Tue | Dec 1, 2020

These upcoming vehicles are the ones to watch

Published:Sunday | February 23, 2020 | 12:00 AM

The year 2020 is shaping up to be electric for the auto industry.

That is, several electric vehicles are among the most anticipated new models.

General Motors, Ford, Tesla, Porsche, and Volkswagen are among the automakers, poised to roll out new electric vehicles as competition heats up in a segment that still represents fewer than one in 50 new-car sales.

“On paper this could be big,” said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis for car-research site Edmunds. “But now the proof’s in the pudding with EVs. We’ve seen a lot come out with lackluster sales.”

To be sure, perhaps the most anticipated vehicle of the year is the furthest thing from electric. Here are some of the most anticipated redesigned and new models set to arrive in 2020:

For the eighth generation of the Corvette, General Motors made a big change. The automaker’s engineers moved the ‘Vette’s engine from the front of the vehicle to the midsection.

That change was aimed at placing the vehicle in the pantheon of high-performance exotic European sports cars that zip around corners and accelerate like rockets.

While some Corvette purists might grumble about it, most critics and fans seem to be pumped up. The mid-engine ‘Vette isn’t even out yet, and it was already named MotorTrend Car of the Year.

“It’s America’s sports car,” said Karl Brauer, executive publisher of Cox Automotive, whose brands include Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader. “It’s really setting a new bar in terms of price and performance.”

 

We haven’t even seen this one yet, but no matter. The Ford Bronco is being revived, and the SUV’s dedicated fan base is stoked.

Discontinued in the 1990s, after the infamous O.J. Simpson case gave the vehicle a dose of unwanted publicity, memories of that incident are fading.

Ford recently teased that it will reveal the vehicle in the spring.

“This one is going to be unabashedly a lifestyle vehicle,” Acevedo said. “It’s really going to draw on its heritage as being a true sport utility vehicle – a little different from being a people mover” for families.

In the buzziest reveal of the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show last November, Ford debuted its long-anticipated “Mustang-inspired” electric crossover. Turns out it’s not just “inspired” by Mustang – it is a Mustang.

At least, it has the name attached to it. The Ford Mustang Mach-E crossover is a sibling of the pony car from a styling perspective. But that’s about where the similarities stop.

Case in point: You won’t get the Mustang’s trademark growl with the Mach-E. It’s a battery-powered car, so this pony will stay silent.

But with “attractive styling and aggressive performance capabilities all at a relatively reasonable price,” it could be a big success, Brauer said.

After its devastating diesel emissions scandal, Volkswagen vowed to pivot to electric vehicles. The automaker has revealed a series of electric models at recent auto shows but still hasn’t started selling one after the demise of the eGolf.

That should end in 2020 with the arrival of the Volkswagen ID. Crozz crossover, according to Edmunds.

Volkswagen North America CEO Scott Keogh told USA TODAY that the company’s EV would be priced in the range of $30,000 to $40,000. That price range could be low enough to rattle Tesla and other competitors.

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This vehicle, an SUV made for off-roading, disappeared from the U.S. market in 1997. But it’s making a grand return after debuting at the L.A. Auto Show last November.

The vehicle’s fan base has been clamoring for its revival for years. And now’s the right time because of the nation’s SUV boom.

With an expected starting price of $49,990, the boxy SUV will compete with the likes of Jeep Wrangler and even the Ford Bronco.

Derived from the Mission E concept car, the Porsche Taycan is aimed squarely at luring uber-luxury EV buyers back to the brand.

The electric sports car comes in multiple varieties. The Taycan Turbo S has a range of 256 miles and a starting price of $185,000. The Taycan Turbo has a range of 280 miles and a starting price of $150,900. And the Taycan 4S has a range of 253 miles and a starting price of $103,800.

 

Sharing a platform with the automaker’s full-size pickups, these SUVs have a loyal following.

At a time when competitors are trying to catch up with new three-row SUV offerings like the Volkswagen Atlas, Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride, GM will try to stay a step ahead with an overhaul of its family haulers.