Arrival date: 2020

4. 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.

Lexus LC500 Convertible.
Lexus LC500 Convertible.
Image: Supplied

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

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

Arrival date: 2020

5. 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.

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

Arrival date: second quarter 2020

6. 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 is 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.

BMW X6.
BMW X6.
Image: Supplied

Arrival date: first quarter 2020

7. 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 will scoff, but Land Rover says its reborn icon, while aimed at a more tech-savvy audience, is as off-road 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.

Land Rover Defender.
Land Rover Defender.
Image: Supplied

Arrival date: third quarter 2020

8. JAGUAR F-TYPE FACELIFT 

The midlife update to Jaguar’s two-seat sports car involves a restyle to give it a more assertive stance, and 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 5.0-litre V8 upped to 423kW and 700Nm.

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

Arrival date: unconfirmed

9. AUDI RS Q8

The quickest SUV to lap the Nurburgring 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 4.0-litre 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.

Audi RS Q8.
Audi RS Q8.
Image: Supplied

Arrival date: second quarter 2020

10. 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 such as the Bentley Bentayga and Lamborghini Urus, we won’t bet against that happening.

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

Aston Martin DBX.
Aston Martin DBX.
Image: Supplied

Arrival date: third quarter 2020

11. MASERATI LEVANTE TROFEO 

The most powerful incarnation of Maserati’s Levante SUV is gunned along by a 3.8-litre twin turbo V8 packing 433kW and 730Nm, for a claimed 0-100 km/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.

Maserati Levante Trofeo.
Maserati Levante Trofeo.
Image: Supplied

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 2020

12. FERRARI ROMA 

The hard-top version of the Portofino convertible grand tourer has 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.

Ferrari Roma.
Ferrari Roma.
Image: Supplied

Arrival date: first quarter 2020

This article was originally published by the Business Day.

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