We’re coming to the end of another year. But with 2020 right around the corner, we’ve got plenty to look forward to. We ask our editors what they’re excited to see in the coming year. Feel free to add your own thoughts here or on our Facebook page.
Next year, I predict we’ll see even bigger screens in our cars. Tech-focused companies, like Byton, have tested this idea in their prototypes; Byton has showcased a 49-inch screen in its M-Byte. Next year may be the year we finally see these massive screens in production-level vehicles. Cadillac kicked off this trend with a massive 38-inch screen in its 2021 Escalade. These bigger screens will likely mean the death of buttons and knobs, which several of our reviewers will certainly miss.
The other big prediction I have for 2020 is seeing more technology integrated into our driving experience. You can already use your phone as a key with Ford and Hyundai, for example. And Kia lets you sync schedules with other drivers, which you can see through a car’s infotainment system. I predict items like GM Marketplace will become more common across automakers. Soon, you may be able to shop, watch movies, and order dinner from the driver’s seat. Just make sure your data is secure!
I’ve decided to go big for my 2020 preview—so let’s put to one side what will no doubt be a huge number of electric and hybrid cars for the (relative) masses, and focus instead on two top-tier contenders.
First up is the Ferrari Roma, pictured above, which is interesting not so much for its powertrain as the fact its styling represents such a break from tradition for the Italian firm. For in the Roma, there are generous swoops and curves that give it a softer, more elegant aesthetic than you’ll see in other modern Ferraris. Some have questioned if the Roma, as a result, looks a bit too much like an Aston Martin—but for me, it’s a gloriously individual piece of design that also happens to be home to a wonderful, sculpted interior and a 612bhp 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8. Sounds like a good recipe…
If the Ferrari is special, then the Mercedes-AMG One promises to be quite simply off the chart. What we have here is a Mercedes Formula One drivetrain reimagined to work in a road car. So that’s a 1.6-liter V6 with four electric motors that together make more than 1,000 bhp. There’s also an 8-speed paddle-shift gearbox, pushrod suspension, ceramic brake discs, and a steering wheel that looks like something Lewis Hamilton might use at the weekends. So, yes, it’s going to be a pretty serious bit of kit.
Production is limited to 275 units with the price for each running into the millions. But ownership isn’t what makes cars like this interesting. No, what’s fascinating is seeing just how far (and how fast) the humble motor car can be taken.
Prediction: We’re going to get dirty in 2020.
First, the Land Rover Defender is returning to the United States. This might not be cause for celebration for our UK Editor, Chris, but on this side of the pond, it’s been over 20 years since Land Rover delivered a properly boxy off-roader.
The new 2020 Defender’s looks may be polarizing, to say the least, but it’s safe to expect this British bulldog will be a genuine mountain goat off-road. For the first time since 1997, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited may finally have some genuine competition. Maybe it’s time for a little CarGurus US vs CarGurus UK rivalry?
Of course, the new Defender can’t steal all the muddy spotlight. We fully expect Ford to pull the cover off the long-awaited and much-anticipated 2021 Bronco this year. It’s been a while since O.J. Simpson sent the last iteration of the Bronco to an early death, and off-roaders and soft-roaders alike have been hankering for a genuine SUV from the blue oval.
While The Juice’s Bronco was a full-size SUV based on the F-Series truck platform, this new one will be a bit smaller, and likely a bit more nimble, as it’s being built on the same platform as the Ranger pickup—sounds perfect for our favorite off-road course.
As one of my colleagues already mentioned, next year will no doubt feature a huge number of announcements regarding electric vehicles (EVs). Automakers have thus far brought more enthusiasm to the electric-car game than the average American driver, but car companies finally seem to be trying to figure out ways to market and build electric vehicles that should appeal not only to tech first adopters and “greenies,” but also to folks who like to drive.
Ford’s debut of the Mustang Mach-E, including prominent mention of its Porsche-beating 0-to-60 times, may mark a relatively new chapter in EV marketing outside the Tesla bubble. Porsche definitely called attention to its 918’s top-notch performance, but that car’s price put it in even rarer air than Tesla’s original Roadster and Model S. The Mach-E, expected to start at less than $45K, should appeal to a considerably more diverse pool of car shoppers than either of Tesla’s original models, and it will no doubt have company in its price range by the end of 2021.
Another relatively new development in the marketing of vehicles capable of running on electricity recently comes from Toyota, which has decided to make the plug-in hybrid version of its massively popular crossover, the RAV4 Prime, the most capable, and most exciting, version of that vehicle available to American buyers. Noting its sub-6-second 0-to-60 time and 302 horsepower in advertisements, Toyota hopes to make up for declining Prius sales with a wide range of hybrids, including sedan models that will face a narrowing pool of American competitors as Ford and GM execute their plans to focus more carefully on crossovers and SUVs in the future.
Whether vehicles running on electricity will ever be able to generate the excitement and sales that gasoline-powered automobiles have enjoyed in their first century remains to be seen, but we look forward to seeing new ads and approaches, as well as more exciting vehicles, next year.
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