The ink may still be drying on The National Car of the Year 2018, but there is already plenty of four-wheeled fun to set your pulse racing in the coming 12 months.
Read on for our pick of nine of the most exciting cars that are due to delight us in 2019, in easy-to-read, non-biased alphabetical order – plus there's a bonus bike.
Aston Martin DBX
An Aston Martin SUV? Yup, you better believe that James Bond's carmaker of choice is taking the mass-market road (comparatively speaking, at least) for its fresh-out-the-box DBX. Such is the scale of operations that Aston's latest model will see the company expand beyond its long-standing home base in English village Gaydon – a new factory in South Wales is being built to produce the DBX, which is due in the final quarter of the year. It is expected to be beaten to an on-sale date by a limited-edition electric sports saloon, the Rapide E. Exciting times.
In case the haunched SUV outline of BMW's aggressive X6 wasn't enough to have you quaking in your rear-view mirror, BMW is about to go even larger with its premium range-topper, the X7. Its public debut came at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, and BMW promises that when it arrives later this year, the X7 will blend "lavish presence, functionality and room-comfort with the agile and supremely assured driving properties customers would expect". So there you have it.
What do you have when you one-up a hypercar? That was our question last month when we previewed the mind-boggling Devel Sixteen. The Dubai-conceived megacar, as we shall dub it, has 16 cylinders, 5,000hp and a shedload of celeb co-signs, chiefly via a Drake music video and a Snoop Dogg shout-out on Instagram. Two-thousand-and-nineteen is slated to be the year that we see whether the Sixteen can live up to its monumental figures, with two slightly more manageable variants – a 3,000hp V16 and a 2,000hp V8 – also in the pipeline, as the UAE continues its push to land on the global motoring map.
Perhaps the most head-turning car revealed last year was the roofless Monza, which wowed with its physics-defying statistics (0-to-100kph in less than three seconds) and its dual configuration, with one-seater (SP1) and two-seater (SP2) options. Exclusive? Just a bit: less than 500 examples of the 12-cylinder, 810hp machines will be made, with a price tag skyward of US$1 million (Dh3.7m) and a stuffed order book already rendering the little Prancing Horse totally sold out. Sorry about that.
Land Rover Defender
Even most imminent supercars haven't attracted the level of online clamour directed toward the resurrected Defender from petrolheads keen to discover its visual identity. The cult boxy off-roader ceased production in 2016, and rumours of its revamp have swirled ever since, and though the gap was at least slightly plugged last year by a fire-breathing V8 special edition, 2019 seems set to at last bring the latest Landy to the roads. What will it look like? Nobody quite knows, still, but Land Rover USA teased us over the festive period with the video below.
McLaren 720S Spider
The speed with which McLaren is dropping new models is such that headline writers the world over have been forced to shelve the hackneyed "Return of the Mac" staple until further notice – and they certainly won't be needing it in the next 12 months. Firstly, there will be a drop-top take on the British manufacturer's current headline act, the 720S. The Spider not only looks fabulous, but it also boasts performance uninhibited by the extra weight required to turn the coupe into a convertible. That's not all, either: the immense Speedtail is also set to join the ever-expanding roster, with yet another new McLaren to be announced in the next few months, following up the brand's best year of sales in 2018.
The National was there when Merc's first all-electric model was unveiled last year at a world premiere in Stockholm, and it has since been previewed in Abu Dhabi. Production will start this year as the arms race in the electric-SUV sector hots up. The EQC, which offers a range of more than 450 kilometres, is the first of 10 all-electric vehicles from the German brand planned for the coming years. Mercedes has labelled the EQC "a game-changer" and "a symbol of the dawn of a new mobility era". Tough talk.
Now, we're all for sensible electric cars in the ongoing battle to secure a future for our planet, but that doesn't mean that said future needs to be entirely dull. Step forward Porsche's debut contribution to the charged debate, the Taycan. Porsche claims that the sports-centric stunner will hit 100kph from standstill in 3.5 seconds, will have a range of 500km and will able to gain 100km of range in a mere four minutes of charging. And the Germans aren't messing about, either: the Taycan will create about 1,200 new jobs, with about €500 million (Dh2.1 billion) going into developing variants and derivatives of the car. We can't wait to drive it.
If you have a sense of deja vu here, you aren't losing your marbles: we did indeed preview Toyota's re-upped Supra this time last year. It failed to materialise in 2018, sadly, so here we are once again, hoping for better news this time around. It certainly seems set to land on the tarmac if the recently leaked images accidentally revealed by Toyota Germany are accurate. Perhaps not quite as visually spectacular as the links to 2014 concept car the FT-1 promised, the new Supra is instead something of a steroidal Toyota 86. Further details are mostly speculation for now, but a mid-2019 release date and a price of about Dh220,000 are believable ballpark figures.
Bonus bike: Harley-Davidson LiveWire
The most prestigious name on two wheels is going electric. Harley's announcement last summer that 2019 would see its first all-electric model, the fittingly named LiveWire, no doubt provoked plenty of grumbles from grizzled Hells Angels the world over, but the famed throaty growl will nevertheless be superseded by a battery-powered whirr this year. Harley called the LiveWire the first in a range of "no-clutch, twist-and-go" electric two-wheelers that will be followed by additional electric models "through 2022".