Pace Notes

PIPING HOT METAL YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE IN THE NEXT 12 MOTOR MAGS

THE 10 HOTTEST CARS OF 2019

01 ASTON MARTIN VALKYRIE

LAUNCH DATE: H2 2019

SPEC: 746kW/740Nm

PRICE: $4,500,000+ (base model)

ARE WE STARTING WITH the best on this list? If the numbers are anything to go by, possibly! Aston Martin recently announced its Valkyrie will be powered by a naturally aspirated 6.5-litre V12 that revs to 11,100rpm and produces 746kW/740Nm. The Valkyrieís ICE will also be working in tandem with a hybrid system that Aston Martin is yet to detail, so the hypercarís total output is yet to be revealed.

These figures are possible in part thanks to the cooperation of Cosworth and the Red Bull F1 team. Aston has also released a video of the engine at full pelt during testing. Itís almost a given that its performance will be out of this world, but will any of the 150 owners be able to drive it anywhere near its capabilities?

Aston Martin has saved a miniscule amount of weight by ensuring its badge is no more than 70 microns thick, or thinner than human hair.

We think the Valkyrieís abilities are going to be near-mythical.

02 PORSCHE 992 911 CARRERA S

LAUNCH DATE: Q2 2019

SPEC: 331kW/530Nm

PRICE: $265,000

THE CURRENT CROP of Porsche 911s is still so good that you wonder why they need replacing. In a way, Porsche agreesbecause, despite moving to an all-new platform, it is evolution rather than revolution when it comes to the mechanical bits.

All retain the 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat-six, with the S models producing 331kW/530Nm, improvements of 22kW/30Nm over their predecessors.

The standard dual-clutch now uses eight speeds, though a sevenspeed manual will remain an option. Acceleration is improved, 0-100km/h takes 3.7sec for the rear-drive Carrera S with Sport Chrono, the all-wheel drive 4S another tenth faster.

The 992 update has mostly focused on bringing the 911 up to date in terms of technology, with a heavily revised interior and new driver assistance systems, which will be anathema to some 911 purists. Nonetheless, on past form it should still be utterly brilliant to drive. Weíll find out soon.

03 McLAREN 720S SPIDER

LAUNCH DATE: H2 2019

SPECS: 530kW/770Nm

PRICE: $550,000 (est)

DELETING THE ROOF can have a surprisingly big effect on a car. Being made from carbon, the McLaren 720S Spider should drive almost identically to its hardtop twin, for its weight gain is just 49kg, primarily down to the folding hardtop, and thereís little change in structural rigidity. The extra heft hasnít affected its performance; 0-100km/h is claimed to still take just 2.9sec, with 200km/h flashing by just 5sec later. By any standards the 720S is ludicrously fast, especially with a 341km/h top speed, though that drops to a mere 325km/h with the roof down. However, the 720S could use a little more theatre, and the idea of having benchmark supercar performance with all the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors flooding in is an appealing one. Itíll land around mid-year costing about 10 per cent more than the coupe.

04 AUDI E-TRON GT

LAUNCH DATE: H2 2021

SPECS: 434kW/0-100 3.5sec

PRICE: $250,000 (est)

LOOK OUT, TESLA. The US company has enjoyed a healthy head start when it comes to making electric vehicles, but itís about to face an onslaught of competitors. Audi calls this e-tron GT a ĎConceptí but itís really a thinly disguised production car that shares its underpinnings with the forthcoming Porsche Taycan. In its quickest guise, Audi claims the e-tron GT can bolt to 100km/h in just 3.5sec thanks to 434kW of electrical punch. Cleverly, this new-age quattro is fitted with wireless charging. The car simply needs to be parked over the charging pad, which is connected to the power supply, and it can charge itself overnight. Alternatively, when plugged in to an 800V charger the battery can be replenished to 80 per cent in 20min.

05 MERCEDES-AMG ONE

LAUNCH DATE: H2 2019

SPECS: 750kW/0-200 <6sec

PRICE: $3,800,000+

AMGíS F1 RACE CAR for the road is scheduled to reach its first customers by the end of 2019. Itís packed with cutting-edge technology, with more than 1000bhp (746kW) promised from the combination of a 1.6-litre turbo V6 revving to 11,000rpm and four electric motors. All up, the numbers arenít far from those of Lewis Hamiltonís car.

A lightweight frame comes thanks to extensive use of carbon fibre and, like in the Valkyrie, the engine is part of the Oneís chassis structure. 200km/h arrives in less than six seconds, so itís a brisk beast. The list of features weíve yet to be clued in on is likely endless, but keep an eye out as its launch gets closer. One thing weíre quite sure isnít included is a DRS function.

Seven Aussies have agreed to hand over $4 million for the privilege of owning one of the 275 planned cars.

06 PORSCHE TAYCAN

LAUNCH DATE: H1 2020

SPECS: 445kW/0-100 3.5sec

PRICE: $300,000 (est)

ABOUT A YEAR before Audiís e-tron GT arrives, the car it shares its platform with, the Porsche Taycan, should have touched down. A number of variants will be offered, the most powerful being all-wheel drive and producing more than 445kW for a 0-100km/h time of less than 3.5sec. Porsche is on the record as stating Taycans should cost somewhere between a Cayenne and a Panamera, but the bigger question is, where are owners going to find an 800V charging station?

07 POLESTAR 1

LAUNCH DATE: Q1 2019

SPECS: 441kW/1000Nm

PRICE: $250,000 (est)

SADLY, THE POLESTAR 1 wonít be coming to Oz. Just 1500 will be built, all in left-hand drive, and delivered to just 18 markets globally. Even so, it promises to be one of 2019ís most interesting performance cars, with a 2.0-litre twin-charge four-cylinder engine boosted by 220kW/630Nm of electrical assistance for a total of 441kW/1000Nm and (presumably) jet-like acceleration.

08 GENESIS G70

LAUNCH: Q1 2019

SPECS: 272kW/510Nm

PRICE: $65K (est)

Whispers are that the Genesis G70 is a more entertaining, more resolved Kia Stinger, which suggests we will like it very much. Trouble is, Hyundai is taking forever to figure out its new retail sales method Ė hurry up!

09 AMG GT PRO

LAUNCH: Q2 2019

SPECS: 430kW/700Nm

PRICE: $380K (est)

If the AMG GT R isní hard enough for you, try the Proí on for size. Lighter and with more aero and suspension adjustability, this monster is currently under evaluation for Australia. Should be a no-brainer, we reckon.

10 FORD FIESTA ST

LAUNCH Q2 2019

SPECS: 147kW/290Nm

PRICE: $30K (est)

One of 2019í cheapest performance cars may also be one of the best. Sadly, Fordí Fiesta ST has been delayed over spec issues, but we caní wait to sample its three-cylinder magic and playful handling.