It’s November once again and that means auto show season has started. Automakers are rolling out their finest efforts to try and garner press that will help drive sales for the 2020 model year. While it is fun to browse through the dream machines that engineers and designers are hoping to build ten years down the road it is even more satisfying to see what they have already made a reality. You could end up test driving something in the next year that sweeps you away.
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Almost 25 years after his death, Zora Arkus-Duntov’s vision of a mid-engine Corvette is finally becoming a reality in 2020. Though it still sports the basic Stingray design language, the 6.2L V-8 powered Vette benefits from substantially improved aerodynamics and weight distribution, giving it the best handling characteristic it has ever known. Dubbed the LT2, this new powerplant produces 490 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torques. It will be tied to another first for the Corvette, an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission feeding an electronic limited-slip rear differential.
With CUVs like the Lamborghini Urus, Bentley Bentayga, and Maserati Levante starting to dominate the luxury and ultra-luxury car markets, it was just a matter of time before Aston would have to enter the race. Though the concept car shown last year was a 3-door crossover, the Aston Martin DBX is a more conventional 5-door design powered by a Mercedes-Benz/AMG 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine. With a sticker price of $192,000, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the BMX comes standard with an air suspension with adaptive dampers and delivers 0 to 60 mph in just 4.3 seconds performance.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is making changes across most of the brands that now fall under its prevue and one of the most exciting is the two-door coupe version of the Giulia sedan reviving the GTV badge. While FCA still isn’t coming completely clean about this mid-year release what is known is that this mild hybrid will be an AWD configuration featuring 50:50 weight distribution with torque vectoring and have a 3.0-liter V6 engine producing 600 hp thanks to an E-Boost system. The target price point is $43,000 for the standard configuration and $78,000 for the upscale GTV Quadrifoglio.
People have been lamenting the loss of the Bronco since 1996, and finally, after 24 years, Ford has cleaned the cotton out of its ears and hopes to have it on showroom floors by late 2020. The new mid-size Bronco is slated to be direct competition for the Jeep Wrangler and is supposed to come stock with front and rear Dana axles and AdvanTEK gear technology. Drivetrain options will include a 270-horsepower 2.3L turbocharged 4-cylinder or a 2.7L EcoBoost V-6 paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Let us all take just a moment and say a small prayer that Audi has learned a few lessons since the debacle of the R8 E-Tron. Since then, the German company does seem to have started taking electrics a lot more seriously. They have been working on several EVs, and while they haven’t released too many details at this point, rumor has it that the Audi E-Tron Sportback will be making an appearance on American shores very soon.
It is not a bit surprising if you are not familiar with Rimac C_Two or the company that builds them as there are only 150 examples being built. They sell for more than 2 million dollars, and only two examples will make it outside of Europe. It is an all-electric supercar built in Croatia that sports such distinctive features as Level 4 autonomous capabilities with artificial intelligence, a body made almost entirely of carbon-fiber, a 1,888-horsepower powertrain and 0-60 times of 1.85 seconds.
It has been 21 years since the last Toyota Supra rolled off the assembly line, and considering what the new ones are like, it may have been worth the wait. Being built in Austria in the same plant as the BMW Z4, the new Supra has very aggressive styling as it should. The car will be powered by BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine producing 335 horsepower and 365 pound-feet of torque putting its hp/lbs. ratio above both the new Corvette and the Porsche Cayman that it is destined to compete with.
If you love the idea of the Rimac C_Two but only want to spend a dime on the dollar, then the $200,000 Tesla Mk2 Roadster is the car you have been looking for. It is a tad slower off the line taking 1.9 seconds to go 0-60 mph and 4.2 to reach 100, its top end is a little lower maxing out at just over 250 mph, but it is a 4-seater and does actually have a trunk. If you can live with the reduced performance, it is a worthwhile trade-off.
For the 2020 model year, BMW is introducing 26 new or redesigned M cars. Getting special attention is the traditional crowd favorite the M3, which will be powered by the S58 inline-six 3.0-liter turbo engine. It will also now be available with both a manual and automatic transmission and come in two and AWD drive with one little catch; the stick-shift will only come as a two-wheel-drive and the automatic as an AWD with no crossover capability available.
As one of the newest car companies in the U.S. market, Genesis is making a lot of waves with its low prices and high-quality standards. For 2020 this trend is slated to continue with the introduction of its rear-wheel-drive GV 80 sedan. Not much is known as yet, but it supposedly will have the slotted headlights of the prototype and be offered with a 3.3L twin-turbo V-6 producing 365 horsepower and 376 lb-ft of torque, a naturally aspirated 3.8L V-6 with 311 hp and 293 lb-ft of torque and possibly a fuel-injected 5.0L V8.
The return of storied nameplates is a continuing trend as FCA has announced that it intends to join Ford and Chevy in reviving its past full-size SUV lines the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Few specifics are known at this time, but it is suspected that both will ride on the next-gen Ram 1500 truck platforms and offer similar powertrain options. If rumors are true, the GW reintroduction will mark the first time Jeep has offered a true three-row SUV since the Grand Wagoneer was dropped in the early 90s.
The Bronco’s return may be the dominant narrative coming out of the blue oval press room, but there is another Ford off-roader scheduled to hit the street in 2020, the Baby Bronco. From the images that have been leaked so far, it will be a Land Roverish type four-door crossover supposedly built tough enough to challenge Jeeps over rough terrain. This is a tall order for any vehicle, much less one that has yet to see the light of day.
Volvo has finally seen fit to make Polestar a standalone brand, and their first offering, aptly named the Polestar 1, is nothing but magnificent. The 1 is a two-door plug-in hybrid coupe that features a gasoline engine in the front attached to an electric motor with two more electrics in the rear, giving it a total output capability of 600 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. The electric-only range is just 93 miles put with the gasoline backup; there shouldn’t be any need for range anxiety.
Over the last few years, Cadillac has shown an inclination towards building smaller cars that still deliver the luxury and drivability that you expect from a Cadi. They are continuing that trend in 2020 with the introduction of the CT5 featuring a fastback design. The base model is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that produces 237 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, but you can step up to a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder that produces 335 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque and even add AWD.
Bringing back a class of vehicle that has been missing from a brand for 25 years and a name that has been gone for three decades has to make the Jeep Gladiator the biggest comeback story of the year. Based on the tried and true Wrangler platform, the Gladiator can be had powered by a 285 horsepower 3.6L V6 or 3.0L turbo-diesel V-6 producing 260 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. Staying true to its heritage and namesake, it comes with removable doors and top and has a fold-down windshield.