Things in the auto industry are moving faster than ever, and in 2022 not only will some exciting new models be introduced, but also some exciting new brands that promise to transform the auto industry, just like Tesla did more than 10 years ago.
Typically, these new manufacturers offer specialist EV models, and while initially targeting US launches, once spotted with A-listers on Hollywood Boulevard or the Upper East Side, they are sure to arrive here in the United States. UK in no time. But aside from two new players, 2022 will also be the year that three of the biggest legacy combustion models get a total overhaul, so keep scrolling to find out what to look forward to.
Chances are you’ve never heard of Rivian, but this Silicon Valley startup has just crossed the proverbial finish line for new manufacturers by beginning production of its exciting all-electric pickup and SUVs for customers. For now, Rivian will focus on covering its massive pre-order list in the US, but it has plans to offer its models in Europe in time, where the R1S and R1T are destined to revolutionize their respective markets, just like Tesla. did.
Except this time, Rivian’s “blue-sky” thinking is not based on a controversial CEO or large numbers of claims, but on some seriously impressive technique. Despite looking big, the R1S pickup is smaller than most American pickups, but more importantly, it’s also one of the most capable and coolest out-of-town vehicles coming next year, EV substantiation or not.
Where the Rivian is about to transform one end of the automotive landscape, the Lucid Air is about to transform the other. This Tesla Model S rival has the same basics as a large, luxury all-electric sedan, but puts a new spin on things, with stunning design and groundbreaking range.
This next-generation electric vehicle has rivals from Mercedes-Benz, Audi and BMW well in hand, and while the new Plaid may have the numbers and a funny steering wheel, the Lucid Air really is another step forward for EVs – doing things in its own fashion, but not at the expense of the driving experience.
Unfortunately, Lucid is also focused on covering US-based order building, but we expect that Europe’s EV-friendly legislation will have a lot of appeal for the Air, which will be introduced sooner rather than later.
So we’ve tackled two new and pretty fascinating EVs, but if the thought of a V8 roadster is more your style, Mercedes-Benz will have the answer next year. While we’re still waiting to see the new SL Roadster without disguise, we know for sure that this all-new, state-of-the-art 2+2 has been properly executed, with the best of Mercedes-Benz’s extensive engineering power crammed into its compact package.
Unlike previous SLs, it runs on a custom AMG-developed platform and will be available with both pure combustion and plug-in hybrid powertrains with a whopping 830 horsepower combined. The final figure will be derived from the V8 we all know and love, complemented by an electric motor and small battery pack that join the party to make up for that massive power.
Best of all, this new SL promises to be the best-looking Mercedes model in years, a real throwback to the most glamorous era in open-top driving, arguably defined by its predecessors.
The Eternal Range Rover is another new car that we can’t wait to see when it’s unveiled later this year. It will be a total revival of an automotive icon with more electrification, more interior technology and even more glamour, but will almost certainly retain the regularity we know and love. The aluminum-intensive chassis is expected to remain, but we’ll see more plug-in hybrid powertrains hit the market, as well as a new range-topping twin-turbocharged V8 engine.
However, the biggest changes will be inside, with an all-new interior with even more luxurious finishes and features. Nevertheless, the imperious driving position and focus on ultimate comfort will not lose its importance in the new generation.
We all love a Range Rover, and while they sometimes seem as common on the UK roads as a Ford Fiesta, the high-end SUV still holds a special place in our affections. It is unlikely that this will change next time.
BMW is going through a pretty intense transition to an all-electric future, but until legislation to take petrol cars off the road comes into effect, it plans to go big with its sporty M models. The most exciting of these is also the smallest, with the all-new M2 arriving next year with an aggressive new look.
But while the package won’t change hugely from the model we already know and love, the all-new model goes even more hardcore by incorporating the same engine, gearbox and chassis as the larger M4, promising this new M2 most make extreme yet.
With the latest M models coming along, this could well be the most capable and exciting M2 ever, and will almost certainly be a true future classic as the countdown timer ticks on powerful petrol cars.