Last year belonged to the SUV It was a year in which we saw everyone from Audi to Rolls Royce roll out a luxury 4x4. 2019, however, looks a bit different. This year seems to have it all from sedans to performance coupes to SUV’s... there will be a bit of everything. Speaking of which we would also be seeing the first all-electric luxury car for the Indian market in the form of the Jaguar E Pace. A very crucial launch as its success will pave the way for other manufacturers to get their electric wares to our country. And, who knows 2020 might even see Tesla officially entering India. For now, 2019 will have a special treat for performance enthusiasts as Porsche will get the 992, the hugely anticipated successor to the current 911 coupe. Audi will be reviving its ageing flagship with the brand new tech-loaded A8 which will take the Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7 series head on. Speaking of BMW it will be launching the 8 Series, a super stylish ultra luxury coupe which will take on the likes of the Bentley Continental. Here is our pick of cars you should watch out for in 2019.
Audi will add a new range-topping Q model to its SUV product line-up that will lock horns with BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. With a slanting coupe-like roof, the Audi Q8 gives up on the practicality of Q7 and it's three rows of seating for style. Instead, the Q7 combines the high-riding stance and all-wheel-drive system of a SUV with the amenities of a flagship sedan, along with sportier dynamics. It is built on the same MLB Evo platform that underpins the Bentley Bentayga, the Lamborghini Urus and the Porsche Cayenne. In terms of styling, it carries Audi’s new design language which is defined by a larger grille with slim headlamps and tail lights. The cabin gets the same futuristic-looking dash as the new Audi A8 which has the all-new MMI interface which is free on any dials and buttons.
Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Four-Door Coupe
Mercedes Benz pulled the wraps off the AMG GT Four-Door Coupe at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. It is built from the ground up as a sports car with the added practicality of a sedan. Although AMG has worked its magic on several Mercedes models, the four-door sports coupe is only the third purpose-built AMG car ever — the previous two were both two-door supercars. The German carmaker introduced three different variants of the sports coupe with different engine options, but the range-topping AMG GT 63 and its more potent S version are the only ones expected to arrive in India.
BMW 8 Series
BMW will bring back the famed 8-Series from the dead as a replacement for the two-door 6 Series. Developed alongside the M8 GTE race car, the all-new BMW 8 Series coupe was unveiled at this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The flagship luxury grand tourer is slightly wider, lower and shorter than the 6-Series coupe, and has been introduced in two variants: M850i xDrive and the 840d xDrive, with the former being the more hardcore of the two. It gets the same 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 as the new M5, which produces 530 horsepower. While the outside is sporty and aggressive, the cabin is uber luxurious and comes with all the bells and whistles of high-tech features and amenities. It will compete against the Mercedes-Benz S Coupe once it goes on sale this year.
2019 Mercedes-Benz GLE
Mercedes unveiled the new GLE at the Paris Motor Show, and it arrives with evolutionary styling updates along with a long list of cutting-edge tech features. The mid-size luxury SUV has grown in size as compared to the outgoing model. However, despite its bigger footprint, it has a lower drag coefficient of 0.29, versus 0.32 of the previous generation, making it the most aerodynamic model in its class. One of the features on the new GLE is its advanced suspension system, which is even more high-tech than the one found on the flagship S-class. The cabin of the SUV looks similar to the newly-updated Mercedes cars, which includes two 12.3-inch digital displays as standard and a larger touchpad in the centre console that replaces the rotary dial.
The Swedish car manufacturer recently unveiled the third-generation S60, which is expected to arrive in India in the first quarter of 2019. The new S60 is the latest in Volvo’s product portfolio to receive the company’s updated design language, including the instantly recognizable Thor’s Hammer headlights and the new cabin design with the Sensus Connect infotainment systems. It’s built on the same Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform that underpins the entire updated 60 and 90 series Volvos. The third generation S60 will also be the first Volvo manufactured in the United States. When it goes on sale, it will compete with the new BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and the recently updated Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
BMW recently debuted the third-generation model of its Z4 roadster, which has been updated with a completely fresh design inside out. Gone are the sleek headlights, which have been replaced by big, bold lamps that flank a more muscular looking version of BMW signature kidney grilles. The hard folding roof has been swapped with a fabric soft-top to keep the overall weight as low as possible. The new Z4 will come equipped with the latest iDrive infotainment features, dual displays and the new BMW Driving Assistant Professional. The roadster has been jointly developed with Toyota and will be available in two versions: a 382 horsepower six-cylinder M40i and a 255 horsepower four-cylinder 30i.
2019 Porsche Macan
Launched in 2014, the mid-size sporty SUV has been a great success for Porsche and is the bestselling model in many of its key markets. Porsche has thus decided only to add mild updates to the car’s aesthetics and focus on performance. In terms of design, the front gets new LED headlights and a redesigned bumper, while the rear has received a familiar-looking LED taillight strip that stretches across the entire width of the vehicle. The engine options for India are yet to be announced, but Porsche won’t sell a diesel Macan any longer. Instead, the entry-level variant gets a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with 242 horsepower on tap. Two new V6 engines with more power are expected to be announced soon.
Jaguar E Pace
Jaguar introduced the E Pace compact luxury crossover last year as its 2nd production SUV model. The E Pace is Jaguar’s SUV to compete with the likes of the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Volvo XC40 and Mercedes GLA and is predicted to replace the F Pace as Jaguar’s highest selling car in the near future. The design of the compact SUV borrows a lot from its bigger sibling, the F Pace, which includes the signature grille, headlights and sleek taillights. It is underpinned by a platform which is borrowed from the Land Rover Discovery and Range Rover Evoque. It will be available in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive versions, along with a choice between diesel and petrol versions of the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Ingenium engine.
Porsche 911 992
The 992 generation Porsche 911 is yet to be officially unveiled and is expected to arrive in India in the last quarter of 2019 at the earliest. Strangely, however, Porsche has made no effort to hide the prototypes of the new 911 under camouflage ahead of its debut. It has been widely photographed, giving us enough information on the design changes. As expected with all new 911s, these are evolutionary and the 992 generation 911 continues to carry all the signature design cues of the rear-engined sports car. The car is longer and wider than the outgoing model and has conservative design changes that include new LED taillight strip, new front and rear bumper design and new active spoiler. Porsche has focused on making the new 911 more aggressive while still maintaining its everyday usability.
The fourth-generation Audi A8 was unveiled at the Audi Summit in Barcelona 2017 and has been on sale in international markets since late last year. However, Audi's flagship sedan’s launch in India has been delayed, and is now expected to arrive in early 2019. The design of the new A8 is based on the Audi Prologue concept that was showcased back in 2014. It’s not only longer and wider than the outgoing model but also looks sharper, thanks to the slim headlights and OLED tail lamps. The cabin has been completely revamped, which comes with a new and improved infotainment system and carmaker's popular Virtual Cockpit. Like the current A8, the fourth-generation luxury limo will be available only in the long wheelbase version in India.