The new car market is changing all the time as manufacturers work to keep up with customer demand, government regulations and emerging technology.
2019 was a boom year for electric vehicles and driver assistance technology and 2020 looks to follow that trend, with a whole heap of new EVs and the increasing introduction of ADAS to mainstream cars.
There are scores of new cars launching in 2020 but here is our pick of 20 of the most significant from city cars to supercars.
Aston Martin DBX
Is this the car to save Aston Martin? If other luxury SUVs are anything to go by, it could be. Built at Aston’s new plant in Wales, the DBX is a 543bhp five-seat SUV that its makers claim will offer the usual Aston Martin GT performance and luxury but in a more practical body.
Audi RS6 Avant
There are other new Audis coming out in 2020 that far more people will buy but the RS 6 Avant is the glowing halo model that has petrolheads drooling. 592bhp, 590lb/ft, 0-62mph in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of up to 190mph, all in a steroid-enhanced estate body that can carry five people and all their luggage.
Closely resembling the standard X3, the iX3 is an all-electric model set to ride the crest of two waves in the automotive industry – SUVs and electrification. On sale in the second half of 2020, it will offer around 266bhp and 249 miles of range in the X3’s familiar packaging
The M3 name is legendary in the performance car world and while BMW is going electric with many other models, the M3 remains purely petrol-powered. When it arrives in late 2020 the standard M3 will pack 480bhp while Competition version will get 510bhp. Motive power comes, as usual from a 3.0-litre straight six but like the latest M5, the new M3 moves from rear-wheel-drive to all-wheel-drive.
The Formentor is the first all-new model to wear the Cupra badge, rather than being a re-engineered Seat. Jumping on the electrification and SUV bandwagons this plug-in hybrid crossover-cum-coupe sets out Cupra’s plan to use the latest technology to develop performance-focused models with 242bhp and an emphasis on driver engagement.
Ferrari SF90 Stradale
Proving that even the most sporting brands aren’t immune to the move to electrification is this hybrid hypercar from Ferrari. The plug-in hybrid system uses KERS technology derived from F1 and is connected to a turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 to produce 989bhp. Generous use of carbon fibre and aluminium make it light but stiffer than any previous Ferrari. Expect 0-62mph in 2.5 seconds and a top speed north of 210mph.
For 2020 Fiat has remodelled its hit retro city car as an all-electric runaround. While the 500e will be sold alongside the current model and look much the same, it’s based on a new EV platform and will be radically different beneath the skin. Design to take on the all-electric version of the Mini as well as Honda’s e city car, the 500e is due to debut at the Geneva motor show.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford is hoping that by attaching the Mustang name to its first electric SUV it will create a buzz that will let it take on the Tesla Model Y, Jaguar I-Pace and other premium-priced models. Based on all-new architecture it will offer various levels of range and performance but even the most basic will get 333bhp and a rear-wheel-drive setup.
2020 isn’t just about high-performance motors. There are also plenty of mainstream models on their way, including the Ford Puma. This new car isn’t a tiny two-door coupe but is instead a Fiesta-based crossover. It will offer higher ride height and more space than the supermini and sit about the EcoSport in Ford’s line-up in terms of price and equipment, starting at around £23,000. Launch models will come with a 1.0-litre engine and mild hybrid setup to offer 123bhp or 153bhp.
Honda’s all-electric prototype created a stir when it was unveiled in 2017 and in 2020 it will finally hit the streets, looking pretty similar. The design has been toned down a little but the rear-wheel-drive urban EV still looks fantastic and promises 136 miles of range from its 35.5 kWh battery.
The F-Pace has been a major success for Jaguar thanks to its blend of SUV practicality and traditional Jaguar driveability. For 2020 it’s getting an overhaul designed to help it keep pace with premium German rivals, expected to include new hybrid powertrains and an improved interior that draws on the cabin of the I-Pace.
Jaguar already has a full-electric model in its range – the I-Pace – and when it arrives next year the new XJ will become the second. The brand is completely reimagining its flagship saloon as a four-wheel-drive electric-only model. Details are scarce but its designer says it will be offer dynamic driving, a luxurious interior and a look that doesn’t conform to the usual big saloon mould.
Land Rover Defender
Unveiled at Frankfurt 2019 and arriving on customers’ driveways in early 2020, this is Land Rover’s most famous model reimagined for the 21st century. Promising all the rugged off-road abilities of its predecessor but with a modern comfortable interior and driving experience the Defender is one to watch in 2020.
From a company famous for small, lightweight sports cars with modest power comes a 2,000bhp, all-electric hypercar costing nearly £2m. Limited to just 130 examples, the Evija is a new direction for Lotus under its new owner Geely and one bosses hope will reignite interest in the brand and pave the way for more accessible models.
EQ is Mercedes’ all-electric family and the EQA will join the EQC SUV in 2020. The smallest in the planned EQ range, the slick-looking crossover is set to compete with BMW’s i3 and will offer around 250 miles of range from its 286bhp, four-wheel-drive setup.
The Qashqai is less flashy and revolutionary than most cars on this list but it’s no less important. It’s the UK’s best-selling SUV and among the top 10 best-selling cars full stop. This new version is expected to get a mild facelift, more advanced driver assistance technology and the introduction of a hybrid drivetrain option.
The Polestar 2 is the first mainstream model from Volvo’s performance and electrification-focussed spin-off. The handsome fastback is set to cost around £49,000 and will pack a 402bhp, 487lb/ft electric drivetrain and have a 0-62mph time of 4.7 seconds.and a range of 311 miles.
Seat’s family EV is the second car to use the VW Group’s new MEB platform after the VW ID3 and is expected to go on sale in 2020. Despite some quite radical styling it’s a traditional five-door hatchback and will offer “up to” 201bhp and a 0-62mph time of 7.5 seconds. Its 62kWh battery should be good for up to 261 miles on a single charge.
The claimed specifications for Elon Musk’s four-seat sports car are mind-blowing. Zero to 60mph in 1.9 seconds, a top speed of “more than 250mph” and a range of 620miles from a 200kWh battery. If it makes it to market next year it could become the world’s fastest accelerating production car.
Volkswagen has just launched a new version of its ever-popular Golf but in 2020 all eyes will be on the ID3 as VW sets its sights on the mainstream electric car market. Designed to sit alongside the Golf as an all-electric family hatchback, the ID.3 is the first of VW’s ID range which is also set to encompass estate cars, SUV and commercial vehicles.