Updated: May 20, 2020
A guide to the best luxury sports cars and crossover SUVs for 2019, which take performance and poshness to new levels. Plus: Harley goes electric.
The old automotive categories are blurring with one another at turbocharged speeds. There are now sport-utility vehicles that are as quick and stylish as many hot-blooded sports cars. Among passenger cars, there are coupes that come with four doors instead of two to maintain a racy look with the practicality of a sedan. And most models offer as many customizable extras as a driver can dream up. Here’s a look at the hottest luxury cars rolling out for 2019.
Bentley’s sporty yet stately Continental GT coupe is redesigned for 2019 with added refinement nose to tail. It packs a muscular W12 engine—essentially a pair of conjoined V6s—which gets this large and heavy car up to 60 mph in a breathless 3.6 seconds. An electronically controlled suspension adjusts the ride and handling abilities according to selectable modes. The four-seat coupe’s interior is immaculately upholstered in rich leather and hand-trimmed in wood and piano-black finishes, and nearly limitless customization is available.
Vital Specs: 6.0-liter 626 hp W12 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission. Price: $214,600
The stylish Volkswagen Arteon four-door coupe is new for 2019, and like the CC it replaces, this model strikes a racier profile than the typical sedan. A longer wheelbase and wider underpinnings contribute to a roomier interior than its predecessor had, and a turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivers strong acceleration, with all-wheel-drive optional for added foul-weather security. Several safety features come standard, with items like stop-and-go cruise control and a hands-free trunk release optional.
Vital Specs: 2.0-liter 268 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, 8-speed automatic transmission. Price: $35,000 (estimated)
After a 20-year absence, BMW brings back the 8 Series coupe for 2019. It’s aggressively styled with what BMW calls “double bubble” contouring. Inside, sport seats are trimmed in premium Merino leather with contrast stitching. The M850i’s twin-turbo V8 engine is good for a speedy sprint to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. The “xDrive” all-wheel drive comes standard, with performance-minded options, including -Active Roll Stabilization to help keep the car uncannily flat through the curves. And a self-parking system is among its many extras.
Vital Specs: 4.4-liter 523 hp twin-turbocharged V8 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission. Price: $111,900
Aston Martin brings back two revered nameplates for what is arguably its most stunning coupe to date, the 2019 DBS Superleggera (pictured above). It’s wrapped in fluid bodywork that’s crafted from strong and lightweight carbon fiber, with a richly trimmed “2+2” cabin. A twin-turbo V12 engine propels the DBS Superleggera to 62 mph in a bracing 3.4 seconds. Assorted high-tech performance-enhancing systems and massive 21-inch wheels and performance tires combine to deliver truly tenacious handling.
Vital Specs: 5.2-liter 715 hp twin-turbocharged V12 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission. Price: $304,995
The compact iPace is Jaguar’s first full-electric vehicle, and it’s a deft combination of a sports car and SUV. Wrapped in coupe-like styling, it’s roomy enough to seat five. A lithium-ion battery pack can power the iPace for nearly 240 miles, and it can reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. Artificial intelligence can learn a driver’s preferences and automatically adjust the climate control settings, seat position, and radio stations at different times of the day.
Vital Specs: Twin electric motors with 394 hp, 1-speed transmission. Price: $69,500
Audi bolsters its SUV lineup for 2019 with this new luxury flagship crossover. It’s wider and lower than the current Q7, and introduces a new exterior styling to the brand. The interior looks and feels rich, and is highlighted by Audi’s customizable virtual-cockpit instrument panel and a touchpad-controlled multimedia system. All-wheel drive is standard and is rear-biased for a livelier feel. An optional air suspension with selectable driving modes enables a higher ground clearance to enhance the off-road abilities.
Vital Specs: 3.0-liter 335 hp supercharged V6 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission. Price: $66,000 (estimated)
Mercedes adds a four-door hardtop version of its rip-roaring GT Coupe/Roadster for 2019 to take on the Porsche Panamera. The sports-car-like styling is accentuated by a choice of V8 engines with varying velocity. The top model can reach 60 mph in a mere 3.1 seconds. Over-the-top luxury features borrowed from the S-Class include an “Energizing Comfort” function designed to relax or refresh the driver according to predefined programs.
Vital Specs: 3.0-liter 429 hp inline-six-cylinder, or 4.0-liter 577 or 630 hp bi-turbocharged V8 engine, 9-speed automatic transmission. Price: $120,000 (estimated)
The stunningly svelte Urus crossover SUV debuts for 2019 and stands as the only Lamborghini that can be used as a daily driver without sacrifice. As is Lambo’s custom, the name is related to bulls, in this case a wild ancestor of domestic cattle. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 enables a 3.5-second sprint to 60 mph. All-wheel drive, active torque vectoring, four-wheel steering, an adaptive air suspension, active roll stabilization and carbon-ceramic brakes combine to deliver pulse-pounding performance. And its aircraft-like cockpit is open to tremendous customization.
Vital Specs: 4.0-liter 650 hp twin-turbocharged V8 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission. Price: $200,000
Cadillac finally fills an important hole in its lineup with the XT4 compact crossover for 2019. It’s appealingly executed, with a plush and purposeful five-passenger interior. It packs a lively turbocharged four-cylinder engine and comes with a Driver Select Mode function, which allows a driver to fine-tune the XT4’s dynamics. An available Active Sport Suspension adjusts in real time to maximize ride and handling characteristics over changing road conditions.
Vital Specs: 2.0-liter 237 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine, 9-speed automatic transmission. Price: $35,790
Land Rover enters the ultra-SUV market for 2019 with this limited- production (999 units) two-door Range Rover. Hand-built, it drips of exclusivity and strikes a stunning profile. Buyers can choose from scores of paint hues, door-handle and tread-plate engraving, semiprecious-metal badging and myriad bespoke treatments. A slightly lower ride height and other performance improvements afford crisper handling while maintaining an amenable around-town ride and off-road dexterity.
Vital Specs: 5.0-liter 557 hp supercharged V8 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission. Price: $295,000
Rolls-Royce debuts its first-ever SUV for 2019, the Cullinan. It’s named after the largest diamond ever discovered and is appropriately formal-looking. It’s plenty posh and plush inside, and can be dressed up with an almost unending number of bespoke touches. For those who choose to drive, the Cullinan can be fitted with a rear split-fold bench seat for added cargo stowage. Those who prefer to be driven can specify rear multifunction buckets and a console with a mobile bar and refrigerator. The Cullinan is also engineered to tackle off-road trails without sacrificing the brand’s traditional “magic-carpet ride.”
Vital Specs: 6.75-liter 563 hp twin-turbocharged V12 engine, 8-speed automatic transmission. Price: $325,000
A truly iconic American brand, Harley-Davidson introduces its first-ever electric motorcycle for 2019, the big and bold LiveWire. As is the case with electric cars, battery-powered bikes are inherently quick off the line, since an electric motor delivers 100% of its torque immediately. There are no gears to shift or clutch to work, so the power gets to the pavement even quicker—it’s expected to go from 0 to 60 mph in around four seconds.
Vital Specs: Electric motor, 1-speed transmission. Price: $30,000 (estimated)
Source: Gorzelany, J. (2018, September 28). 2019 Forbes Life Luxury Car Guide: Game-Changing Sports Cars and SUV's. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2018/09/28/2019-car-guide-game-changing-sedans-sports-cars-and-suvs/#7356f2aa62c0