WHAT CARS ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR 2019?
2018 has just flown by, hasn't it? It only seems like yesterday that we were absolutely priapic with anticipation whilst we waited to find out whether the new Fiesta ST would be as fun as the last one, or to discover if the adoption of twin-turbos had ruined the noise of the new Aston Martin Vantage (it hasn't).
The year is almost out though, and now we must turn our attention to the slew of shiny, desirable new models incoming over the next twelve months. I've put together a little showcase of some of the cars I'm most looking forward to in 2019 and I want to know what you guys are most excited about too! Of course, there are some models that we still don't know an awful lot about, but even on the strength of this list, it's going to be a very good year!
Aston Martin DBS Volante
What a way to kick things off! The hard-top DBS Superleggera dropped earlier this year, and as I write the first customer cars are being delivered. But if you prefer your big Aston experience to be slightly more al fresco, you won't have to wait too long. The convertible version, expected to be badged Volante, has been spotted testing and will be in showrooms later next year. It's a safe bet that the drop-top will employ the same 715 horsepower twin-turbo V12 unit employed to great effect in the stunning coupe model. Aston, if you're reading, I'd love to borrow one for my summer holiday next year please!
Audi RS6 Avant
The lads and ladies over in Ingolstadt have been pretty damn busy lately. Not only have they been working on their just-announced e-Tron GT, but next year will also see the launch of new versions of the S6, S7 and S8. The one I'm really excited for though, is the latest evolution of what must surely be a strong contender for the 'Only car you'll ever need' award. The new RS6 Avant is rumoured to churn out over 600 BHP in its 'standard' trim, with an electrified e-Tron version to follow producing over 700 brake.
I might be alone on this, but I reckon all they need to do is wack some wheel spacers on that A6-bodied test mule pictured above, and whip the badges off. Then they'll have the Q-Car of the century. No show, all go. Nice.
Ferrari 488 Pista Spider
No real need for explanations here. The hard-top Pista is astoundingly good, the Spider will be astoundingly good, and the internet will soon be full of people who can't afford one saying things like "I'd rather have a Speciale Aperta" and "They'll just get flipped."
Actually, even if you are one of the lucky people who could afford to stump up the £275k+ you'll need to buy one, the chances are you'll struggle to get one unless you're the man who actually cut Enzos umbilical cord when he was born. Still, we can all dream can't we?
About the car I mean, not the umbilical cord.
Ford Focus ST
Through three very distinct generations, the Ford Focus ST has been one of my favourite hot hatchbacks since its introduction back in 2002. Now that the Mk4 Focus is on sale, it won't be long before Fords perennial GTi challenger will be treated to the latest update.
As with the standard car, the new ST will be more of an evolution of what went before rather than a clean-sheet. So don't expect a return of the much-missed 5-cylinder turbo, or a wildly different exterior. Power is reported to be up to 270 BHP, which should be enough to keep the i30N on its toes.
Of course, the ST isn't the top dog in the sporting Focus kennel, but with a new RS still a few years away yet Ford will want to make sure the ST is able to hold the fort convincingly until then.
Honda Urban EV
I'm not going to lie to you. I still find fully electric cars about as interesting as spending the weekend at an Orthodontics seminar. That said, even after at least ten years of producing mostly-dull rubbish, I still carry a bit of a torch for Honda. I know that somewhere deep in the Honda factory there is someone still there who can innovate and engineer like they used to.
I'm not interested in the cute and funky little Urban EV because of any eco-credentials it may possess. For me, this little car is a symbol of hope. Hope that the Honda of old are going to make a re-appearance and create something special, something that moves the game on.
If nothing else, the Urban EV at least proves that after the hilariously ugly Civic Type-R, they have at least now hired a designer blessed with the gift of sight.
I've got a bit of a vested interest in this one, having not long taken delivery of the warm AMG-Line version of Merc's latest baby. I've got to admit, I'm enjoying the experience and the stunning interior especially. Naturally, I'm very keen to see how the first proper AMG version of the new A-Class turns out.
The standard car is no slouch, but with a Golf R-baiting 306 horsepower on tap from a two-litre turbocharged motor, the A35 promises to be suitably ballistic as well as having even more road presence the new Merc is shaping up to be a serious hot hatch contender. Will it be worth an upgrade? Only time will tell!
And if the A35 doesn't quite cut it for you, the new A45 will be along in due course. With talk of 400 BHP being the order of the day, it should be the quickest hatchback out there.
Porsche 911 Carrera S (992)
Is there any more to be said about the Porsche 911? Since 1963 it has been the go-to everyday sports car for millions of drivers all over the globe. Even today, with the competition stronger than ever, the 911's grip on the market looks to be pretty much unbreakable.
That means there would have to be something very wrong with the new 992 for that to change. Somehow, that seems pretty unlikely to be the case though, and the new car will be landing in dealerships early next year.