Whatever your budget and preference, there's a rich assortment of awesome cars will hit showrooms this year.
2018 promises to be an exciting year for motoring enthusiasts. This sounds like a statement that could be tacked onto the beginning of any year but with the kind of pulse-quickening cars that are on the way you'll soon realize what a special year 2018 promises to be. The signs that we were in for a good year started late in 2017. We had some very good cars break cover, the Kia Stinger, Porsche GT3 Touring Package and Lamborghini Huracan Performante all raised the bar in their respective segments. The 2019MY offerings should keep our pulses racing.
Building on the success of the X1, BMW is launching a sportier version dubbed the X2. Featuring slightly lowered suspension, available M-Sport options and more aggressive styling the X2 should appeal to those wanting a slightly sharper drive while still enjoying the benefits of a higher-ride height than a conventional sedan.
The XC40 takes the successful design formula of its bigger XC90 stablemate and shrinks it into a potentially class-leading small crossover. The Scandinavian design details and comprehensive safety equipment is sure to sway many shoppers away from the competition.
Cadillac too wants in on the lucrative subcompact crossover segment and the carmaker will unveil its entry-level XT4 model at the New York Auto Show later this month. Not much has been said about powertrain and drivetrain options but expect turbocharged 2-liter units and the availability of all-wheel-drive on top models.
The long awaited QX50 replacement is finally here, taking on the corporate look of the rest of the Infiniti range, the new QX50 is all about luxury and the latest technologies. ProPilot assist will take it one step closer to fully autonomous driving while the new 268-hp VC-Turbo engine is the world's first production variable compression gasoline engine.
The electric Leaf has been fully redesigned for 2018 and now features a 40-kWh battery pack which promises a range of up to 151 miles. It also introduces the e-pedal, allowing the driver to use just one pedal to control braking and acceleration. The fresh new exterior looks and strong 147-hp electric motor are sure to increase the Leaf's market share in this fast-growing segment.
The Vantage has been a characterful old-school British GT for years. The latest model now features a Mercedes-derived twin-turbo V8 (same as in the DB11), aluminum spaceframe and looks that will give onlookers whiplash as you drive by.
The first Continental GT went in to production way back in 2003, an update in 2011 breathed some new life into the design but the latest model is all-new and brings some much-needed modern safety and technology with it. The focus is still very much on offering sumptuous bespoke luxury allied with continent crushing ability. The launch model will have a 6.0-liter W12 twin-turbo engine and 626 hp which should see it top out at 207 mph.
Hi-technology is a given in today's top Audis. The latest A7 brings with it some very interesting new tech such as a mild hybrid system and 48-volt electronics that are far more capable at running complex on-board systems than before. The interior looks like a space age design with its new touchscreen interface and virtual cockpit.
The A8 follows in the wake of the S-Class and 7-Series and is crammed with safety and convenience systems like level 3 autonomous driving that make it the most technologically advanced in its segment.
The M5 is one of BMW's core products. Getting this one wrong would be a big blow for the M brand, so the introduction of all-wheel-drive and a traditional automatic transmission are risky moves. Early signs are that the switchable AWD system and transmission haven't dulled the razor-sharp edge that M-cars are known for and the 600-hp+ power output is sure to keep fans happy too.
The pickup truck segment is still one of the most profitable and while Ford took a risk with their V6 engines the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado will stick with the traditional V8 for at least one more generation. The outgoing truck was still a competent workhorse and the new model will retain its tough steel load bay and there promises to be just as many variants to suit just about every need.
Another popular pickup that is undergoing a full refresh for the 2019MY is the Ram 1500. The old truck still offers a superb ride and the range of V6 and V8 engines cover all the bases from economy to lugging power so the new model is sure to build on these traits and also introduce some much-needed modern safety systems.
The Performante proved to be a universally liked class-leading sports car with performance that eclipsed bigger and more powerful competitors. The Urus has so far been met with a bit more skepticism as it prepares to enter into production this year. One thing is for sure though, this ultra-SUV is quite likely to re-define its segment when it launches.
The old G-Class was, well, really old. Continuous updating of a 1979 design made for a curiously desirable yet unsurprisingly compromised vehicle. The New G-Class doesn't stray much from the originals iconic looks but under the skin major changes have been made. A digital cockpit, independent front suspension and massive weight savings (despite larger dimensions) promise to endear the new model to existing customers as well as expand its appeal even further.
The sporty SUV benchmark evolves the already very capable existing Cayenne and a range of powerful and efficient new turbocharged gas engines should keep these mid-sized SUVs at the sharp end of this competitive segment.