The 2019 automotive model year is ending, and as usual, automakers have been trimming their model trees as the leaves fall. Many of the vehicles vanishing, well, are no great loss — but some are simply delightful ones that we’re sorry to see go. So we’ve picked six new cars that will not be coming back for 2020 that we’re really going to miss.
That said, if you like any of these, keep an eye out for any 2019 models sitting around in your local dealer inventories. You may be able to snag a great deal.
Fiat 500 Abarth
The classic Fiat 500 was a work of art. With this 21st Century version, Fiat put forth a solid remake with a manual transmission for a reasonable price. The Abarth was the tuned-up version with aggressive styling and a tuned-up 160-horsepower turbocharged engine. The 500’s main drawback was that it was horrifically impractical for American requirements, unless you were Charlie Sheen shredding tires under house arrest.
The XJ is Jaguar’s iconic four-door sedan. Famed designer Ian Callum reinvented it for the modern era. But luxury buyers stopped wanting sedans in recent years, and the XJ is now departing after more than 50 years in continuous production. Expect Jaguar to revive the XJ nameplate next year, though the car should have electric propulsion like a Tesla, and may not even be a sedan.
After two generations and more than 20 years in production, New Beetle nostalgia has run its course. The second-generation (also known as the A5) New Beetle was the beneficiary of a less-cutesy, more-macho redesign. It put up a strong fight for the manual transmission, holding onto it until 2017. Sadly, VW is now looking toward its vibrant future of electric cars, Tiguans, and having far fewer Golf options in the U.S.
Volkswagen Golf Sportwagen
Speaking of fewer Golf options: Volkswagen is eliminating its entire wagon lineup from the American market. That means the Golf Sportwagen, one of the best-value cars on the market, is departing after this year. Guess Americans didn’t want a superb-handling long roof with great gas mileage and a six-speed manual.
Cadillac regrouped after the GM bankruptcy last decade and built a badass performance sedan/coupe — precisely when Americans stopped buying them. The ATS-V had 464 horsepower, an available manual transmission, 0-60-mph acceleration in under four seconds, and was a legitimate competitor to cars like the BMW M3, but with a lower sticker price. Goodnight, sweet prince.
Mercedes-AMG is ditching the V12 engines. That’s costing us perhaps Mercedes’s purest testament to extravagance, the AMG S65. The AMG S63 is already a 600-plus-horsepower implement of destruction; for an additional $83,000, the AMG S65 “upgraded” buyers to a 6.0-liter twin-turbo V12 putting out a dash more horsepower and a stunning 738 lb-ft of torque. Sure, it was nearly $100,000 more for a car that was less efficient and the better part of a second slower from 0-60 mph, but you got to make this noise.
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