British car manufacturers, sadly, are no longer the powerhouses they once were. But there’s still plenty to get excited about in 2020.
Although some aren’t strictly British anymore – for example, Land Rover now being owned by an Indian company and Vauxhall French, they’re still marques we associate with these isles.
And they’re just two of several big British car manufacturers who have some very exciting additions to the automotive industry coming over the next 10 months.
Aston Martin DBX
Many thought Aston Martin wouldn’t crumble to the pressures of the SUV world, but we’re so glad they did.
The DBX takes Aston Martin’s achingly-beautiful detailing and combines it with a more imposing presence, creating a unique mixture of sleek and strength – evident in its beautiful bonded aluminium bodywork for toughness and low weight.
Under the bonnet sits the same V8 heart that’s found in the Vantage, although Aston Martin’s engineers have been busy bleeding out 39 more bhp and a further 11 lb-ft of torque compared to the sports car.
The DBX will also be the first, and only Aston Martin road car to feature their all-wheel-drive system and an all-new nine-speed gearbox.
It’s clear that Aston Martin is putting a lot on the DBX being a success, and there’s no reason it shouldn’t be. But it’s not the only car they’re lining up in 2020 – with the open-top Vantage Roadster also set to land this year.
From one end of the scale to the other, Mini is set to bring out their all-electric hatchback this year.
Yes, they’re owned by BMW which, technically, makes them German, but there’s nothing quite as quintessentially British as the little Mini. And now there’s a new one to get excited over.
Although the styling comes from the Cooper, it doesn’t take the famous name. Instead, you can either have an Electric Level 1, 2 or 3.
They all roughly give you the same output – a range between 140-145 miles from a full charge, but it’s inside where the main differences lie.
Each spec comes with Mini Navigation, which has all the UK’s charging points integrated into the system, a digital cockpit, cruise control and dual-zone air conditioning.
With Level 2, you get rear parking aids, heated seats and Mini’s driving assistance pack. And at the top of the scale, you’ll have more paint and design options, a bigger touchscreen, panoramic roof, full leather and a self-park system.
And who said owning an electric car had to be boring?
Land Rover Defender
Although it’s not the biggest headline involving the new Land Rover Defender – that belongs to its all-new quite frankly jaw-dropping styling and interior – Land Rover gave us another reason to get excited over the legend reincarnated.
That belonged to its latest advert; the new Defender in action in the new James Bond film; No Time To Die.
Many doubted the new Defender’s capabilities when first announced, simply because, inside and out, it looks fantastic. But Land Rover has once again proven that off-road bullishness and refined, subtle luxury don’t have to be separate entities.
From every angle, the Defender looks robust, including underneath its eye-catching skin, with a unique monocoque frame making it the strongest vehicle Land Rover offers.
You’ll have a choice of turbocharged petrol or diesel engines, as well as four alternative styling packs; the Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban.
Land Rover has outdone themselves with the new Defender, and although it may not be to everyone’s liking, it’s a true testament to what can be achieved both on and off-road.
For three years we’ve been waiting for Ariel’s 1180bhp hybrid supercar, and according to reports, 2020 is the time we’ll see it.
Initially targeted for a 2019 release, many thought the programme had been mothballed by the Somerset company when there was no Hipercar to be seen, but apparently that’s not the case.
There aren’t a great number of details available just yet from Ariel’s attempt to rewrite the supercar book, but the projected numbers are incredibly impressive.
More than 1,100bhp, four-wheel drive, 0-100mph in under 4 seconds – if it turns out to be true, we could have a genuine gamechanger on our hands.
Let’s hope we’re not waiting too much longer to find out.
What’s being dubbed as the replacement for McLaren’s famous F1, the McLaren Speedtail has big shoes to fill.
Three-seated, with the driven plonked at centre stage, there isn’t another road-going car which gives you quite the sense of theatre.
Topping out at 250mph and taking just 13 seconds to reach 136, the Speedtail seems an extremely apt name.
And although some of the finer details are still to be released, the V8 hybrid, like the F1, is certainly a car that defines its era.
A substantial part of that is its customisation options. From basics such as colour all the way to a finer-weave carbon fibre which allows images and words to be included in the very construction of your vehicle – you can really make it one-of-a-kind.
Jumping to something slightly less dramatic but just as eye-catching is Jaguar’s refresh to their incredibly popular F-Type.
Hunkered to the road, the aggressively-styled sports car is one of the best looking out there. Stunning from every angle, it takes its quality feel to the interior, too.
With a new infotainment system and materials more aligned with Jaguar’s I-Pace, inside feels like a true Jaguar should – classy, elegant and refined.
Meanwhile, its powertrain is anything but. There’s no V6 option with the new F-Type. Instead, you have the choice of one of two V8 engines or a 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder number which spits out almost 300bhp.
And it’s this paradox which makes the new Jaguar a truly unique experience.
Again, no longer strictly British, and technically announced in 2019, the Lotus Evija still deserves a mention – as it’s only this year the all-new hypercar will be going into production.
Just 130 will be made, and they’ll be eye-wateringly expensive, but for one good reason.
The Lotus Evija will be the most powerful production car ever built, and it’s fully electric.
It’s set to have more than 1,900bhp. It will blast through 60mph in under three seconds and will only need three more to reach 124. Another three you’ll be at 186mph and well on your way to the Evija’s top speed of over 200mph.
A slick aero package and carbon fibre monocoque chassis will make the two-seater all-electric space rocket feel like a true Lotus. And its clever power distribution should make it untouchable around pretty much any track.
But with five different driving modes and luxurious interior, the Evija is also something for everyday life – if that everyday life includes having around £2m to spend on a car.
Sticking with the electric car theme, although most likely coming with a slightly more swallowable price tag, the Corsa-e VXR is also set to hit the production lines this year.
Widely reported as defunct, Vauxhall – now owned by French automotive giant PSA – has decided to bring back its VXR performance arm for two models; the Corsa-e and, somewhat surprisingly, Vivaro-e.
There are no performance statistics to peruse over just yet, but it has been confirmed that the Corsa-e VXR will receive a once over from Vauxhall’s styling department. And if history is anything to go by, expect bigger tyres, body kit and a plusher interior, with plenty of VXR branding.
If they decide to tweak the powertrain, the Corsa-e VXR could realistically challenge for the hottest hatchback crown.
Already reaching 62mph in 8.1 seconds, the standard Corsa-e is no slouch, and if they match the feats of the previous VXR’s tuning, the all-electric hatch could be seriously quick.
The best of British
There we have it, eight incredible vehicles to get yourself excited over in 2020.
If you’re interested in new cars, we’ll be taking a more in-depth look at the e-Corsa next month, as well as many others over the coming year. So, make sure you visit our website regularly for updates and follow us on social media.
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