Revealed in production form at the CES tech show in January, the M-byte is the first car to come from Byton, a Chinese startup with an ambition to topple Tesla.
Unusually, Byton’s production-ready car boasts an even more futuristic interior than the concept revealed a year earlier.
There is an enormous screen which spans the entire 48-inch width of the dashboard, plus a 7-inch touchscreen mounted in front of the steering wheel to act as a control centre for the infotainment system, and a third 8-inch display between the front seats. Meanwhile, voice controls will be handled by Alexa, thanks to a partnership with Amazon.
The circa-£35,000 car will be offered with a choice of battery sizes – 71kWh and 95kWh – with range being a claimed 248 miles and 323 miles respectively.
Revealed in 2018 but going into production this year, the striking Monza SP1 and Monza SP2 are a pair of stunning retro-inspired cars marking the first instalment for Ferrari’s new Icona range, which draws inspiration from the prancing horse’s back catalogue.
The names denote the number of seats buyers wish their car to have, and under the classically curvaceous body sits the chassis and running gear of the 812 Superfast. That means a 6.5-litre, normally-aspirated V12, but with a small power increase to 800 horsepower. The lack of non-essential items like the windscreen, roof and door pillars means the weight is 15% down on the Superfast. Deliveries begin in the summer, and you can bet your bottom dollar they’re all sold.
HONDA URBAN EV
Honda won our hearts with the adorably retro Urban EV Concept back in 2018, and set our pulses racing when it pledged to put the car into production.
The question is, will the production-ready car revealed at the Geneva motor show in March still resemble the beautifully Seventies concept, or will pedestrian safety concerns soften its bluff lines into something less characterful? We haven’t to wait long to find out.
LAND ROVER DEFENDER
Hotly anticipated by a small but ferociously passionate fanbase, the new Land Rover Defender will finally become a reality in 2019, before going on sale in 2020. Test cars have already been spotted close to JLR’s Midlands headquarters, and it’s now over a year since design head Gerry McGovern said he was close to revealing the new off-roader.
There are thought to be two models in development, with 90-inch and 110-inch wheelbases mirroring the original, which went out of production in 2016.
An Autumn 2019 launch is on the cards, where Land Rover is expected to show off a wide range of Defender variants, demonstrating how the 90 and 110 models can lend themselves to different applications, from tough off-roader to luxury SUV.
Revealed as a stationary show car late last year, the McLaren Speedtail will turn a wheel later in 2019. The three-seater deliberately harks back to the McLaren F1 of the Nineties, but does so with an eye firmly on the future.
As much as the equally striking McLaren Senna was built for ultimate track times, the Speedtail takes a similarly uncompromising approach to straight-line speed and luxury. You can spec a gold nose badge if you like, along with Thin-Ply Technology Carbon Fibre, as used by Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille – a first in the automotive sector.
The driver sits in the middle, flanked by two lucky passengers, and followed by a 1,000-horsepower powertrain, the details of which McLaren is yet to reveal. All we know for now is that there’s some form of hybridisation, and 186 mph is dispatched in 12.8 seconds – faster than a Bugatti Chiron.
Another first for 2019 will be an electric SUV from Mercedes, called the EQC. Going up against the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron and Tesla Model X, the EQC is the first of 10 all-electric cars to come from Mercedes between now and 2025.
The SUV’s two electric motors are powered by an 80kWh battery and drive all four wheels. A power output of 400 horsepower means a 0-62mph sprint time of 5.1 seconds, but the top speed is limited to a conservative 112mph. Mercedes claims the EQC’s range is 249 miles, which puts it behind the Jaguar and Tesla.
UK deliveries are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2019, and prices should start at around £65,000.