The most exciting cars set to hit the market in 2019
Am I late to this party? I hope not, January just ended we've been served a multitude of posts and articles from all over the place about which cars we should look forward to this coming year. Nothing wrong with that – I'm sure a plethora of people looking to get their new car this year found them very useful.
For me though, cars aren't just utilities that move me from point A to B, cars are my job, my hobby and my passion. Therefore I want more than a large boot, comfy seats, brand image, or strong residual values on my PCP. I want the car to make me feel excited every time I look at it. I want to be mesmerised by the bold design and geek out over its clever engineering solutions.
Without further ado, here are the cars I'm looking forward to.
What? A regular hatchback without a turbo is exciting? Yes, hell yes it is.
First of all, the design is stunning: the lines are simple and clean, but that's what makes them stand out as bold and sharp.
Mazda 3 brings new levels of class and sophistication to the hatchback market. Something like the Focus or Civic would fit a pair of sneakers and a T-Shirt, the Mazda will fit that as well as a full suit or Chanel's little black dress. The Mazda's design is simple but incredibly elegant and already feels timeless.
It's not just pretty though, under the hood the new 3 packs SkyActiv-X engine, which compresses the air-fuel mixture so much it ignites without a spark.
The result is an engine with the efficiency of a diesel without all you know, all the horrible bits of a diesel.
It's the first of its kind, in an era where all the manufacturers are moving to electric or ever more downsizing, Mazda is taking internal-combustion further than anyone. And that gets me very excited indeed.
Alfa Romeo GTV
It's a new Alfa Romeo – there, that's enough to be excited about it. But there is more: it's a new GTV – a model that has a track-record of being an instant classic in the territory of looks, performance and well, everything Alfa Romeo stands for.
What's more, it's likely going to be based on the fantastic Giulia model, and in the Quadrifolgio spec, it's going to offer hybridised 600+bhp drive train with AWD and Torque Vectoring. If that doesn't get your heart going you are either dead, or not a petrolhead, in both cases checking in with a doctor would be advised.
If 600 horsepower and AWD adorned in sexy Italian curves somehow isn't your thing. How about something similar but covered in the finest Scandinavian design? Well, that's the Polestar 1.
It's the offering from a company born out of Volvo's skunkworks 'Polestar Racing' that previously built hot Volvos and won a couple of Touring Car Championships.
And now they are building a hybrid, with a 4-cylinder turbo and 3 electric engines, resulting in 600bhp and over a 1000nm of torque. It also manages to look completely understated while also stunning and exciting. In other words, it's awesome – well so long so you have the £120k to purchase one.
Another regular hatchback? Yup. It's a car that's not so much revolutionary in its own right, but it can be a little revolutionary to its market. It proves that budget cars don't have to look and feel cheap. Its design can be compared to that of a cheap(er) Audi rather than a cheap VW. But it's not just cheap copy of another VW product, it feels like its own car with its own identity and design, well at least from what we know so far.
In my humble opinion, on the design front (especially the interior), it blows competitors like the Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla clear out of the water.
Personally I'm hoping it will force manufacturers to improve their quality, both on cheap cars and the higher end stuff in order for it to, you know, remain high end.
BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe
A huge coupe saloon, with a ton of looks, power and character, essentially a 7 series but designed for someone who wants his car to look good, not just expensive.
There isn't an awful lot known about it at the moment, but it's coming soon, likely this year, and judging by how well the 4 and 6 Series Gran Coupe turned out this seems like a tasty cherry on top.
Honda Urban EV
EV, low power, tiny range, and little to no performance – why would it be exciting? You see the retro looks of this futuristic 'Urban EV' have wowed everyone and made us all fall in love with 80's boxy design all over again.
Sadly Honda has since dialled down the boxy styling, and have gone for a more round shape in the latest design image supposedly showing the prototype, which will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show. It will also get 5 instead of the concepts 3 doors which kinda screws with the proportions, but I'm still looking forward to it.
Hyundai i30 Fastback N
Love the I30 N but find it a bit too much like a Hotwheels car, or are you simply bored of the 5dr hatch design that hasn't really changed over the past 2 decades?
Well, this Fastback has you covered. It shows the i30 is a bit like fine wine: better with age. The Fastback looks a hundred times better and improves on the original in every way. It gained new (subjectively better) looks, and due to softer suspension more refined on-road usability, but thanks to the improved and stiffer chassis it's just as capable and fun to drive as before.
It's like a man moving from his teenage years to his 20s: he grew a beard, started working out and lost the edgy baggy jumper for a fitted shirt but lost none if it's ability to have fun. And me being that exact age has nothing to do with this analogy...
Quick Honourable Mentions
Peugeot 508 SW
Just bloody look at it! The interior doesn't just give Audi a run for its money, it gives Audi's concept cars a run for their money! It's a stunner from a brand that has for too long been churning out boring commuter cars with the sex-appeal of a tub of lard.
DS 7 Crossback E-Tense
Same as above. And it's got a 300hp hybrid-electric drivetrain with all-wheel drive, and that comfy Citroen suspension, yet another car punching above its weight in the segment, in terms of design.
Porsche Cayman GT-4
The previous car was a smash hit and a complete bargain at £66,000 pounds, second hand examples now rarely go below the £70,000. The new car will likely keep the 3.8 litres naturally aspirated flat-6 screaming to 9,000rpm. At the moment we don't know more for sure hence it sitting here. GT4-Clubsport and GT-4 Prototype pictured below.