The New Year is almost upon us, which likely means we'll soon see a whole slew of new cars, crossovers, and SUVs make their debut in the coming months. For now, though, we're going to reflect on the all the automotive gifts 2019 has given us with a run down of the most exciting vehicle debuts that occurred throughout the year.
It was a big year for the automotive industry, with the shift toward electrification taking a major leap forward thanks to advancements in battery technology and increased hype and demand for EVs. It wasn't all about battery-powered vehicles, though, with several exciting internal combustion engine cars also being unveiled - including several game-changing sports cars and supercars.
Scroll down to see our picks for the most exciting vehicle debuts of 2019. There's no telling what 2020 will bring, but if this year was any indication, the automotive industry is set to get interesting in the next little while.
10. 2020 Land Rover Defender
The new Land Rover Defender was without a doubt one of the most highly anticipated debuts of the year. It's not hard to see why, either, as the new Defender is technically the first all-new Defender ever introduced. It's a large departure from the previous Defender, as well, with the SUV moving upmarket to target wealthy buyers who want a capable SUV with all the creature comforts of a Range Rover. It will be offered in both two- and four-door bodystyles and has a range of 2.0-litre gas and diesel engines on offer, along with a 3.0-litre mild hybrid inline-six.
9. Ford Mustang Mach-E
Regardless what you think about how the new Ford Mustang Mach-E looks, or whether or not you think it is deserving of the Mustang badge, there's no denying the Mach-E is a highly anticipated vehicle that may sway some shoppers to buy or lease an electric vehicle. Ford has already sold out of the Mach-E First Edition, as well, so the automaker has clearly done something right with its first-ever EV.
8. Ford Mustang GT500
It's hard not to be excited when a new Shelby Mustang comes along. The new Mustang GT500, which debuted at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, backs up its status as a Shelby with a 760-horsepower supercharged 5.2-litre V8 and a quick-shifting seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The engine/transmission combo enables a 0-100 km/h time of around 3.3s, while the top speed is limited to 290 km/h.
7. Polestar 2
The Polestar 2 may be the first car headed to North America that can truly compete with the Tesla Model 3. The four-door was first shown at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and will be exported from China to Europe, North America and other markets beginning in early 2020. All-wheel-drive models will produce 408 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque and have an estimated driving range of around 480 km thanks to a large 78 kWh battery pack. Prices will start at a steep $69,000 in Canada, though less expensive models with less content will eventually be offered as well.
6. Toyota GR Supra
The Toyota GR Supra was one of the most highly anticipated car debuts of the decade, but some Toyota fans were let down when the two-door turned out to be not much more than a Toyota-tuned, hardtop version of the new BMW Z4. We still think the new Supra looks great, though, and the aftermarket scene for the car seems strong already. Time will tell if the A90-generation Supra achieves the cult following of its predecessors.
5. Volkswagen Golf MK8
The new VW Golf MK8 made its European debut in Wolfsburg back in October - though it won't arrive in Canada until the 2022 model year. We still think this was one of the more exciting debuts of the year, though, as the Golf is still fairly popular here in Canada and this next-gen version promises to be better than the current model in virtually every regard. The GTI and R performance models are also rumoured to make a return with this next-gen MK8 model.
4. Ferrari SF90 Stradale
When even Ferrari is making series production plug-in hybrid cars, you know electrification is set to take over the auto industry. That's why we think the SF90 Stradale is one of the most exciting cars of 2019 - it's a clear indication of where the market is headed. It also looks unlike anything else and produces a frankly absurd 769 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 plug-in powertrain. Thanks to its hybrid AWD system, it will accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.5s and reach a top speed of around 340 km/h as well.
3. Chevrolet C8 Corvette
The C8 Corvette is exciting, as it rewrites the supercar playbook. Carrying a base price of less than $70,000 CAD, the C8 Corvette packs a ton of performance into its mid-engine package. With a 0-60 mph time of 3.0s flat and a top speed of 312 km/h, the C8 Corvette shames supercars worth twice or even three times as much. It also retains the Corvette's familiar naturally aspirated 6.2-litre Small Block V8 engine, which has been slightly reworked and now produces up to 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque.
2. Tesla Cybertruck
Say what you will about the Tesla Cybertruck, but there's no denying that this thing generated more press (and more memes) than any other new vehicle shown in 2019. The Cybertruck, with its trapezoidal roof and marble dash, seems to have more in common with modern hotel than a pickup truck. It does have impressive specs, though, and Tesla has already chalked up more than 200,000 pre-orders for it. If the company can actually deliver those vehicles in a reasonable time frame and the Cybertruck can truly tow and haul like Tesla says it can, this oddball may actually prove to be a success - and not just the butt of a million internet jokes.
1. Porsche Taycan
The Porsche Taycan is a car to be excited about, full stop. With good looks and impressive range and performance, there's finally a car appropriate for EV enthusiasts looking for a true alternative to the popular Tesla Model S. And knowing Porsche's loyal customer base, the Taycan may even be able to convert some EV skeptics into believers. The range-topping Taycan Turbo S makes 750 horsepower and 774 lb-ft from its twin-motor electric powertrain, resulting in a 0-100 km/h time of around 2.6s and a top speed of 260 km/h. The Taycan also has a range of 407 km to 463 km, depending on the model type and battery.