If you're not excited about the CS version of BMW's already brilliant M2 then there might be no hope for you in 2020. True, there's a new M3 inbound, too - but everything we've grown to love about BMW's quintessential model has already been distilled in the smaller car, and in the CS its maker has finally taken the shackles off. So you get 450hp and 406lb ft of torque, adaptive suspension for the first time, forged wheels wrapped in Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres and a redesigned dual-branch, four-pipe exhaust. In other words, a slightly lighter, faster, pointier and more sophisticated M2. With Alcantara everywhere you'd want it. Perfick.
Less than a week away from its reveal, the rally-spec Yaris is shaping up to be something pretty special. We know that because of the absurd (i.e. awesome) lengths Toyota has gone to when building it. For a start, there is permanent all-wheel drive - a fact which had us at hello last year. But there is also what's reputed to be the world's lightest 1.6-litre petrol engine, offering more than 250hp. And three doors where there was once five. And a massive pumped up track front and rear. And redesigned suspension. And a roofline which is nearly 10cm lower. In other words, it's been made by extremely enthusiastic engineers and not accountants. Which is very rare, and very wonderful.
The SF90 is nothing less than a new chapter in Ferrari's history. It is the most powerful road car in the maker's storied history, and it is a hybrid. It is also four-wheel drive. It will do 25km without requiring the intervention of its 780hp 4.0-litre V8. But burn petrol alongside the electrons and it'll apparently manage 0-124mph in 6.7 seconds. It is also capable of minutely controlling the level of torque available to each wheel, and that is said to supply a level of handling dexterity that not even Ferrari has previously attained. Oh and Matt - who has seen the car in the flesh - says it has the best interior of any Maranello-built model in the last twenty years. If it delivers on two-thirds of its promise, it's hard to think of any more desirable car in 2020.
The Speedtail was revealed to us so long ago now that the concept of it being new to 2020 almost seems counter-intuitive. But new it most certainly is and McLaren reminded us of its standout feature just before Christmas with confirmation that the car had repeatedly achieved its 250mph target speed at Kennedy Space Centre. 'Pah, Bugatti has gone 300mph' I hear you splutter - well, yes, but that was achieved through the blunt force trauma of 1600hp. The Speedtail has (just) 1050hp and looks like a grounded spaceship. It looks that way because it is an aerodynamic masterpiece built around McLaren's idiosyncratic central driving position. There is no other car like it in the world. By the end of 2020, there will still only be 106.
There are several other important hot hatches inbound this year, not least a new Golf GTI. Yet the new Mini GP stands out because it is a) just round the corner and b) it literally stands out. Possibly like a sore thumb. But possibly not if you're a fan of all things Mini, and that's always what the GP has been about. The latest one shrinks from the challenge not one millimetre thanks to an outrageously pumped-up body and the trick suspension contained beneath. That it is now beyond 300hp (and almost beyond £35k) is virtually par for the course; that it has managed a sub 8min Nordschleife lap time suggests that Mini has left no stone unturned in making it the 'fastest model ever produced in the 60-year history of the brand'.
We've avoided including too many as-yet-unrevealed cars - because honestly it's hard to get too excited about what the new Tesla Roadster might be like when it remains beyond the horizon - but the go-faster 992 variants are a different matter. For one thing, you can bet your bottom dollar that both the Turbo (a name whose cache somehow remains intact) and the slightly more distant GT3 will be up to snuff. And when that snuff includes a weighty contender for 'best car of the decade' it's rather more easy to swap about on your office chair like a sweetie-eating seven-year-old. The Turbo turns up first, mind, now endowed with 650hp. Which ought to be enough for getting along with...