You might still be waiting impatiently for your next car, but the shortage of computer chips isn’t stopping this year’s new model launches. From supercars to superminis, hybrids to hot hatchbacks, here are all the new models you can look forward to over the next 12 months:
Aston Martin Valkyrie: An Adrian Newey-designed hypercar that gets 1160bhp from a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre Cosworth V12 sounds pretty appealing, right? And that’s before you hear it at full chat. There’s an open-roof Spider version, and a track-only AMR Pro that ditches the road-going car’s hybrid system – the latter essentially being a Le Mans prototype you can buy. As long as you’re exceptionally wealthy, anyway.
Kia Sportage: Kia’s best-seller is nearly 30 years old, but this is the first time that there has been a dedicated European version. Heavily inspired by the electric Kia EV6, the new-look Sportage will arrive with both traditional and plug-in hybrid options. It promises to be more dynamic to drive than the outgoing model, too.
Morgan Plus 8 GTR: The first of nine “gloves-off” roadsters, built from unused Plus 8 chassis (understood to have been reacquired by Morgan following the unsuccessful revival of Bristol Motors) has been completed. The rest are due in the next few months. All use a BMW V8 pumping out close to 400bhp, which can be paired to a manual gearbox – making this a proper last-of-its-kind Brit brawler.
Skoda Fabia: The Czech firm’s supermini gets a new look and a new platform shared with the roomy Seat Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo. That’s a huge change, given every previous iteration has relied on versions of the PQ architecture introduced with the Mk1 Fabia in 1999. It’s larger, more refined, crammed with in-car tech and available with a range of petrol three- and four-cylinder engines.
Volkswagen Polo GTI: VW’s pocket rocket is restyled and back on sale with a 204bhp turbocharged petrol engine – but still offered exclusively with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. With a design heavily influenced by the eighth-generation Golf, the new Polo is a more mature hot supermini than its Ford Fiesta ST and Hyundai i20 N rivals.
Alpine A110: You don’t mess with perfection, so the facelift for Renault’s lightweight sports coupé centres on specification tweaks. Entry-level cars continue to focus on lightness, while the step-up GT gets 296bhp. The flagship A110 S keeps its sportier focus and more dramatic aero package. The biggest upgrades are inside the cabin, with a new infotainment system that brings Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
BMW i4: BMW’s Tesla Model 3 rival is essentially an electric 4 Series Gran Coupé, with up to 536bhp in range-topping i4 M50 trim, a maximum range of 367 miles and that divisive front grille. Could easily convince a significant number of compact executive owners to make the switch to EVs.
DS 4: DS is having a crack at the premium hatchback and crossover markets with a model that straddles both, while keeping prices on the palatable side. Available with plug-in hybrid or conventional ICE power, it’s distinctive and different enough from its Stellantis stablemates. Will it be a surprise hit with British buyers?
DS 9: The big French saloon returns at last as Citroën’s premium spin-off creates an Audi A6 rival. It will offer 355bhp in its top-flight plug-in hybrid form, and promises distinctive looks that should appeal to those shopping at the premium end of the market. Whether ride comfort can compete with the German rivals remains to be seen.
Ford Fiesta: Production stoppages have sent the Fiesta tumbling off the sales chart top spot, but a new look and enhanced kit could propel it back up there once the factory is back at capacity. LED headlights are now standard across the range, analogue dials have been replaced with a digital instrument cluster, and the hot ST variant stands out better thanks to a redesigned front end.
Ford Focus: Similar design tweaks and overhauled infotainment for Fiesta’s bigger sibling. Every version has been given a revised look, including the potent Ford Focus ST and more rugged Ford Focus Active, while inside the cabin an all-new 12.3in infotainment display uses Ford’s latest Sync 4 operating system.
Genesis Electrified G80: This stately rival for the Mercedes EQS brings 365bhp, gets from 0-60mph in 4.9sec and offers a range of more than 311 miles. Visually identical to the ICE-powered Genesis G80, it remains a distinctive premium executive – only now it has the silent running to match its serene driving experience.
Lexus NX: Lexus’s best-seller ushers in PHEV power for its second generation. Exterior styling is more evolution than revolution, but the interior has been overhauled with a big focus on technology and ease of use, courtesy of a large touchscreen infotainment display. A regular hybrid will follow shortly after.
Mazda CX-5: A new grille and headlights mark out the updated CX-5, but more significant are the claimed improvements to ride comfort, safety and usability. Riding on Mazda’s Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, the new model will offer a dedicated off-road mode for its all-wheel drive versions, via Mi-Drive selectable drive modes.
Mercedes-AMG EQS 53: AMG’s first fully electric performance car – a limousine, no less – will rival the Porsche Taycan Turbo S with a dual-motor set-up offering up to 751bhp. Visual changes might be minimal compared to the regular EQS, with a bespoke front grille being the most obvious, but AMG-specific tuning of the motors and steering should deliver the firm’s trademark dynamism.
Mercedes-AMG SL: An old-school delight: the reborn SL is a 2+2 roadster with a fabric roof and a choice of two V8s. The top SL 63 gets 577bhp and all-wheel drive to rival the Porsche 911 as well as interior technology shared with the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and EQS limousines. It does weigh two tonnes, though.
Volkswagen Taigo: Already offered in South America, this new petrol-engined crossover is similar in size to the T-Cross but supposedly sleeker, with a coupé-like rear-end and bespoke front-end styling. The T-Cross hasn’t proven too popular here in the UK – perhaps the Taigo can do better and give VW a more prominent place in the compact crossover wars.
Audi A8: New infotainment, trick headlights and a visual spruce-up for Audi’s S-Class rival. The A8 continues to fly the flag for ICE engines, with a choice of petrol and diesel as well as plug-in hybrid power. The V8-powered S8 performance variant returns as well, with 563bhp, a sport differential and all-wheel steering as standard.
BMW 2 Series Active Tourer: BMW’s family favourite gets a ground-up refresh with an exterior inspired by the latest generation 1 Series, plus an interior that borrows plenty from the iX electric flagship SUV. Petrol and diesel engines will be available from launch, with a 322bhp PHEV option set to follow later.
Cupra Born: This sportier take on the Volkswagen ID 3 will land first with a 58kWh battery, with 45kWh and 77kWh variants to follow. It might not have any more power than the VW at launch, but Cupra’s first EV aims to be more dynamic, and has more distinctive styling. A range-topping 231bhp variant is due to arrive later in the year.
Ferrari 296 GTB: Maranello hasn’t made a V6 road car since the 1974 Dino 246 and didn’t even deem that car potent enough to wear the Prancing Horse emblem. It has no such qualms about the 819bhp 296 GTB, however, which will take on the Maserati MC20 and McLaren Artura with plug-in hybrid power and a 3.0-litre six-pot.
GMA T50: Nearly every aspect of the spiritual successor to the legendary McLaren F1 is astounding, not least its new Cosworth V12, but the centrally mounted fan at the rear – which can create a ‘virtual long tail’ at full speed – is one thing in particular that we can’t wait to witness in action.
Lamborghini Countach LPI 800-4: Welcome to 1974 – sort of. The Countach is a delightfully nostalgic but extremely up-to-date reimagining of the ultimate poster car, with more than 803bhp from its hybridised V12, shared with the Lamborghini Sian FKP 37, and a raft of bespoke design cues inspired by the original 70s icon. It’s already sold out.
Land Rover Bowler CSP 575: Bowler is readying a road-legal rally weapon with a 567bhp supercharged V8 and bodywork from the original Land Rover Defender. It will be Bowler’s first road-going car since being acquired by Land Rover in 2019, with around 12 CSP 575s set to be built per year, and prices starting at £200,000.
Mercedes-AMG S63 S E Performance: For when you have a track session at 10am and a shareholder meeting at 12pm. The hot hybrid version of the new S-Class is tipped to pair AMG’s thumping 4.0-litre petrol V8 with a 201bhp electric motor on the rear axle for your choice of prodigious performance and zero-emissions journeys.
Ora Cat: Chinese EV brand Ora will arrive here with a retro-styled Volkswagen ID 3 rival offering a 261-mile range for £25,000. A single motor on the front axle delivers 169bhp and 184lb ft, which the firm says is good for 0-30mph in 3.8sec, and 0-62mph in 8.5. Smartphone-based remote control over certain settings and over-the-air updates promise to keep it competitive with more established rivals.
Peugeot 308: The substantially overhauled family hatch and estate will offer petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains from launch. Peugeot’s latest design cues are all present and correct, including the “lion’s tooth” daytime running lights and tech-focused i-cockpit interior. No news yet on the rumoured PSE-badged four-wheel-drive hybrid hot hatch, meaning the 222bhp PHEV is the model of choice for early adopters with an eye on performance.
Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS: We like the 4.0-litre-powered Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 and we like the Porsche 911 GT3, so this jaw-dropping creation, which blends the best of both, will do us very nicely, we would wager. 493bhp, a weight-saving regime and an overhauled aero package promise a 0-62mph time of just 3.4sec. Bets are off for Britain’s Best Driver’s Car 2022.
Tesla Model Y: The high-riding rework of the Model 3 compact exec is an excellent electric SUV. It’s taken a long time to arrive in the UK, but first impressions suggest it has largely been worth the wait. Tesla’s supercharger network remains unrivaled and the Performance version is startlingly quick. For reasons why we’ve under-rated and/or overrated it, turn to social media now.
Toyota GR86: We loved the Toyota GT86’s replacement when we drove it late last year. It doesn’t dramatically alter the formula, but improves on the original with a larger, torquier 2.4-litre engine (still naturally aspirated, of course) and extra agility through the twisties. We’re unspeakably excited to subject the new two-seat sports coupé to our unrivalled road test at some point this year.
Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S 4DR Coupe E Performance: Affalterbach’s first plug-in hybrid is its most powerful road car yet, packing 831bhp and more than 1000lb ft of torque. The Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid rival will clear the 0-62mph sprint in just 2.9sec and top out at 196mph – or deliver around 7 miles of zero-emissions running per charge for those with a lighter foot.
Vauxhall Astra: The Astra has long been one of Britain’s best-selling cars, and this new version is hugely significant – even if it will no longer be produced at Ellesmere Port. Using the same Stellantis platform as the new Peugeot 308, it will be offered initially with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains (the EV version won’t arrive until 2023).
Volkswagen ID 5: A rakish-roofed version of Volkswagen’s ID 4 electric SUV. Internally similar, albeit with a faster version of the firm’s controversial new infotainment system, we’re more excited by the prospect of the hot GTX version arriving at the same time. Expect 295bhp and a 0-62mph time of 6.3sec.
Volvo C40 Recharge: The Swedish firm’s first electric-only model is effectively a coupé-influenced version of the XC40 Recharge electric SUV. It’s equally rapid as that car’s top spec P8 version, with dual 201bhp motors allowing for a sub-5.0sec 0-62mph dash. A 78kWh battery promises a range of around 260 miles.
Alpina B4 Gran Coupe and D4 Gran Coupe: The 462bhp Mk3 ’bahnstormer gets a second pair of doors for the first time, if our spy shots and rumours online are any indication. A two-door could follow, but for now the four-wheel drive GC will no doubt share the latest B3’s twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol straight six. Expect a sub 4.0-sec 0-62mph time, but with a torque figure that will be shamed by the diesel engined D4, with enough torque to pull a house down.
It will bring its own dynamic character, too, courtesy of a predominantly comfort-focused suspension tune and adaptive dampers aimed at enhancing turn-in response. As is traditional for Alpina, both the B4 and D4 will be marked out from their standard BMW counterparts by way of subtle bodykits with Alpina badging, unique colour schemes and the choice of the tuner’s distinctive 20-spoke alloy wheels.
Aston Martin DBX S: With 542bhp and 516lb ft, Aston Martin’s first SUV is hardly what you would call asthmatic, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be given a touch more poke. A hardcore ‘S’ version is inbound, most likely packing in excess of 600bhp from its Mercedes-AMG-derived V8 and no doubt with suitably stiffened suspension and racier styling.
Aston Martin V12 Vantage: Aston Martin has finally confirmed that its largest engine will find its way into its smallest car for 2022. That’s a tantalising enough prospect in its own right, no doubt, but as critics voice concern about the potential homogenisation of Astons under former Mercedes-AMG boss Tobias Moers, it’s also a welcome indication that Gaydon’s finest still know how to have a bit of fun.
But our first drive of this creation (which has the potential to be nothing short of wondrous, given how much praise we’ve already heaped on the existing Vantage’s chassis and DB11’s sonorous V12) will be a bittersweet moment. Because, as all good things must come to an end, this will be the last outing for the V12 Vantage name.
So, a fitting finale for both one of our favourite sports cars and one of our favourite engines? You would certainly think so. Chances are that it will pack upwards of 650bhp, crack the 0-62mph sprint in well under four seconds and – if Aston’s engineers have managed to mitigate the weight of a heftier powerplant than the V8 – whip round a circuit with the best of ’em.
In fairness, though, you would probably have just as good a time taking it through a long tunnel with the windows down.
Bentley Flying Spur PHEV: The electrification of Bentley continues apace with a plug-in hybrid variant of the Flying Spur saloon. It pairs a 2.9-litre V6 with a 134bhp motor for a total output of 536bhp, getting it to 62mph in just over 4.0sec, while a 14.1kWh battery yields an electric range of more than 25 miles.
BMW 8 Series: Luxury GT comes in for a mid-life pit stop, with updates on the subtle side. Minor exterior and interior enhancements will be the order of the day, with any power and torque adjustments likely to be even less significant. As such, the range-topping M8 will continue to blitz 0-62mph in just 3.2 seconds.
BMW iX M60: As if it needed to get any lairier (at least the grille isn’t any bigger), BMW’s brash new electric SUV will gain a 611bhp performance range-topper, with a 0-62mph time of less than 4.0sec and priced from £111,905. Customers should expect a 357-mile range, slightly down on the regular iX.
BMW X2: Tweaked coupé-SUV has been testing with barely any disguise, suggesting that a debut is imminent. As with most minor facelifts, repositioned lights and restyled bumpers are the order of the day, while the infotainment should be updated to match newer cars.
Citroen Ami: Call us Autoquadricycle, because we’re big fans of this quirky urban two-seat EV, even if it maxes out at just 28mph. Originally built purely for the domestic French market, Citroen responded to UK public pressure and decided to offer it here as well.
Land Rover Range Rover: As one of the most important cars revealed last year, it warranted six pages of news, covering every angle and specification detail imaginable. But honestly, when we were first shown around the reborn Rangie, it was the ‘club table’ in the rear that truly captivated us, and you really do have to see it in action to appreciate it. Yes, yes, it’s no less than the fifth iteration of the ‘original luxury SUV’, it will provide the basis for Land Rover’s first electric car and it serves as a bellwether for the very future of Britain’s biggest car manufacturer, but seriously: this table.
Fitted to the four-seat SV model, it’s mounted on a meticulously sculpted piece of billet aluminium that rises hypnotically from the back of the centre console – a process tested some 11,000 times by Land Rover’s engineers – to provide a flexible dining-area-cum-desk for the aristocratic rear-seat passengers.
It’s remarkable, perhaps, that in this era of touchscreen ubiquity and all-encompassing connectivity, a folding table should even catch the eye. But just as important in this segment are those special elements that imbue a sense of occasion, and that’s something the Range Rover has always done rather well.
It’s just one of an array of party tricks that should help bolster the appeal of what’s already one of the most covetable cars on sale. But don’t worry: we will sit up front when we’re allowed out on the road for the first time to make sure that this Range Rover is as impressive to drive as it is to sit in.
Mazda 2 Hybrid: For the new Mazda 2 Hybrid, read the Suzuki Across. Because just like the Across is a rebadged Toyota RAV4, so the new supermini from Mazda looks like the Toyota Yaris and goes like the Yaris, because it is the Yaris, just with Mazda badges.
Porsche Taycan GTS: The best version of the best performance EV? It fills the gap between the 4S and the Turbo, with the same motors front and rear as the Taycan Turbo but with power pegged to 590bhp instead of 670bhp, even though its torque is the same substantial 626lb ft. The result? A slot in our dream garage.
Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo: Taycan estate comes closer to the ground and drops its off-road styling, but keeps the excellent handling balance and scintillating performance. Pub-chat ammo: the GTS version’s full name is the Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo Gran Turismo Sport. Try saying that with your mouth full of peanuts.
Skoda Karoq: Small SUV gains mild redesign and new interior kit. A vegan-friendly eco pack has been added as an option, while it’s also more efficient than before. Thanks to a longer, body-coloured rear spoiler, a front apron with air curtains, an aerodynamically optimised fuel tank and new alloy wheel designs available in 17in, 18in and 19in diameters, Skoda claims the changes contribute to a 9% reduction in drag, to a Cd of 0.30.
Toyota Aygo X: Toyota hasn’t saved the city car, but it’s still refreshing to see a major firm launch a new one. It has been reinvented as a miniature SUV, with rugged styling and the addition of an X to its name. It’s priced from £14,795 and comes with 17in wheels, a 7.0in touchscreen, mobile app connectivity and a reversing camera as standard.
Volkswagen Multivan: The successor to the Caravelle has been extensively reworked, with prices starting from £43,160. It’s now based on a version of Volkswagen’s MQB car platform, rather than being a converted van, but still comes with short- or long-wheelbase bodies. Equally, the two-tone colour scheme and loads of space remains.
Volkswagen T-Roc: Hugely popular SUV (over one million have been sold worldwide) gains a mid-life facelift, with revised styling and minor tweaks to the petrol and diesel engines. Inside, it gains a new 8.0in digital instrument display and new free-standing 6.5in (optionally 8.0in and 9.2in) touchscreen infotainment display.The R-Model remains as the hot one.
Citroen C5X: Is it a saloon, an SUV or an estate? We can’t decide. But Citroën hopes it will revive the stagnant large car market. Like a lot of rivals, it will come with either pure petrol or petrol PHEV powertrains, while fans of Citroens of old will be pleased to see it uses a hydraulic cushion suspension set-up, aping the driving style of historic Citroën saloon cars such as the DS and CX.
Dacia Jogger: Segment-straddling Sandero sibling is the UK’s cheapest seven-seater, starting from £14,995. To keep costs down, there aren’t any fancy, drop-into-the-floor folding seats but what buyers will get is more of the no-nonsense Dacia sensibilities that have characterised all the firm’s cars. Air conditioning, cruise control and rear parking sensors equipped as standard across the range.
Genesis GV60: Genesis’s first EV is a crossover that shares the impressively well-rounded E-GMP platform with the acclaimed Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6. Like those cars, it gets a four-wheel-drive, dual-motor range-topper with performance “comparable to a sports car”. We’ll be the judge of that.
Lexus RZ: Prepare to see the production version of Lexus’s first bespoke EV model in the next few months (as the UX range is also available as a regular hybrid). The RZ crossover will use the same e-TNGA platform as the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra but place more of an emphasis on driver engagement.
Lotus Emira: This is an all-new Lotus sports car, and that’s a phrase we haven’t said since the Evora arrived in 2009. The first Emiras employ a familiar Toyota-sourced supercharged V6 and are priced from £75,995, and an entry-level car will arrive a year later with a turbocharged four-pot from Mercedes-AMG.
Maserati Grecale: The Grecale is Maserati’s crucial new crossover, using underpinnings from the dynamic Alfa Romeo Stelvio and bringing the option of a fiery new 3.0-litre petrol V6. But it will also get a fantastically named EV: the Folgore (which means ‘lightning’ in Italian).
Mercedes-AMG C63: To a certain extent, the new scorching versions of the C-Class saloon and estate will be business as usual. More than 500bhp and the sort of exhaust note that will keep the most po-faced amused. But there’s a twist this time around – gone is the V8, replaced with a hybridised and turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Bold new days indeed.
Mercedes-Benz A-Class: Stuttgart’s hugely popular rival to the Audi A3 Sportback is about to tick past the four-year mark, so expect some light fettling in the year ahead. The A-Class was one of the first to get Merc’s new infotainment system, dubbed MBUX, so significant interior hardware changes are unlikely. But software tweaks and fettled exterior looks will likely be the order of the day.
Mercedes-Benz EQT: This is a cool MPV. No, seriously. The EQT concept, developed in partnership with Renault, previewed the design of the new T-Class’s electric sibling (a Volkswagen Caddy rival), but there’s no word yet on if the integrated skateboard carrier will survive…
Porsche Cayenne: New bumpers and a lightly overhauled cabin for Stuttgart’s biggest model. And why does Porsche need to bother with much more, as the Cayenne range has been constantly fettled since it was launched. Now available with a total of 13 different models to choose from, including the new Cayenne Turbo GT, there really is a version to cover most bases.
Vauxhall Grandland: A major mid-life facelift featuring the new, familial Vizor grille has brought a dash of much-needed style to Vauxhall’s mid-size SUV. Meanwhile, the Grandland has also lost the X from its name. Perhaps Vauxhall sold it to Toyota for the new Aygo?
Wey Coffee 01: Chinese company Great Wall’s premium brand will arrive in the UK with this oddly named plug-in hybrid SUV, which has a claimed 93-mile electric-only range from its 40kWH battery. The ICE element runs to a 201bhp 2.0-litre Miller cycle engine mated to twin electric motors positioned on each axle for all-wheel drive. Will it offer a gold blend of features? Sorry.
Alfa Romeo Tonale: The launch of Alfa Romeo’s small SUV, the concept of which was one of the stars of the last Geneva motor show in 2019, was reportedly delayed because its new boss wanted a better PHEV system. It takes design influence from the Stelvio and is key to plans to grow Alfa’s sales dramatically.
BMW M4 CS: Following the example of the five-star M5 CS, the M4 will lose weight (the M5 CS lost 70kg compared to the standard car) and gain power in pursuit of ’Ring supremacy. Power from the M4’s 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight six could be bumped up over its standard 503bhp output, cutting the 0-62mph time down from 3.9sec while nudging the 180mph top speed up slightly. But the model’s track focus means it will almost certainly gain an overhauled suspension system. ‘Ring record watchers – keep your eyes peeled.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06: Fastest version of new C8 gets the most potent atmo V8 yet put into production. 670bhp enough to tickle your fancy? The first mid-engined ZO6 does away with the 6.2-litre V8 used by the standard car in favour of a new and bespoke ‘LT6’ 5.5-litre unit that, in a first for a Corvette, features dual overhead cams and a flat-plane crankshaft – but continues without a turbocharger. We can feel the noise from here.
Citroen C5 Aircross: Mid-life trim changes for eminently practical family hauler. In a fiercely competitive class, these won’t change the automotive landscape, but will serve to tighten up what has always been a comfort-focused family SUV.
Dacia Spring EV: The Spring, despite being electric, keeps things as simple as its fuel-sipping siblings. Four seats, 44bhp, 140 miles of range and one Euro NCAP safety star… This Chinese-built budget urban EV could be confirmed for the UK market in January.
Genesis Electrified GV70: BMW iX3 rival gets 482bhp and 516lb ft in its most potent form, along with a range of 310 miles. The Electrified GV70 can be charged from 10-80% in just 18 minutes when using a 350kW rapid charger. It will be the first Genesis model to be fitted with a new E-Terrain mode for improved driving in more challenging environments. Other tech highlights include a system that reduces road noise and electronic control suspension that adapts based on data collected by a front-mounted camera.
Hyundai Ioniq 6: Hyundai’s second bespoke EV could have pace and poise to rival Porsche’s Taycan, but reports suggest the designers have gone back to square one in the late stages of testing, pushing an on-sale date to mid-2022. This delay to the launch date has also meant that the battery has been upsized, from a previous 72.6kWh to 77.4kWh.
Jeep Grand Cherokee: New luxurious, fifth generation Yank Tank is inbound as a Land Rover Discovery rival with a 375bhp plug-in hybrid option, featuring a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to two electric motors, offering a system output of 375bhp and 470lb ft of torque. There’s even a rumoured full-electric version due in 2025.
Lotus Evija: This electric hypercar is Hethel’s new flagship – and it’s quite the flagship. Four motors produce a combined 1972bhp, with a top speed of 200mph and a 250-mile range. The launch has been pushed because of the pandemic, but even that has hardly dampened our expectations, as our prototype drive proved.
Mercedes-Benz EQE: Mercedes is going after the new BMW i4 and Tesla Model 3 with a CLS-sized electric saloon. It’s nearly as slippery as the larger EQS, is made from 100% recycled steel and is claimed to offer up to 410 miles between charges. A closely related EQE SUV will follow in 2023.
McLaren Artura: Woking’s answer to the Ferrari 296 GTB weighs just 27kg more than the 720S, despite the adoption of a hefty PHEV system, suggesting that McLaren won’t sideline dynamics in the electrified era. As with its rival, the Artura packs a V6 rather than a V8 and can drive for short distances on electricity alone.
Morgan 3 Wheeler: This whimsical dry-day two-seater will return to provide a welcome dose of simplicity and authenticity but, in keeping with the gradual modernisation of Morgan’s sports cars, it has swapped its nose-mounted air-cooled V-twin for a more powerful Ford three-pot.
Porsche 911 GT3 RS: As sure as night follows day, a new 911 GT3 RS will be along soon, after last year’s ‘normal’ GT3. Even lairier aerodynamics and probably a subtle power hike await for the ultimate (at least until a GT2 is built) version of the 911, which should be unveiled in the next few months.
Skoda Enyaq iV Coupe: Why offer just one electric SUV when you can sell two? The Enyaq iV Coupe is, you guessed it, an Enyaq iV with a sloping roof. Which means it’ll be less practical, but a bit more stylish. The Enyaq Coupé is likely to be available with the same batteries as the standard car, and the enhanced aero could see the maximum range raised slightly over 333 miles from the largest, 77kWh battery pack. A smaller-capacity 58kWh battery is expected to net a range of around 260 miles.
Alpina B3 and D3S: As BMW subtly updates the 3 Series, Buchloe refreshes its evil twin. We gave the Alpina B3 a perfect five-star score when we reviewed the model in 2020, so expect another extremely potent but comfortable all-rounder with significant power at its disposal.
Audi A3 Citycarver: The A3 gets further off the ground with a slightly more rugged design, but plans for a UK launch are unconfirmed. The Citycarver is likely to be offered a similar tech and engine line-up to the standard A3, with a selection of petrol and diesel options to choose from.
BMW 3 Series: The new electric 3 Series is China-only, but we will still get an updated version of our favourite executive car. A revamped version will go into production later this year with an update to its clever iDrive system, with a massive 15.0in central infotainment display. Engines are unconfirmed, but expect a similar range of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
DS 7 Crossback: The plush SUV is due some light surgery and interior enhancements as it enters its fourth year. An armoured version of the current model is used to ferry around the French President Emmanuel Macron, but we suspect the new version won’t need flag holders or flashing lights.
Ineos Grenadier: This well-appointed 4×4 will be equipped with petrol straight-six and diesel power from £48,000. Two commercial body styles will be available alongside a full-sized SUV which will be sold at 23 dealerships around the UK. Perhaps more excitingly, the model will also feature a hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain.
Kia Niro: Kia’s big-selling crossover has been given a radical design overhaul and continues with hybrid, PHEV and electric options. New design features offer a more rugged look and efficiency and performance boosts are also expected, with smarter plug-in technology.
Lamborghini Urus: Lamborghini’s distinctly unsubtle four-year-old super-SUV will likely receive some subtle tweaks later this year. It’s still an outlier as a massively capable sports SUV, but it’s not the most conspicuous car out there. We doubt Lamborghini would have it any other way though, so expect the same lairy design before a PHEV version arrives in 2023.
Mercedes-AMG One: For a car that is all about speed, the Mercedes-AMG One has sure taken a long time to arrive. Zero to 124mph in six seconds? Of course you can, so long as you don’t mind waiting five years for the privilege.
Still, the 275 people who filled the order book when the Project One concept was revealed must have known that it might take longer than the promised 18 months to arrive, such is the complexity of it: this was Mercedes’ attempt to take the 1000bhp-plus 1.6-litre V6 turbo hybrid powertrain from Lewis Hamilton’s Formula 1 racer and put it into a production road car.
F1 powertrains aren’t meant for road use. They don’t enjoy trundling along a pit lane, let alone idling in heavy traffic in the middle of Knightsbridge. Trying to get that powertrain to be reliable, idle at 1200rpm and able to meet the EU’s WLTP emissions standards has tested even AMG’s brainiest boffins.
But this year the One will arrive – at least that’s the promise. Frankly, it’s a welcome sight. A true AMG hypercar is a tantalising prospect, even if few people will ever drive it. This is proper halo car stuff – a real attempt to build a link between Formula 1 and road cars.
Production is scheduled to start in the middle of this year, with the first customers due to take delivery as 2023 approaches. Fingers crossed.
Nissan Ariya: Sleek Volkswagen ID 4-rivalling electric SUV is set to make its long-awaited UK debut, with prices starting at £41,845 for the 63kWh front-driven car and climbing to £58,440 for the 87kWh, 389bhp e-Performance range-topper.
Toyota bZ4X: Toyota’s long-awaited first EV is an SUV co-developed with Subaru. It commands a price tag of £41,950, but will it stand out in a competitive field? Toyota has plenty of experience of making excellent crossovers, so it’s certainly one to watch.
Volkswagen ID Buzz: Volkswagen’s era-defining Microbus is about to complete its 70-year journey from flower power to electric power. The long-awaited ID Buzz may have retro-themed styling, but it’s all futuristic underneath.
It uses a variation of the ID 3’s MEB EV platform and will be equipped with level-two autonomous driving functionality from launch. Commercial, people carrier and (joy of joys) camper van variants are planned, plus a long-wheelbase version is due in 2023. But the really exciting news is that it’s being readied for fully autonomous driving in around 2025.
Cupra Formentor VZ5: Cupra’s potent Formentor VZ5 is left-hand drive only, but we’re willing to make that compromise for a 385bhp turbo five-pot. It’s Cupra’s most powerful SUV yet and production will be limited to 7000 units. Cupra claims 0-62mph in 4.2sec with a top speed limited to 155mph.
Kia Xceed: The Ceed-based crossover is due a round of updates to bring it into line with the recently restyled hatchback. Kia expects the Xceed to be even more popular than its smaller hatchback sibling with its raised ride height and toughened-up styling.
Mercedes-Benz GLC: The big-selling C-Class-based SUV is going all-electrified and all-four-cylinder for its second generation – even in full-fat AMG GLC 63 form. It’s now longer, lower and wider than the previous car and will gain improved styling including a new front grille, air intakes, more aggressive lights and black-and-silver roof bars.
Nissan X-Trail: Nissan’s largest SUV in Europe returns with the unconventional ePower hybrid powertrain from the new Qashqai. The powertrain uses a petrol engine to charge a battery and power a front-mounted electric motor. The model shares much of its interior and exterior design with the US-only Rogue.
BMW M3 Touring: We’re unspeakably excited about the first-ever M3 Touring, set to join the M3 saloon and M4 coupe in BMW’s newly expanded performance line-up. Expect more aggressive styling including flared arches, added air intakes and a sports exhaust system. The brilliant performance credentials of BMW’s latest super-saloon plus plenty of room for your dog: what’s not to love?
Mazda CX-60: The five-seat Toyota RAV4 rival will be Mazda’s first plug-in hybrid – but versions powered by its new petrol and diesel straight sixes will follow. Mazda’s first plug-in model specifically for the European market (alongside the larger CX-80), the CX-60 will be driven by an in-line four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor.
Renault Megane E-Tech Electric: The Megane will receive the crossover treatment this year, but don’t be worried – our initial road test showed the model is genuinely good to drive, as well as efficient and comfortable. A power output of 215bhp and 221lb ft means a 0-62mph time of 7.4sec. It also looks brilliant and offers a competitive range of either 186 or 292 miles.
Toyota Corolla Cross: What do you get when you cross the Corolla with an SUV? Another high-riding crossover to fill insatiable market demand, that’s what. The Corolla Cross will rival the Nissan Qashqai and will sit between the C-HR and RAV4 in Toyota’s model line-up. It’s driven by the firm’s fifth-generation, 2.0-litre hybrid powertrain, good for 196bph and 0-62mph in 8.1sec.
BMW X1: The big-selling Audi Q3 rival will move onto a heavily reworked version of the UKL platform for its second generation, taking styling inspiration from the closely related 1 Series. As well as an EV, expect petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains.
Honda Civic: Honda’s rival to the Volkswagen Golf will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, and the more sedately styled 11th iteration will be Honda’s final mainstream European model to go hybrid-only. Unlike its forebears, it won’t be built in the UK.
Lucid Air: ‘The next Tesla’ has finally started producing its Model S rival in the US, and it’s on the cards for a UK launch soon. While its 1065bhp output is impressive, its claimed 500-mile range might be the real game-changer.
Renault Austral: Replacement for the large Kadjar SUV gets a total restyle and a new name that “conjures up the vibrancy and heat of the south”, apparently. The bold new look brings it into line with the all-electric Mégane E-tech, while a wide array of improved powertrains and upgraded infotainment platform will boost the popularity of Renault’s Toyota RAV4 rival.
Audi E-Tron: No mere nip and tuck for Audi’s largest EV, which is about to give its rivals real headaches with its bigger new battery. We’ve heard its range could jump from 249 miles to as much as 373, which is nearly enough for Edinburgh to London.
BMW iX1: We’ve had the plush rangetoppers, so now it’s time for bread-and-butter BMWs to go electric. An electric version of the new X1 is being readied as the entry point into Munich’s rapidly expanding EV line-up, a position in which it will essentially replace the decade-old i3, which is likely to bow out at around the same time.
Lotus Type 132: If you say it quickly, it doesn’t sound so shocking: “Lotus is building an electric SUV.” There, that’s not too bad, is it, purists? And don’t worry, this one is being made in China, so Hethel will remain the home of Lotus sports cars.
Ferrari SP3 Daytona: Latest addition to Maranello’s Icona series a mid-mounted 829bhp V12, stylistic nods to hallowed historic racers and not an electric motor in sight – what’s not to like? Well, the £1.7m price, for one, but then it’s sold out anyway.
Honda Civic Type R: The least civil Civic returns, and Honda looks to have done just what we hoped it would: leave it well alone. Few cars have a higher bar to clear, but careful upgrades should let it keep its crown (and, we’d imagine, give the searing-hot Renault Mégane RS a run for its money at the Nürburgring).
Hyundai Ioniq 5 N: Nearly 600bhp from the hottest version of Hyundai’s retro EV? Sign us up. Chances are the Ioniq 5 N will share its highly strung twin-motor powertrain with the Kia EV6 GT (below), which will see it get from 0-62mph in well under 4.0 seconds, which will make it the fastest Hyundai model yet built.
Kia EV6 GT: If you hadn’t already adjusted your perception of Kia in recent years, it’s time to now, because this 577bhp electric crossover will outpace the Porsche Taycan 4S. First impressions of the EV6 suggest it’s more than potent enough in range-topping GT-Line S guise already, but who’s complaining about a new addition to the sports EV fray?
Polestar 3: Electric SUV will share a US production line and a platform with Volvo’s XC90 successor. Its styling will be influenced by the acclaimed Precept concept, while materials used throughout will emphasise a similar focus on sustainability.
Toyota GR Corolla: What do you get when you cross the Corolla with the GR Yaris? Another hot hatch with Toyota’s excellent 1.6-litre turbo unit and the potential to be a star. The company hasn’t yet confirmed if it will come to the UK, but hopefully strong sales of the VW Golf R and Mercedes-AMG A45 serve as proof that it would do well here.
Aston Martin Vantage, DB11 and DBS: Aston’s three coupés remain highly competitive, but there’s no escaping the limitations of their infotainment systems, based on Mercedes tech from two generations ago, so that will be the headline change. But we’re also expecting a styling refresh and an interior overhaul.
BMW i7: There’s no doubting the technical prowess or the luxury credentials of BMW’s new iX electric SUV, but there are many people who simply can’t stomach its outlandish styling. Step forward, then, the BMW i7. A familiar, low-slung take on the traditional luxury saloon, with (as you will have inferred from the lowercase letter in its name) an all-electric powertrain.
To be sold alongside internal-combustion versions of the next-generation 7 Series, the fifth addition to Munich’s EV family has its targets locked on the Mercedes-Benz EQS, which hitherto has had no true direct rivals. As with the electric versions of the X3 and 4 Series Gran Coupé, the i7 will be differentiated visually from the standard 7 Series by a blanked-off front grille (the shape of which has yet to be confirmed but is sure to be a hot topic of discussion), bespoke wheel designs and smatterings of EV-specific trim.
Otherwise, though, BMW will no doubt seek to make the EV switch as appealing and familiar as it can to loyal 7 Series buyers. They are buyers with busy and lavish lifestyles, no doubt, who want to get where they’re going quickly, quietly and in comfort. And the i7 will tick all of those boxes, with around 600bhp in its most potent, twin-motor form, nearly 400 miles of range from a 105.2kWh battery and an advanced infotainment system lifted from the iX.
BMW M2 Coupé: The old M2 was among our favourite sports coupés. The next one should be even better, with more power, more torque and closer M3 and M4 ties. And vitally, BMW hasn’t lost sight of what we love best: its puristic driving experience.
BMW Z4: Four years from launch, this low-volume roadster is due an update, but it won’t be extensive. Expect light styling tweaks at the front and rear, and perhaps some new colours and wheel designs, to take the Porsche 718 Boxster rival through the second half of its lifecycle.
Ford Ranger: Britain’s best-selling pick-up keeps on truckin’ with a Bronco-aping front, a new diesel V6 and the promise of hybrid power. It’s all change inside, too, where a Mach-E-style vertical touchscreen dominates the dashboard, housing most of the off-road function controls, and a standard digital display gives different displays for each of the six driving modes.
Honda CR-V: Strong-selling hybrid SUV gets cleaner-cut styling and bulks up for its sixth era in an effort to win out over the indefatigable Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Qashqai. But the crossover is already only available as a hybrid, in line with Honda’s electrification plans, so expect changes to be focused on the design and equipment.
Lamborghini V12 Hybrid: Do you know what’s strange? You can’t actually buy a V12-powered, road-going Lamborghini at the moment, and when the Aventador’s successor does eventually reintroduce that fabled engine to the ranks, it will be with the added oomph of an electric motor.
Land Rover Defender 130: With short, long, commercial and V8 variants of the L663 Defender now on sale, it’s time for a stretched 130 model with eight seats and a focus on luxury. Slated to arrive next year, it will command a premium over the current 110 range-topper, and likely only be available in the plushest trim levels.
Ferrari Purosangue: It’s time for Ferrari to enter the SUV pool. It’s not timidly dipping its toes in, though: with underpinnings supplied by the Roma, V12 and hybrid V8 engine options and genuinely supercar-inspired styling, the Purosangue (‘purebred’) is a full-on cannonball.
Mazda MX-30 REx: Short-legged electric crossover calls on a new rotary petrol engine to act as a range extender, increasing the distance possible between charges – which could make the MX-30 a much more competitive proposition in light of similarly priced but longer-range rivals.
Seat Tarraco: Planned model updates for Spanish firm’s largest model are likely to include the introduction of the long-awaited PHEV version, which was revealed in 2019. Otherwise the changes will likely focus on styling tweaks and updated infotainment, following a facelift for its Volkswagen Tiguan sibling in 2020.
Skoda Enyaq vRS: The first electric vRS model is Skoda’s answer to the Volkswagen ID 4 GTX, and will share that model’s 295bhp four-wheel-drive powertrain. Expect a 0-62mph time of just over 6.0 seconds and a range approaching the 300-mile mark.
Ssangyong Korando E-Motion: Ssangyong has carved out a niche in the UK as a rugged SUV specialist, and it’s aiming to carry that into the electric era. The Korean firm’s first EV is a battery-powered reworking of the existing Korando that will rival the bargain-basement MG ZS EV.
Toyota Prius: The massive growth in hybrid sales has threatened the Prius’s place as king of the private hire cars. This new version – expected in 2022 based on previous Prius timelines – won’t be able to rely on its tax benefits to rack up sales, so expect Toyota to push further with new technology.
Volkswagen Amarok: Volkswagen’s ‘premium’ pick-up truck is essentially a reworked version of the new Ford Ranger and is to be built by Ford, but it will be styled to match other VW models.
Coming in 2023
If this year’s new offerings aren’t exciting enough, there’s plenty more in store for 2023.
Aston Martin Valhalla: Confused by all these new Formula 1- inspired, mid-engined Aston Martin supercars? If so, think of the Valhalla as being the more practical, accessible daily version of the hardcore Valkyrie, which is centred on extreme, trackbred aerodynamics. Although in this case, ‘more practical and accessible’ means the Valhalla makes do with only 937bhp and a 217mph top speed…
The Valhalla has been changed substantially since it was first shown as a concept in 2019. It’s now powered by a Mercedes-Benz-sourced 740bhp twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8, which is paired with two electric motors (one on each axle) offering a combined 201bhp. Despite that, it weighs just 1550kg. While the Valkyrie is a limitedrun, ultra-expensive beast that few will ever experience, the sub-£700,000 target price of the Valhalla means it could have far more of an impact on Gaydon’s growth.
BMW XM: The XM is just the second entirely bespoke M car in BMW’s history, but it couldn’t contrast more with the first. The M1 was a supercar co-developed with Lamborghini, whereas the XM is a massive SUV with a 740bhp PHEV powertrain built around a 4.4-litre V8 that will kick-start M’s electrification. Still, it will probably sell far better.
Fisker Ocean: Given Fisker’s tainted history, it would be easy to dismiss the prospects of this bold new car. But we believe it’s time to start taking Fisker seriously, because the Ocean looks a credible contender in the electric SUV ranks and has some very credible firms involved in its manufacturing and distribution.
Revealed in production form late last year, the Ocean will rival the Audi Q4 E-tron and Tesla Model Y with a spacious, touchscreen-heavy interior and range of more than 350 miles. European versions are set to be produced by Magna Steyr in Austria, with prices likely to range from £30,000 to £50,000.
Ford Electric SUV: Ford will launch a new electric SUV next year, and while we don’t know what it will be called, what size it will be, what it will look like or what it will cost, we do know just about everything on the technical side.
That’s because this is the first car that will come from a deal Ford struck to develop EVs on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform, as used by the Audi Q4 E-tron, Volkswagen ID 4 et al.
So expect a variety of single-motor rear-drive and dual-motor four-wheel-drive powertrains and a range in the high-200-mile region. The intrigue really surrounds how Ford will make the car feel like a Ford, rather than a rebadged Volkswagen.
Maserati Granturismo: While the MC20 supercar is a fine halo product, the next-generation Granturismo is key to Maserati’s revival as a true Italian luxury brand. The super-GT will gain sleek new styling and be offered with a range of petrol engines – likely to include V6 and V8 options – as well as in battery-electric form.
Mini Hatchbacks and Countryman: The Mini brand is about to undergo arguably its biggest transformation since BMW reinvented the flagship way back in 2001. Starting next year, Oxford will transition to electrified power and create an expanded line-up of models.
It’s only fitting that it will all start with a next-generation version of the model that remains at the heart of its range: the three-door hatchback. It will be offered with both ICE and fully electric powertrains – although expect the latter to be more versatile and capable than the adapted electric version of the current three-door.
The focus is on refining the design, with engineers promising that it will retain and improve the classic positive handling and fun driving characteristics that the car is known for. But it will also serve as a hero car for a rapidly expanding model range.
The next-generation Countryman compact SUV will arrive soon after, and is set to grow in size to more closely match its BMW X1 sibling, with a range of petrol, plug-in hybrid and fully electric powertrains.
Making it bigger is part of a plan to literally stretch the Mini range, making room for a new small SUV and a Chinese-built city car that’s tipped to revive the Minor name.
Porsche Macan EV and Audi Q6 E-Tron: Porsche nailed electrification at its first attempt, but its second is an arguably tougher challenge, because it’s not an all-new proposition but a reinvention of the hugely popular Macan SUV.
Make no mistake, though: the Macan EV will be an entirely new car built on an entirely new EV platform. Co-developed by Porsche and Audi, the PPE allows for ultra-rapid charging and performance motors. In the Macan, we expect a four-wheel-drive dual-motor set-up to offer 700bhp and 750lb ft of torque.
Audi won’t be far behind its sibling brand in using the PPE platform, with its all-new Q6 E-tron due shortly after the Macan EV. While Audi already has a burgeoning range of SUVs, these use either an adapted ICE platform or the more mainstream MQB EV platform.
Complementing the petrol-engined Q5, the Q6 will offer 800V charging, a range of more than 300 miles and eventually a sporting RS version.
Rolls-Royce Spectre: The first electric Rolls-Royce is an all-new model that is expected to occupy a similar market segment to the old petrol-engined Wraith coupé. It will use Goodwood’s new Architecture of Luxury platform and is likely to employ a dual-motor powertrain offering more than 600bhp.
Smart SUV: Smart is in the process of being entirely reinvented since becoming a joint venture between Mercedes and Geely. Production has shifted from France to China and it’s after a premium audience. Its models are getting bigger, too, starting with an SUV based on Geely’s SEA platform.
Volkswagen Aero-B: This is effectively Volkswagen’s electric Passat, a new executive electric saloon designed to rival the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2. It was first seen in 2019 as the ID Vizzion concept, is known within Wolfsburg as the Aero-B (due to its focus on aerodynamic efficiency) and at one point was expected to take the ID 6 name, before that was slapped on a Chinese SUV. Using the largest version of Volkswagen’s MEB EV platform, it will be offered with front- and rear-wheel drive and a 77kWh battery that could offer a range of up to 431 miles. Expect a GTX performance version, too.
Felix Page and James Attwood