The second half of the year should be a doozy for car debuts

2018 is halfway done, and just as fast as time flies, so too is our insatiable need to see the newest cars hit the street. The first half of the year gave us some incredible debuts. That’s a list that includes the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the Jeep Wrangler JL, the Jaguar I-Pace, the Volvo S60 and just about every new pickup that was unveiled in the last six months. It’s an eclectic list, sure, but that’s the beauty of the industry. You never know what you’re going to get on any specific day. You just sit back and enjoy the ride. And so, as we embark on the second half of the year, we have some new cars that we’re really excited to see, including a few models that are scheduled to appear at the 2018 Paris Motor Show later this year.

Porsche 911 Speedster

2020 Porsche 911 Speedster
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It’s been a while since we last saw the Porsche 911 use the “Speedster” name so we’re extremely excited that we may finally get to see it come to life before the year ends.

It’s been a while since we last saw the Porsche 911 use the “Speedster” name so we’re extremely excited that we may finally get to see it come to life before the year ends. Recent spy shots were taken of the convertible doing some test runs alongside a few 911 GT3s, so our senses are tingling at the thought of the model actually becoming a real thing. There’s no word yet on what kind of powertrain it’s going to carry, but the convertible 911 could utilize a handful of different options, including the same 3.0-liter flat-six found in the Carrera GTS.

Should that be the case, the 911 Speedster could have as much as 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque at its disposal. It’s not going to be as fast as the coupe version on account of its weight and lower aero capabilities, but it should still be quick enough to sprint from o to 60 mph in around 3.7 seconds. 2011 was the last year we saw the 911 Speedster, and back then, it was offered in limited numbers. That may be true today, too, but at least we’re getting it back. That’s the most important thing. The 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster is expected to debut at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed this month.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Porsche 911 Speedster.

Audi RS Q8

2019 Audi RS Q8 Exterior Spyshots
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The upcoming Audi RS Q8 may not be on the level of those three, but it’s still one of the most hotly anticipated performance SUVs on the market.

The arrival of the Bentley Bentayga last year, coupled with the debuts of the Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan in the first half of this year, has given rise to a new super luxury SUV segment. The upcoming Audi RS Q8 may not be on the level of those three - it sits alongside the BMW X6 M and the Mercedes-AMG GLE 63 S Coupe — but it’s still one of the most hotly anticipated performance SUVs on the market.

Just last month, a prototype of the RS Q8 was spotted in the wild, and it had precious little camouflage covering its body. That gave us a good look at what we can expect out of Audi’s flagship coupe SUV, and for our money, it looks like its ready to fight with the best in the segment. There’s no word yet on how much power the SUV is going to have, but reports have indicated that it’s using a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine that Audi co-developed with Porsche. If that’s the engine we’re looking at, the sky really is the limit for the RS Q8. The V-8 can be configured to have as much power as the Lamborghini Urus, but we doubt Audi’s going to reach that far. Is it worth it for the RS Q8 to have 650 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque? those numbers are exciting, and it would certainly blow the X6 M and the AMG GLE 63 S Coupe out of the water, but I think the RS Q8 is going to be bit more muted than that.

Expect it to come with just under 600 ponies with around the same level of torque. At the moment, the flagship SUV is slated to debut in early 2019, but that’s not set in stone. There’s a good chance we see the RS Q8 before the year ends. Cross your fingers, then, that it happens.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Audi RS Q8.

Toyota Supra

2019 Toyota Supra Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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The Supra, in particular, has been a cause for frustration

I could be talking about the BMW Z4, too, because these two have been joined at the hips since word first came out that BMW and Toyota were partnering to co-develop these sports cars. At this point, we’ve said and written a lot about these two sports cars. We’ve seen countless prototypes. We’ve seen racing concepts based on the cars. We’ve even seen them in a number of different guises except for the real production cars.

The Supra, in particular, has been a cause for frustration. We know that it’s going to make its debut this year, but up until now, details about the sports car have been muted. We don’t even know what kind of engine options it’s going to have, although a V-6 hybrid drivetrain is expected to be one of them. Output has been estimated at 400 horsepower, though we wouldn’t be closed to anything at this point. We just want to see the production model. That’s all we want, Toyota. Don’t hold it off until 2019! We’ve waited long enough. Oh, and that goes for you, too, BMW. The new Z4 should make its debut later this year, as well. We demand it!

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Toyota Supra.

McLaren 600LT

2019 McLaren 600LT
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The 600LT is lighter and more aggressive than any car in McLaren’s Sports Series lineup

Just like the Porsche 911 Speedster, the McLaren 600LT is set to make its debut at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unlike the 911 Speedster, we already got a good glimpse at the 600LT in all its glorious long tail physicality. The 600LT is lighter and more aggressive than any car in McLaren’s Sports Series lineup. It also benefits from state-of-the-art aerodynamics, and, while we’re here, it’s also packing a 3.8-liter V-8 that produces 592 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful and most track-focused Sports Series model in history.

That’s saying a lot for a lineup of models that also includes the 540C and the 570S.

Let it be said, though, that the McLaren 600LT is more than just power and speed. It’s also a testament to McLaren’s incredible engineering. Every square inch of the 600 LT is covered in new technology, some of which you never thought was possible in a performance car. And yet, here we are. It may not be as fast or as powerful as the McLaren Senna, but the 600LT more than holds its own with what it has to offer. If that doesn’t get you excited about the supercar’s upcoming debut and launch later this year, I don’t know what’s going to do it. Ok, maybe I do because there are rumblings within McLaren that a more extreme version of the 600LT is being cooked up in Woking, England. Reports say that it could be called the 600 GT4, and not only is it going to be lighter than the 600LT, but it could also produce as much as 670 horsepower. That’s venturing into territory owned by McLaren’s Super Series family!

Read our full review on the 2019 McLaren 600LT.

Mercedes EQC

2019 Mercedes-Benz EQC Exterior
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I am particularly excited about the arrival of the Mercedes EQC for one particular reason: it’s Merc’s first mainstream all-electric model

I guess I can just group all-electric SUVs here because, let’s face it, there aren’t two things more popular in the industry these days than SUVs and electrification. I am particularly excited about the arrival of the Mercedes EQC for one particular reason: it’s Merc’s first mainstream all-electric model. In other word’s, the level of importance surrounding the success of the EQC is through the roof.

Fortunately, Mercedes looks to have done its homework here. The EQC is going to be the first model under Merc’s new EQ all-electric division. We still know little about how the EQC is going to look like — previous spy shots weren’t helpful — but we do have an idea on how much power it’s going to have. There’s been speculation that the EQC will draw its power from the drivetrain that Mercedes showed to the world in the Generation EQ Concept. Should that be the case, we can expect the EQC to use a big battery, possibly one with more than 70 kWh of capacity.

That battery will inevitably feed the electric motors, which, in turn, will produce around 402 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. More versions could be available, too, including a 200-horsepower base model and a mid-range model that will have around 300 ponies on tap. Say what you will about Mercedes’ ambition to become a player in the electric car segment, but if the EQC lives up to its hype, the German automaker is going to be one step closer to achieving its goal. In any event, we’ll know soon enough because the electric SUV is tipped to debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show later this year.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Mercedes EQC.

BMW 3 Series

2019 BMW 3 Series Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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The 3 Series is the quintessential compact sports sedan

Should we have ended on a different model? If we’re making a list of the top 10 sedans in the world regardless of size or segment, the BMW 3 Series is on that list. Unfortunately, the current 3er has been around for a while now, and a replacement is in due order. Fortunately, the next-gen 3 Series is coming, and it could come as early as the latter half of the year.

The 3 Series is the quintessential compact sports sedan. It also used to be the sedan that all other sedans were measured against, and while it still embodies the top-class quality of a 3 Series, other models like the Volvo V60 have closed the gap on the sedan, maybe even surpassed it. That makes the next-gen 3 Series very important for BMW. Development for the new 3 Series is ongoing, and there are reports that it’s going to be lighter than the current model by as much as 150 pounds. More importantly, the new 3 Series is also expected to receive BMW’s slate of new engines, including 1.5-liter three-cylinders that can produce 200 horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinders with around 250 horsepower, and 3.0-liter six-cylinders that can ratchet the output up to 400 horsepower.

For the king of the compact sports sedan segment to reclaim its throne, its next-generation version should live up to the standards of its predecessors. It’s expected to debut before the year ends, at which point we’ll be able to finally determine if the 3 Series is still the best in its class.

Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW 3 Series.

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