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power surge

From supercars to superminis and reborn classics to high-tech sedans, an array of new vehicles are vying for your attention

Land Rover Defender

Price: from $49,900

It’s been a long time coming, but the new Land Rover Defender is finally here. Sure to please and anger car enthusiasts in equal measure, the new Defender isn’t an exact replacement for the previous model, for the simple reason that the market has moved away from that farming essential of yesteryear. All Defenders will boast plenty of off-road ability and practicality along with easily recognizable styling cues. Also, there will still be commercial versions for those after a workhorse. The longer 110 will arrive first, with the shorter 90 three-door version following soon after. Four accessory packs and 170 individual accessories mean you can build your own bespoke Defender, exactly how you want it. Mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions will join the range soon. We can’t wait to get behind the wheel.

Porsche Taycan

Price: from $103,800

Porsche has fully embraced battery power with this new Taycan, its first fully electric sports car. A four-door sedan, the Taycan initially comes in Turbo or Turbo S forms (indicating their power levels) with a marginally less powerful 4S as the base model. The immediacy of electric power combined with the Taycan’s four-wheel drive system means that its performance is at hypercar levels – the Turbo S covers the traditional 0-60 mph sprint in only 2.8 seconds with a fully-charged range of 257 miles. Better yet, the Taycan handles beautifully and, despite the new technology, still feels like a Porsche, too. This year’s World Performance Car? We certainly wouldn’t bet against it.

Kia Soul EV

Price: estimated from $35,000

Delayed to 2021

Slowly but surely, Kia and sister company Hyundai are becoming forces to be reckoned with in the electric and hybrid market. As well as the existing Niro brand, Kia will add to its electric line-up with this funky Soul EV. With a 280-mile range from its 64 kWh battery, the Soul EV will be available in two distinct trims with an optional ten-speaker Harman Kardon stereo. Not only is the Soul’s range based on real-world driving, but at a fast charging point it can get an 80 percent charge in only 75 minutes. We love its boxy looks and, together with its electric credentials, think it could easily develop a cult following.

Jeep Renegade Hhybrid

Price: estimated from $22,000 

On sale: September

For a company renowned for its tough, back-to-basics image, Jeep is about to switch things up in 2020. First is this new plug-in hybrid version of its baby Renegade, which will be swiftly followed by a hybrid Compass and then a hybrid version of the butch Wrangler 4×4. Details are sketchy at present but the Renegade will feature a 1.3-litre turbo-gas engine alongside an electric motor to produce around 220bhp with an electric-only range of 31 miles and a 0-60mph time of seven seconds. With impressive emissions below 50g/km, it seems that this Renegade and other forthcoming hybrid models may be about to catapult Jeep into the future.

Ferrari Roma

Price: estimated from $225,000

On sale: summer

A new Ferrari always gets the heart racing a little faster and this gorgeous new Roma is no different. Yes, it may look a little familiar to some of the most recent cars to come out of the Aston Martin stable, but the new Roma is little short of stunning to our eyes. Ferrari refers to the Roma as a “sports car that you can use every day,” which essentially means the same 3.8-litre twin-turbo engine as the Ferrari 488 with an eye-watering 611bhp, but in a rather more comfortable and less extreme package. There are digital displays for both the driver and front passenger, and while Ferrari calls it a two-plus seater, the reality is the rear seats are all but unusable. If you don’t already have your name on the waiting list, don’t expect to take delivery until at least 2021.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Price: estimated from $40,000

On sale: late 2020

The name might be familiar but the car certainly won’t be. The emotive Mustang is known for its big-engined muscle car roots but the new Mach-E couldn’t be more different. For starters, it’s an SUV rather than a sports car and, second, it’s all-electric, so you can forget about the usual deep-noted V8 engine under your right foot. The Mach-E will be available with two battery options, either 75 kWh or 99 kWh, rear- or four-wheel drive and a fully-charged range of either 280 miles or 370 miles respectively. Also notable is its lack of traditional door handles – just buttons on the side to open the front and rear doors. You’ll also be able to open them with an electronic key on your phone.

Volvo XC40 P8 Recharge

Price: estimated from $48,000

On sale: autumn/winter

Volvo is pushing ahead with its electrified model range with all of the new plug-in hybrid and all-electric models getting the “Recharge” name from now on. The XC40 P8 Recharge will be the Swedish firm’s first all-electric car when it arrives late in 2020. Over the next five years, Volvo will launch a fully electric model every year to fulfill its aim of half of its global sales being battery-powered by 2025. That will certainly be possible if they’re half as impressive as this XC40 looks on paper. Its 78 kWh battery effectively gives it 408 bhp with a 0-60 mph time of only 4.7 seconds and a fully charged range of 250 miles. It’s not cheap for a small SUV, but it looks to be worth it.

Mercedes EQS

Price: estimated from $96,000

On sale: December

The Mercedes S-Class has long been considered one of the best and most refined luxury sedans in the world. The next-generation S-Class, due in showrooms in late 2020 and based heavily on this EQS concept, will only build on that reputation. As the flagship of Mercedes’ new EQ electric range of models (three will be launched in 2020 alone), the EQS gets a 100 kWh battery with a fully-charged range of about 430 miles. It will also underline its green credentials with a roof lining made from recycled ocean waste plastic, artificial leather for the seats, and other trim made from recycled plastic bottles. The new benchmark for luxury motoring and sustainability is here.