There has been no shortage of headline-making automotive news stories in 2019. From the debut of next-generation automotive icons like the new Toyota Supra to major changes in the automotive industry like the Peugeot-FCA merger, the automotive landscape looks quite a bit different now than it did 12 months ago.
Scroll down for a brief backgrounder of some of autoTRADER.ca’s most relevant automotive news stories of 2019. Here’s to a news-heavy 2020, car fans!
5. Toyota Debuts the A90 Supra
The arrival of the A90 Toyota Supra was definitely one of the biggest automotive news stories of 2019. The car made its debut at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and is the first new Toyota Supra model to be sold in North America in 21 years. Developed alongside the new BMW Z4, the car is powered by a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-six BMW engine that makes 335 horsepower. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. It will hustle from 0-97 km/h (60 mph) in just more than four seconds. The Supra was controversial when it debuted after a long teaser campaign and the hype surrounding it was intense. While people are split on the design, some fans were worried the BMW tie-up would tarnish the iconic Supra name, and others were upset by the fact there is no manual transmission available. Meanwhile, some were just happy that a new sports car debuted in 2019 instead of yet another crossover.
4. Corvette Goes Mid Engine
2019 also saw the Chevrolet C8 Corvette debut as the first-ever production mid-engine Corvette. It really was the industry's worst kept secret — GM didn't even acknowledge it existed even though it was spied multiple times and everyone knew it was coming. GM has toyed with the idea of switching the Corvette to the mid-engine platform as far back as the early 1960s, but it finally happened with the debut of the C8. The car sits on a brand-new mid-engine platform and has a naturally aspirated 6.2-litre V8 engine that makes 495 horsepower. The idea behind making it mid-engine was to make it a more worthy competitor to the Porsche and Ferrari sports cars of the world by improving its balance and responsiveness. Other goodies include an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission and an available electronic limited-slip differential. The best part? The price has barely risen over the front-engine C7 Corvette, starting at $69,998 in Canada, which is considered quite the bargain for this level of performance. Still, the C8 Corvette is controversial and some people don't like the fact that it doesn't come with a manual transmission and changes the traditional Corvette formula so drastically.
3. Tesla Debuts the Cybertruck
The Tesla Cybertruck and its rather ridiculous debut event was certainly a major headline maker in 2019. Not only did the car generate a ton of buzz due to its strange looks, but it also grabbed even more attention when designer Franz von Holzhausen broke the vehicle’s windows trying to show off its bulletproof glass. The range-topping, tri-motor Cybertruck will have about 800 kilometres of estimated range and will accelerate from 0-100 km/h mph in less than three seconds. Tesla has received more than 250,000 pre-orders for the vehicle already, with deliveries set to begin sometime in 2021.
2. Porsche Taycan Joins the EV Fray
Traditional automakers also ramped up their EV efforts this year – especially Porsche with the debut of the Taycan sedan. The Taycan is the first true competitor to the successful Tesla Model S and is available in Taycan 4S, Taycan Turbo and Taycan Turbo S trims. The range-topping, dual-motor Taycan Turbo S makes 750 horsepower and can accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 2.8 seconds. It has an estimated range of 388-412 km. Perhaps more important is the arrival of Porsche's 800V charging technology, which is the fastest charging currently available to EV drivers.
Other notable EV news came from Ford, which also debuted its first-ever fully electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E. This was rather controversial because many die-hard fans of the Mustang are upset that Ford used the iconic sports car's name for an EV that's also a crossover.
1. Fiat Chrysler Merges With Peugeot
The biggest automotive news story of the year is the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and French Groupe PSA. This coming together of two automotive giants could have major implications for the entire industry. FCA stands to get some extra funding for future products as part of the deal, while Groupe PSA will benefit from FCA’s strength in North America and Latin America. This marriage is also representative of the direction in which the auto industry is heading. As vehicle development costs rise due to emissions and safety regulations, automakers will likely be forced to partner up more often to reduce overhead costs.