MEGA-HATCHES, a Mustang for school run mums, and couriers delivering parcels to your car boot - here’s a sneak peak at the next 12 months of British motoring.
To preempt the upcoming months of high-profile releases and motor shows, we've highlighted some of the most eye-catching motoring developments Brits can enjoy over the coming 12 month and beyond.
Select Car Leasing's Mark Tongue says: “Motor shows are clearly a great way to keep an eye on industry trends and upcoming releases. But, some of the announcements only tell half the story.
Here we’ve tried to wade through the trade rumour, gossip and proclamations to shine a light on the road ahead for 2019 and 2020.”
Volkswagen (The Golf R420)
When it comes to VW hype going into the next few months, it’s all about their new ‘ID’ range of electric vehicles. They’ve already announced the camper, the ID, Crozz crossover and the ID.3 hatchback. But there’s another car still in the works that’s got petrolheads drooling - and it’s not electric. Instead, it’s an upcoming ‘megahatch’ - the Golf R420.
This machine boasts a 2.5 litre, inline five cylinder engine plundered from the Audi RS3. It boasts 400bhp,and all wheel drive. And while VW haven’t confirmed its existence, it was spotted testing at the Nurburgring track at the back end of 2018 and is rumoured to be making an appearance later this year. If confirmed, it’ll be one of the hottest hot hatches VW has ever unleashed.
SKODA (Parcel delivery)
Skoda is currently celebrating the 60th anniversary of its Octavia saloon, a car first introduced to the UK back in 1959 and one that's enjoying significant popularity on these shores at the minute, with its stylish design and range of practical features making it a great choice among those looking to lease a car.
But away from the road, Skoda eggheads are also working on a novel concept - getting parcels delivered directly to your parked car, wherever it is! It’s a scheme currently being trialled by the firm’s ‘DigiLab’, and requires technology that lets the courier access your car remotely through an app.
Skoda says: “When an order is placed, the car’s location is displayed to the courier via GPS for delivery. Using the app, the courier is then granted one-time-only, secured access to open the boot within a pre-defined time frame. They then place the parcel in the boot, subsequently relock the vehicle using the app and the customer is notified about the successful delivery.” Skoda rightly says ‘security is paramount’.
Land Rover (The new Defender)
When production of the old Land Rover Defender ended in January 2016, it called time on a rich 67 year history. And fans of the legendary 4x4 mourned. Their tears were, though, premature - as this year will see Land Rover unveiling its all-new Defender, due to be revealed in all its glory in September this year. There will be two models available - the two door ‘90’ and the five door ‘110’. And the good news for admirers is that the old boxy styling hasn’t gone away, while the lines have simply become a bit more refined.
The firm says: “It is in a category of its own. We have created a vehicle that is tough, that is capable and that is unstoppable. The iconic Defender has evolved.”
Ford (Mustang electric SUV)
Taking a Ford Mustang and putting an electric engine in it would be considered sacrilege for most Pony owners. And yet Ford are going a step further by creating a Mustang-inspired SUV, with an electric drivetrain, that’ll no doubt appeal to school run mums!
The car is due to be revealed later this year and Ford has also revealed a sneak-peek preview shot of the vehicle’s rear end - which features those spine-tingling vertical triple-stacked lights. In a recent online post Darren Palmer, Ford Team Edison Global Product Development Director, wrote: “It’s exciting to know that my stint leading development of the next-generation Mustang actually comes full circle as we get ready to launch our electric Mustang-inspired utility. I, for one, can’t wait to have one — side-by-side — with my Shelby GT350R.”
Mercedes Benz (Battery Nanotechnology)
Not content with creating one of the best-selling cars in the UK - and a firm favourite among our Mercedes lease customers - the A Class, the brand is making great strides in answering that age old question - how do you create electric batteries that allow you to go further, faster? Mercedes’ parent company Daimler has invested in a firm called Sila Nanotechnologies, and together they’re dreaming-up the next generation of lithium ion batteries.
They say it will allow for, ‘higher performance, faster charging and longer range than today’s batteries. The tech won’t be appearing in a Mercedes Benz car any time soon, but the newest leccy vehicle in the Mercedes Benz stable is the EQC, five-door SUV, priced from £65,640 in the UK.
Audi (The e-tron GT)
German luxury-peddlers Audi have already unveiled the e-tron, a five door SUV costing upwards of £70,000. But there’s a more exciting e-tron in the works, the Audi e-tron GT, which could be launched at the back end of this year.
A concept was unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November last year, and Audi has been ramping up the anticipation for an official launch in the last few weeks. In April Actor Robert Downey Jr turned up at the Avengers: Endgame premiere in Los Angeles driving one, and the car also makes a cameo in the blockbusting film itself. The GT is said to feature two electric motors developing a combined 582bhp and should have a range of around 200 miles. Meanwhile there’s also rumours of a GTR supercar version of the e-tron, which could well end up replacing the range-topping R8.
BMW (M8 Competition and clever new braking tech)
The new M8 will debut in September this year, in both standard form and swankier ‘Competition’ trim. It’ll have 600bhp on tap - and then some - courtesy of a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 engine.
Theres also some very clever, innovative tech going on, too, in the form of BMW’s first ever integrated braking system, which allows drivers to select how much feedback they get through the pedal. The BMW blurb says: “The brake pressure required is triggered by an electric actuator, which allows it to be generated more dynamically and also ensures significantly faster and more precise interventions from the driving stability control system.The integrated braking system also does an excellent job of allowing vehicle deceleration to be geared precisely to the driver’s requirements and of generating sublime pedal feel in any situation.”
Volvo (car-to-car warning system)
Volvo’s XC range has long been lauded, and the XC40 recently scooped Car of the Year the 2019 Honest John awards.
And not content with keeping reviewers happy, they’re also hellbent on keeping drivers safe, too. In the next twelve months Volvo will roll-out a new ‘V2V’ system across Europe, which uses a cloud based system to allow Volvo cars ‘speak’ to other while out and about on the road. It’s the Volvo equivalent of two bikers nodding to each other as they pass on opposite sides of the road. But it’s cleverer than that. If a Volvo driver puts their hazard lights on, other Volvo’s nearby will be alerted to that fact, tipping them off about a potential problem up ahead.
The system will also see cars collecting information about the road surface, before the V2V uploads the data to the cloud, before feeding it back to all other Volvo drivers in the area. That should, in theory, stop you buckling your alloy on a pothole that you didn’t see until you hit it. It’s tech likely to be well received by owners. Less popular, however, could be Volvo’s plans to limit all new models to around 111mph.
Vauxhall (New Corsa GSI)
Back in August 2017, the PSA Group - which owns brands like Peugeot and Citroen - purchased Vauxhall from parent company GM in a deal worth £1.9bn. And next year could finally see that deal truly coming to fruition for fans of hot hatches.
Vauxhall is currently putting the finishing touches to its all new Corsa, which is due to be on sale by the end of the year. And there’s strong rumours of a new Corsa GSI which will feature the stonking 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine from the Peugeot 208 GTi.
That should represent a big improvement on the old GSI’s 148bhp 1.4-litre turbo. Meanwhile there will also be the first ever all-electric Corsa, which is expected to develop 130bhp and be fitted with 50kWh battery pack that’s good for 211 miles.
Seat (The Minimo)
Spanish giants SEAT have invested heavily in an electric future, recently announcing plans to launch six electric and plug-in hybrid models by 2021. And while performance fans will be admiring the new SEAT Leon Cupra R ST, there’s a more diminutive car waiting in the wings - the Minimo.
This urban electric ‘car sharing solution’ was first unveiled as a concept earlier this year, but SEAT has now confirmed it’s being put into production. The Minimo will be a rival to the Renault Twizy and will also feature a ‘battery swap system’ where you can effectively fully recharge it in a matter of minutes.
SEAT say it combines ‘the best of a motorcycle and a car’ and will ‘shape the future of city driving, where traffic will be restricted and only a few operators will be able to offer mobility.’
It’ll have a range of around 62 miles and can be parked in a motorbike parking area. Unlike most motorcycles, however, the Minimo will have a top speed of just 55mph.