The first mass-production electric Mini will arrive in 2019, and is to be built at the existing Mini factory in Oxfordshire. Rather than being a bold new departure from the existing lineup of Britain’s favourite retro-mobile, the Mini EV will be pitched as an electric variant alongside the hatchback, Clubman and Countryman models already on offer.
It is likely that the Mini EV will share its electric platform with the similarly sized BMW i3. This means power of around 180 horsepower and a range of about 200 miles. The Mini EV will be sold as only a three-door hatchback at launch, but if it proves popular we expect to see more configuration arrive in the coming years.
So long as BMW can keep the weight (and price) down – and the Mini’s iconic go-kart handling alive and well – we suspect the Mini EV will become one of the most popular EVs of the early 2020s.
Volvo’s entry into the hybrid super-coupe market will kickoff in 2019 with its Polestar sub-brand and mass-production of its first car, suitably called the 1.
Not to be confused with Volvos of old – or even today’s Volvos – the Polestar 1 is a carbon fibre-bodied coupe, with almost 600 horsepower and cars like the Mercedes-AMG S63 Coupe and Bentley Continental GT in its sights.
The Polestar’s hybrid power train is split between a 370-horsepower 2.0-litre, twin-turbocharged petrol engine, and a pair of electric motors fed by a 34kWh battery and delivering 218h horsepower to the front wheels. In this sense, it is similar to the BMW i8, but with a far longer all-electric range of 100 miles. Volvo is limited Polestar 1 production to 500 examples annually, and the price is expected to be in the region of £120,000. It’s a Volvo, but not as we know it.
15. PORSCHE 911
Launched at the end of 2018, the new 992-generation Porsche 911 will arrive in dealerships through 2019. The car will at first be available in Carrera S and 4S configurations, but we can expect to see more options arrive through the year, possibly including a GT3 variant.
This 911 is the first to have been designed with space for a hybrid drivetrain, but this particular model isn’t expected to launch until after 2020.
16. PORSCHE TAYCAN
Porsche’s first electric car will arrive at the end of 2019, boasting 600 horsepower, four-wheel-drive, a four-seat cabin, and a form factor sitting somewhere between the 911 sports car and Panamera saloon.
The circa-£80,000 Taycan promises a 0-62 mph time of under 3.5 seconds, a top speed of over 155 mph, and range of around 300 miles.
What’s already grabbing headlines, however, is how the car’s 800-volt architecture means it can recharge at a rate of 350 kWh, almost three times that of Teslas using the Supercharger network.
This will mean super-fast charge times at the Europe-wide Ionity charging network, compatible with cars from Porsche and many others.
17. RANGE ROVER EVOQUE
The second-generation Range Rover Evoque is a lesson in ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. The exterior styling and dimensions are very similar to its predecessor. But modern touches include an HD display mounted inside the interior mirror to offer a clear rearward view, and cameras at the front to present the drive with an augmented view ‘through’ the bonnet and engine bay.
The former will surely aid rear visibility when driving with three rear passengers, or on dirty roads, while the latter is intended for navigating off-road tracks and high street kerbs alike.
Mild hybrid options are available from launch, charging themselves when braking and coasting, and a plug-in hybrid model will arrive in 2020.
18. RENAULT CLIO
For the 2019 Clio, Renault has gone with evolution on the outside but a complete revolution on the inside.
The headline upgrade to the Clio’s interior is the large 9.3-inch touchscreen, which sits in portrait orientation, is angled towards the driver, and is complimented by an optional seven- or 10-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel.
Renault has wisely retained physical dials for the car’s climate controls, resisting the urge to incorporate them into the touch-controlled infotainment system.
It’s a thoroughly modern upgrade to a cabin which had begun to feel somewhat tired compared to the competition.
19. TESLA MODEL 3
Technically not a new car for 2019, or even 2018, but this year will finally see the first right-hand-drive models arrive in the UK. We might even see the illusive $35,000 entry-level version, which Elon Musk promised back in 2017.
The Model 3 was uttered in the same breath as the Ford Model T and original Mini back in 2017 and 2018, such was its perceived importance in the history of the motorcar. But will that still be said when the Model 3 arrives in Britain later this year? Electric rivals from Volkswagen, Honda and Mini will be hoping not.
20. VOLKSWAGEN ID
The first member of Volkswagen’s new ID electric car family will land in 2019, in the form of the ID hatchback.
Intended to be an all-electric answer to the Golf, but with the interior space of a VW Passat, the ID hatchback range will begin with a circa-£23,000 rear-wheel-drive model with a small 48kWh battery pack and a range of just over 200 miles.
A mid-range model is expected to get around 280 miles from its 55kWh battery, while a range-topping 62kWh ID could see a claimed range of 340 miles, VW says, but these figures haven’t been finalised just yet.