The Most Unique Car and Truck Features Coming in 2019

The Detroit and Los Angeles Auto Shows gave us a glimpse what’s on deck in the next few years

Aaron Miller | 
Dec 20, 2018 | 11 min read

2020 Toyota SupraToyota

There is never a more exciting year than next year. So, while 2018 was a great 12 months for those who love cars and trucks, 2019 promises to be even better.

We’ll bid adieu to some mainstays of the automotive world, most notably the septuagenarian Volkswagen Beetle. But we’ll welcome back some stalwarts, with the return of names no less emotive than Toyota Supra, Ford Ranger, Chevrolet Blazer and Honda Passport. We’ll also say hello to several brand new offerings as manufacturers try to fill any gaps in the marketplace.

With the Los Angeles and Detroit auto shows now in the rear view mirror, manufacturers have all flaunted their latest and greatest. Here’s what you can look forward to in 2019:

2020 Toyota SupraToyota

2020 TOYOTA SUPRA: WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Easily the most highly anticipated car of 2019, Toyota’s legendary sports coupe returns—as a 2020 model—after a two-decade hiatus. The car is a collaborative effort, co-developed alongside BMW’s also-new Z4 roadster. Once the chassis was completed, Toyota’s engineers spent plenty of time fine-tuning the car to their own liking around the famed Nurburgring track in Germany.

In keeping with Supra’s rich tradition, it features a twin-turbocharged 335-hp straight six engine, rear wheel drive, and two seats. Also like its namesake, emphasis is just as much on being a good daily driver as it is performance. Case in point: there are knee pads off to the side, to cushion your legs in the event you get carried away with the sort of spirited driving for which this car is designed.

It’ll start hitting the streets later in 2019, with an MSRP starting at $49,990. .

2020 Lincoln AviatorAaron Miller

2020 LINCOLN AVIATOR: SEATBELT SYMPHONY

Lincoln first announced the Aviator to the world at the 2018 New York International Auto Show, but this is the full-on production version. It features the same underpinnings as the next-generation (and yet-to-debut) Ford Explorer, and you can get it as a hybrid...with 450hp and 600 lb-ft. of torque. To truly differentiate the Aviator, to record musical notes that replace traditional alert chimes if you’ve forgotten to buckle your seatbelt or left the liftgate open. . The emphasis throughout the Aviator is clearly on tech, with a spate of features ranging from the ability to use your phone as a key, to cameras that scan the road ahead and adjust the suspension for potholes and the like. Advanced driver aids like lane keep assist and automatic emergency braking are standard, while optional techs include automatic parking and stop-and-go traffic assist.

Exact details on pricing are still pending, but expect a sub-$50k MSRP. .

Audi E-Tron GT ConceptAudi

AUDI E-TRON GT CONCEPT: VEGAN LEATHER AND… FISHNETS?

While the E-Tron GT concept is meant to show the future, rumor has it that the production version will be pretty close to this one. With an eye toward eco-friendliness, the seat cushions are made from recycled materials, and they’re wrapped in a high-end synthetic material that Audi (like other manufacturers) calls “vegan leather.” Even the carpet is made from used fishing nets.

Range approaches 250 miles on a single charge. Coupled with a proprietary high-speed charger, the E-Tron GT can achieve an 80% charge (good for 200 miles) in just 20 minutes. The car will also be compatible with a wireless charging system, so it can charge itself overnight without the driver taking any action besides parking in the garage. 590 hp helps it hit 60 mph in under 3.5 seconds.

Unlike most of the vehicles on this list, you won’t have a chance to buy the E-Tron GT in 2019, but you will see it on the big screen in , continuing what has become an Audi tradition of movie tie-ins.

2020 Jeep GladiatorFCA

2020 JEEP GLADIATOR: THE ONLY CONVERTIBLE TRUCK

The midsize truck market is hotly competitive, with both the Ford Ranger and now the Jeep Gladiator joining the likes of the Chevrolet Colorado and Toyota Tacoma. The move is a return to form of sorts for Jeep, which offered a pickup in one guise or another from the end of WWII until 1993. The Gladiator’s towing capacity slightly edges out Ranger, at 7,650lbs, and according to Jeep, it’s capable of fording up to two and a half feet of water. It has many of the same off-road goodies as Jeep’s iconic Wrangler, and offers a forward-facing camera that’s purely for seeing what you’re about to run over when you’re not on a paved surface.

Of course, being so closely related to the Wrangler lends the Gladiator a few standout features in the form of removable doors, a fold-down windshield and a removable hardtop, making this the only truly convertible pickup on the market. .

2020 Porsche 911Porsche

2020 PORSCHE 911: A CAR THAT SUGGESTS WHICH ROUTE TO TAKE...FOR FUN

The legendary German sports car is set to enter its 8th generation, and as is generally the case with new 911s, Porsche’s designers remained very close to the car’s DNA. The subtle changes introduce nods to the car’s history: if you’re not a Porsche aficionado, you probably won’t even notice the recessed “frunk” accent (there’s no engine up there, of course, so it’s a front trunk, not a hood) or the more upright headlights. Power is up, with the 911 Carrera S now producing 443 hp, good for a don’t-try-this-on-your-way-home top speed of 191 mph. Tech gets an upgrade as well, with a water detection system that realizes when the road is wet, alerts you to the presence of water if you haven’t already noticed, and adjusts the various stability control systems accordingly. Porsche also debuted a proprietary road trip app that includes suggested routes and stops, and a “personal lifestyle assistant,” which connects owners to an in-house concierge service.

With a base MSRP of $97,400 , the 911 Carrera S will hit showrooms by summer of 2019. .

2019 Mazda3Aaron Miller

2019 MAZDA3: THE ENTHUSIAST’S DREAM

The next generation of Mazda’s entry-level sedan and hatchback enters the market with Mazda’s updated design DNA, which the company likes to say conveys a “single motion” across the overall shape. In keeping with the rest of Mazda’s lineup, the Mazda3’s dashboard is a lesson in simplicity, with only the 8.8-in. center display interrupting the otherwise straight lines. An optional 12-speaker Bose sound system headlines the interior options, but the real selection is under the hood. It’s available as a mild hybrid, with the company’s “SKYACTIVE-X” engine, or even as a diesel. All-wheel drive is now an option for Mazda3 buyers, and of course, Mazda retained the option of a manual or automatic transmission.

Look for the Mazda3 in showrooms by spring of 2019. .

2020 Hyundai PalisadeHyundai

2020 HYUNDAI PALISADE: A POWERFUL THIRD ROW

Hyundai’s going big for 2020, with the three-row Palisade SUV. With a size approaching that of Ford’s Explorer, the ability to seat eight should come as no surprise. What may surprise, however, are features like a mirror to allow drivers to keep an eye on rear-seat occupants or a power-folding third-row, not to mention a side-view monitor that not only warns drivers if a vehicle is in the blind spot, but provides a camera image of the area. A full-color Head-Up Display provides plenty of info, as well as status updates for a host of advanced driver aids, including lane-following assist. 291 hp and 262 lb.-ft. of torque ensure that Hyundai’s largest offering is right in-line with the top of the segment.

Look for the Palisade to hit dealerships in summer of 2019. .

2019 Honda PassportHonda

2019 HONDA PASSPORT: RETURNING FROM THE OLD DUSTY TRAIL WITH A SPLASH

The Passport was Honda’s first SUV when it debuted in 1994, and now it returns to Honda’s lineup for the first time since 2002. Built on the same platform as the Ridgeline pickup, the Passport targets competitors with substantial off-roading traditions, like Jeep Grand Cherokee and Toyota 4Runner. In the rear, an under-floor storage compartment includes removable and washable bins. A 280 hp V6 provides the oomph, while all-wheel drive is optional on even the base trim, and it can tow up to 5,000 lbs.

Look for it in dealerships in the early part of 2019. .

2020 BMW X7BMW

2019 BMW X7: FEEL THE HEATED AND COOLED CUP HOLDERS

The X7 is by far the largest of BMW’s lineup, with a footprint roughly the same as the Chevrolet Tahoe. Seven seats are split among three rows, or you can sacrifice one of those seats for second-row captains chairs. Engine options include a 456 hp twin-turbocharged V8 and a straight six borrowed from X7’s sedan siblings, good for 335 hp. The climate control system features five separate zones, and among the lengthy list of optional goodies are heated and cooled cup holders. A standard suite of Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) includes a blind spot monitor, warnings for lane departure, rear collision, frontal collision, pedestrian detection, and even cyclist detection. On the higher trim levels, active lane keeping assistant and extended traffic jam assistant (basically, automating the stop-and-go part of your commute) are available.

Pricing starts at $73,900 MSRP, and can run into the triple digits if you’re not careful with the options list. The X7 hits dealerships in March 2019. .

2020 Mercedes GLEMercedes-Benz

2020 MERCEDES-BENZ GLE: SEATS THAT KNOW WHEN YOU NEED A MASSAGE

Perhaps the most overtly cool feature on Mercedes’ next-generation mid-level SUV is called “Rocking Mode,” a function of the active suspension that replicates the rocking motion required to get free of deep snow or sand. There’s also an active safety feature that Mercedes is calling an “emergency corridor function,” which monitors not only lane markings, but the location and relative speed of other vehicles on the road, to help steer to a safer spot during emergency evasive maneuvers. Inside, the available massaging seats can automatically activate based on biological data if occupants have a compatible wearable device (from Garmin).

Even the windshield wipers are cool. The arms have washer fluid nozzles built-in (a Mercedes feature for a few years now), and they adjust the amount of fluid they spray based on contextual factors like speed and temperature.

The GLE hits dealerships in summer 2019, with a base price starting at $53,700 MSRP.

2020 Rivian R1TRivian

2020 RIVIAN R1T: THE ELECTRIC FUTURE OF PICKUP TRUCKS

The first offering from an all-new manufacturer, the R1T hits the road in 2020 and aims to be the first all-electric pickup truck on the market. Rivian’s numbers tell a tale of tremendous capabilities, including a single-charge range of 400 miles, 0-60 mph times of around 3 seconds, and a towing capacity of 11,000 lbs. An advanced suspension setup shares more in common with a McLaren supercar than an average pickup and, combined with prodigious power and standard all-wheel drive, the R1T promises an electric adventuremobile unlike anything else on the market. There’s no shortage of clever engineering to maximize storage capacity, either, with compartments carved into seemingly every nook and cranny on the truck.

We took a look behind the curtain at Rivian ahead of the R1T’s debut. Find out more, here.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500Ford

2020 MUSTANG SHELBY GT500: WING AND A PRAYER

If the base EcoBoost Mustang isn’t enough for you, you get the GT. If that’s not enough, you get the Shelby GT350, which draws inspiration from its race-bred namesake from five decades ago. Now? There’s the GT500. It takes the GT350R as a starting point, and adds wings, a supercharged engine good for over 700 hp, more suspension goodies and even a state-of-the-art seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

Its mission is simple: take on cars like the similarly-winged Camaro ZL1 1LE and Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye to dominate race tracks around the United States.With the optional Carbon Fiber Track Package, the brakes alone are larger than the wheels of Mustangs past, and the wheels are actually made from carbon.

There’s no announcement yet regarding price, but you can expect it to be well below the $100k marker. .

2019 Ram Heavy DutyFCA

2019 RAM HEAVY DUTY: THE PICKUP WAR GOES NUCLEAR

The iconic pony car trio from Detroit—Mustang, Camaro and Challenger—have spent years trading blows in an arms race with ever-higher power figures. For 2019, the attention is set to turn to the world of pickup trucks. Ford may still be the sales king, but Ram’s new Heavy Duty lineup just pushed the boundaries of what heavy duty means. In fact, it added a comma. Up to 1,000lb-ft. of torque is now available, which enables Ram’s heaviest of duties to tow over 35,100 lbs. To put that into perspective: that’s more than nine Challengers’ worth of cargo.

There’s an array of tech, of course. Automatic emergency braking even controls the trailer brakes, and the tire pressure monitoring system accounts for tires on the trailer, too. There’s a “Bed Lowering Mode” for easier loading, made possible by the truck’s rear air suspension setup. Once all the hard work is done, active noise cancellation helps keep cabin sound levels down, so you can hear the truck’s 750-watt, 17-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

Pricing will be announced before long, but you can .


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