New year, new decade, new episode of ‘The Petrolhead Corner’. And to start 2020 in high gear, we’ve decided to look at what is going to be launched in the coming months. On the contrary to the watch industry we know so well, the car industry is less secretive and cars are often pre-announced (with realistic concepts) or spotted into the wild – your typical spy shots on the ‘Ring’. So, let’s kick-off this new year with the most anticipated cars to be launched in 2020 – at least, to me.
the 2020 Ferrari Roma – the best-looking Ferrari in a long time
I am a big fan of Ferrari, both for road and race cars… Or at least, I was. However, recent launches have somehow disappointed me, especially in terms of styling. While an F355 or a 599GTB were still combining aggressivity with a certain elegance, in my opinion, the latest SF90 Stradale, F8 Tributo or F12TdF are all about these demonstrative, complex, tortuous shapes but not focussed on elegance anymore… And that’s a pity to me.
This was until the end of 2019 when Ferrari announced a new car, which also is a new segment for the brand – the V8-powered Gran Turismo, to compete against the AM Vantage or the 911. The car is rather simply named the ‘Roma’ and is, to me, the best-looking Ferrari in a long time. Yes, it still retains the angular, sharp shapes of modern Maranello cars, but the proportions are elegant, the overall dynamic, fluid line is just superb and it shows that simplicity is sometimes the solution for a great looking car. The 2020 Ferrari Roma doesn’t need wings, complex aerodynamic attires… Just a long bonnet, a sleek roof-line and a fastback rear-end.
In this instance, it reminds me of the 250 GT Lusso – my personal favourite Ferrari. The Roma is powered by a more-than-sufficient 620hp V8 engine and even comes with (small) extra-seats in the back. This is one I’m really looking forward to seeing in the metal in the coming months – and to test-drive too!
You can read all the details about the 2020 Ferrari Roma on evo.co.uk here.
The New McLaren 620R – A limited-run, road-legal GT4 racer
I know, this one is about to contradict everything I’ve just said above about elegance, simplicity and sleek shapes. Yes, this one is all about aggressivity, aerodynamic tricks, wings and focus on track… But let’s be honest, if there’s one car manufacturer that knows one thing or two about being focused, it’s McLaren. In less than 10 years, this relatively new car brand (but not-so-young motorsport team) has demonstrated an incredible savoir-faire. And if early models were almost clinical, they’ve corrected that and added the right amount of fun in their cars, but still an insane level of precision.
McLaren’s latest announcement is a road-ready version of their smallest race car, the 570S GT4, but with more power, less weight and race-spec aero… Yes, we’ve come to an era where road-legal cars have more power than race cars under GT3 and GT4 restrictions. The new 620R will be all about finding the perfect angle and the perfect braking point, trying to gain the smallest cents of a second on a track – but unfortunately, it will also be used (and maybe mostly) to make donuts and drifts to show on Instagram (which drives me crazy!!!)
You can read all the details about this new small-sized, track-focused piece of British engineering here, at www.autocar.co.uk.
The Yet-to-be-revealed BMW M3 G80
The M3 certainly doesn’t have the best image… At least, when it comes to used models, often driven by not-so-elegant-drivers (I’ll be polite here, but I have different words in mind, despite being a BMW-enthusiast myself). Still, when it comes to fast mid-size sedans, there’s one benchmark and the rest of the crowd… Its majesty M3 has defined the genre, has given headaches to its competitors and still is one of the best examples of a wolf hidden under a daddy’s car.
Since the new 3-series was launched over a year ago, it’s time now for BMW to unveil the Motorsport-infused model, the 2020 (or 2021) M3, codename G80… It has been seen multiple times being tested on the ‘Ring’, under typical camouflage. It is also known that not one but two versions will be proposed, including an old-school manual transmission model with RWD – while the standard version should be 4WD and dual-clutch.
On a personal basis, my main concern isn’t about drivability or performance… but about styling. Because recent spy shots and 3D renders all show a MASSIVE front grill, and that’s not really what I’d call an elegant solution – and I’m weighing my words here. Let’s wait and see until the final announcement.
In the meantime, you can discover some details about the upcoming BMW M3 on topgear.com.
The 2020 Land Rover Defender – Controversial, but not to me
The new Land Rover Defender has already been revealed but is not yet commercialized and hasn’t been tested… And still, it’s already the most controversial model in the brand’s history. While the original Defender, a car that was produced for over 70 years, gained true cult status, things aren’t the same for the new one – which has inspired vigorous debates among aficionados. There’s no denying that this 2020 version is far from the original concept, that it has been dramatically modernized and that it has simply forgotten its military roots… But we’re in 2020 and a car is meant to be driven, on a daily basis, with enough comfort and security.
As such, I personally think this 2020 Land Rover Defender is a complete winner… You might disagree, and rightfully so, but the styling of this new version talks A LOT to me. Especially in some more recent shots provided by the brand, showing a less luxurious, more off-road focused version with white steel wheels, matte green paint, roof equipment and an exposed spare wheel… I mean, it is kind of useless, but how cool does that look?
Will I buy one? Maybe not. Will I enjoy driving one? Most definitely. So yes, this new Defender is rather pointless but it makes me smile.
More details about this new Land Rover at petrolicious.com.