How can we not start this 2019 retrospective with the Toyota Supra? A decade of hints and years of official teasing finally culminated at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show in early January. With everything that's happened since then, it's hard to recall just how excited the world was for this sports car's return. Perhaps our original Supra debut post will jog your memory.
After a lengthy run of prototype sightings and teasers, the Porsche Taycan finally came to life in September. Aside from being Porsche's first all-electric vehicle it's also bloody good at being a Porsche, which is to say it's supremely satisfying to drive.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
This list isn't about going from worst to first, but if we did have to name a number one debut of 2019, it would almost certainly be the new Corvette Stingray. The mid-engined Corvette idea first percolated over half a century ago, and the sheer excitement and enthusiasm we saw from people around the world for this doesn't compare to any new car reveal in recent memory, if ever. To Chevrolet's credit, the car didn't disappoint. Sub-three-second sprint to 60 mph in the base model and a price under $60,000? It's no wonder the world all but forgot about the new Supra by the end of summer.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
It took Ford two years to finally reveal the reborn Shelby GT500, and then it took several more months for the Blue Oval to finally come clean on performance. With 760 bhp on tap and a track-focused suspension finally worthy of such power, the wait was worth it. Too bad some naughty dealerships demand supercar money for one.
Ferrari SF90 Stradale
An all-new Ferrari is always something special. That's especially true when it's also the most powerful production Ferrari ever, and it's even more remarkable when it's a plug-in hybrid with a modest electric-only range. Yes, it's another first from a storied automaker, and with 986 bhp wrapped in absolutely gorgeous styling, the SF90 Stradale promises to be one of the most sought-after supercars of the '20s.
Audi RS6 Avant
The Audi RS6 Avant is here? This car is fast but it's not insanely fast. It's not terrifically exclusive, or electric, or game-changing either, so what gives? In short, the RS6 is here because it's bloody brilliant. It's a long roof that looks like it wants to eat your neighbour's children instead of taking them to school. It will hang with nearly every supercar in the world when you punch the skinny pedal, and it's practical to boot. We also absolutely love Audi for giving the SUV world a big, fat raspberry by offering this mental ride in the SUV engorged United States. They won't sell very many, and we suspect Audi knows it. But they did it anyway, and we will never, ever forget it.
Chevrolet Corvette C8.R
We can see some of you scratching your heads over this choice, because the C8.R isn't a production car. It's what you can't see under the bodywork, however, that grabs our attention here. Only one other model in Corvette history brandished a DOHC V8 – the epic C4 ZR-1 that went away in 1995 – but the high-revving mill returns with a vengeance for the C8 and the C8.R dishes up a delectable flat-plane-crank preview of what's to come for production models. We still don't know for sure just how deep the DOHC rabbit hole goes, but from what we've heard thus far, we can't wait to tumble into the void and get lost in ear-shrieking V8 wonderland.
Bugatti Chiron Super Sport 300 +
Honestly, we had a tough time including the Bugatti on this list. The Chiron has been around for a few years now, but obviously, this isn't a normal Chiron. For that matter, it's not a normal Chiron Super Sport 300+, either. Among other things, the souped-up Chiron that a select few buyers will get is limited to speeds below 300 mph. Still, this is – for all intents and purposes – a production vehicle that is capable of exceeding that insane barrier. It's also the first such production machine to do so, and for that, it's earned its place here.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Like the Corvette, there are two Mustangs on this list though we know many of you out there (and some of the editors here) don't feel the Mach-E is really a Mustang. Regardless of the badge, this is Ford's first EV offering from the ground up, and it looks like it could be a winner. Beyond that, there's no denying that Ford's decision to brand this as a Mustang grabbed the attention of the entire world. Whether you approve of the name or not, it seems nobody is forgetting about the Mach-E anytime soon.
How can we not end this 2019 retrospective with the mental Tesla Cybertruck? Whether you love or hate Elon Musk, he always puts on quite a show when it comes to new vehicle debuts. Even without the shattered glass faux pax, the Cybertruck and its Blade Runner styling is as polarising as politics. It's as ridiculous as a water slide at a shopping mall, but at the same time, we really want to have a go down the slide. Whether it actually comes out looking like this in 2021 isn't entirely certain, but at this point, it doesn't matter. Musk has the world's attention with the Cybertruck, and that's the first step in selling them to the masses.
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