With even stricter emission laws on the horizon, the automotive industry faces its biggest challenge since its inception. The next few years will be crucial for developing future propulsion technologies, and most carmakers are ready to show us the results in 2021.
From hybrid, battery-electric, and hydrogen-electric vehicles to gas-burning sports cars, 2021 is certainly ready to impress. Moreover, the year would be a sort of redemption for the industry since we expect, hopefully, that the pandemic will be no more. With that said, here are all the models to look forward to in 2021 and all the information we have on them.
Audi e-tron GT
Porsche was the first company from the Volkswagen Group to launch a high-performance electric vehicle with the Taycan. Now, Audi will use the same platform for its e-tron GT electric sports sedan in 2021. The carmaker already revealed the design, and it looks quite attractive.
Beneath the surface, the e-tron GT has Tesla-fighting internals. At first, the car will come with a 590 HP dual-motor configuration, enough for a 0-60mph launch of 3.5 seconds. Later, Audi might also launch an “RS” version, which should have over 700 HP and a 0-60mph sprint of around 2.5 seconds.
The Bavarian carmaker launched EVs even before Tesla started grabbing market share. Since then, though, BMW hasn’t really pushed the technology forward. Fortunately, that will change next year with the introduction of the BMW i4. The electric sedan will be based on the BMW 3 Series and will compete directly with the Tesla Model 3.
BMW already showed the i4 in concept form and gave us some preliminary information. The concept features a 525 HP electric motor at the rear axle, which should provide BMW’s signature driving experience. As a result, the i4 sprints from 0-60mph in just 4 seconds and reaches 124 mph. Moreover, the 80-kWh battery pack provides a maximum range of 373 miles.
Nissan had success with the electric hatchback Leaf, but the modern market wants crossovers and SUVs. Answering to the demand, the Japanese carmaker will launch the Ariya in 2021. The electric SUV will compete directly with the Tesla Model Y, Hyundai Kona Electric, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Customers will have a choice of 63-kWh and 87-kWh battery packs and front-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations. Nissan aims for a 300-mile range for the bigger battery, which is very competitive. The company will also emphasize interior space and comfort, while the outer styling should follow the Ariya concept it showed in 2019.
Chevrolet Bolt EUV
Chevrolet was one of the first manufacturers to answer Tesla’s onslaught of EVs. However, its Bolt didn’t exactly lure customers in showrooms. Chevy immediately got back to the drawing board, preparing a much more enticing prospect – the Bolt EUV. Being an SUV, the new EV should attract many more customers.
We still don’t have the exact numbers about the range but expect at least 300-miles with one charge. The Bolt EUV will also be the first Chevy to utilize GM’s Super Cruise technology, a Level 2 autonomous driving system. Production should start in summer 2021, with first deliveries at the end of the year.
Rivian R1T and R1S
Rivian is the newest Tesla competitor in the automotive world. Founded in 2009, the company should have its breakaway launch in 2021 with two vehicles – R1T and R1S. Both cars share the same platform and look pretty similar on the outside. However, the R1T is a pickup truck, while the R1S is a large family SUV.
Both models will feature cutting-edge EV technology. Rivian promises a 0-60 mph time of 3 seconds for both cars and a 400+ mile range. Moreover, the electric trucks will be very capable utility cars – the R1T has a 11,000 lbs towing capacity and wading depth over 3 feet.
When Elon Musk first showed the Cybertruck, the internet went wild. Half of the audience hated it; the other half went nuts for it. One thing was clear, though – Tesla caught the public attention once again. That’s mostly thanks to the sci-fi design with cyberpunk aesthetics.
The truck is even more impressive when you look deeper. Tesla says that the Cybertruck has an exoskeleton made of Ultra-Hard 30X Cold-Rolled stainless-steel, which should provide it with outstanding toughness. Furthermore, the company will offer three versions. The most powerful model will have three electric motors, a 0-60mph time of 2.9 seconds, 14,000+ lbs towing capacity, and 500+ miles of range.
Ford F-150 Electric
Ford showed us it bets big on electric power with the launch of the Mustang Mach-E. In 2021, the carmaker will take things even further by announcing the F-150 electric pickup truck. The car will go head-to-head with Rivian R1T and Tesla Cybertruck and should have a significant market presence.
We still don’t know the exact numbers, but the F-150 Electric should have more than 300-miles of electric-only range. Moreover, Ford promised a large frunk, in addition to the large bed. Also, the F-150 Electric would be the most powerful Ford truck to date, thanks to the dual-motor configuration. 2021 will be a busy year for electric trucks, indeed.
Polestar is another company that took advantage of the EV revolution. Previously a tuning arm of Volvo, Polestar has grown into a full-fledged electric-car manufacturer. The Swedish-Chinese firm already has two cars in its portfolio – the coupe “1” and the sedan/crossover “2”. Next year, the carmaker will launch its first electric SUV, which they will call the “3”.
The Polestar 3 will have a different identity compared to its brothers in the lineup. The front end will be more striking and aggressive, while the coupe-like rear end will utilize one large LED light bar. Considering Polestar’s current EV technology, the vehicle should have around 300-miles of range.
Mercedes-Benz is set for a large EV offensive in 2021. Perhaps the car that will be most popular on the market is the EQA, an electric-only version of the GLA Class crossover. The EQA will borrow most of the design cues from the concept version, but it will definitely sit higher from the ground.
Moreover, the sub-compact electric crossover should provide a range of around 250-miles and a 0-60 mph time of around 6 seconds. The numbers are certainly not ground-breaking, especially in 2021. However, Mercedes will ensure that the model is priced accordingly and play upon its strengths, like a super-luxurious and hi-tech interior.
The Cupra el-Born will be a super-interesting urban EV, which sadly won’t reach North-American shores. Still, European buyers will definitely have an exciting full-electric version for 2021. For those that don’t know, Cupra is the sports-car arm of Seat, a Spanish manufacturer that operates under Volkswagen Group.
Thus, the el-Born will use technology from its father company, similar to the one in VW ID.3. The sporty hatchback will have an 82-kWh battery capacity, enough for 265-miles (425 km) of range. Meanwhile, the rear-mounted electric motor provides 204 HP, enough for a 0-62mph sprint of 6.5 seconds. Not bad for an urban EV!
Byton is a global startup company that uses German design, Silicon-Valley engineering, and China manufacturing to produce EVs. Its first model is the M-Byte, an electric SUV that should shake up the market when it launches globally in 2021. The vehicle will be truly hi-tech, both in terms of electric technology and features.
Inside, the M-Byte has a mammoth 48-inch hi-res display in front of the passengers, which puts even the Tesla Model S to shame. There is even an additional screen inside the steering wheel for driving-connected features. Meanwhile, the M-Byte will feature 72-kWh or 95-kWh cells, which should provide up to 310-miles of range. Also, customers can opt for a rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive versions with up to 350 kW.
Dacia Spring EV
Up until now, EVs were pretty much reserved for wealthy buyers. Renault wants to change that, using its cheaper brand, Dacia. The first electric vehicle to bear Dacia’s name will be the Spring, due to be released in Europe next year. Sadly, that means no cheap EV for the US, at least in 2021.
The specifications of the Spring are nothing to write home about. The small city car has a 26.8-kWh battery, enough for a 140-miles of range. Moreover, the 44 HP electric motor means a top speed of only 78mph. However, the Spring is specifically designed as a city car, and it would cost under €20,000 (~ $23,500) in Europe. All those numbers make sense now, don’t they?
Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
The Porsche Taycan is one of the most accomplished EVs currently available on the market. However, it has one big flaw – the 366-liter trunk is on the small side. Porsche knows that and works on a “wagon” version of the Taycan, which they’ll call the Cross Turismo.
The more practical Taycan will probably feature the same internals. Thus, we should get a Turbo S version with 750 HP and 774 lb-ft of torque, enough for a 0-60mph time of 2.8 seconds. Porsche will even launch a raised version for off-road lovers, which reminds us of the outstanding 959 Dakar racer. Still no information on the trunk size, though.
Perhaps one of the most eagerly-anticipated hypercars in recent years, the Tesla Roadster is ready to rewrite history books once again. Elon Musk teased us with pictures and stats in 2017, but we didn’t hear much about the car since then. Nonetheless, 2021 should be the year when Tesla finally introduces its flagship, with sales starting in 2022.
The Roadster will have some crazy numbers behind its name. Musk promised a 0-60mph time of only 1.9 seconds, which could be improved further. Moreover, the car should reach 250mph, amazing for an electric car. Ultimately, Tesla prepares a 200-kWh battery, which should provide over 620 miles of range.
Along with the small electric crossover EQA, Mercedes will also launch the larger EQB. This model should be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model Y since it will be based on the GLB’s platform. With this vehicle, the German carmaker will have a rich electric-SUV portfolio, consisting of the already-launched EQC, EQA, and the EQB.
Mercedes-Benz still didn’t disclose any details about the EQB. However, we suspect it will be available in a dual-motor configuration for better traction and performance. That model should provide around 270 HP, enough for a 0-60mph time of around 6 seconds. Lastly, reports suggest an electric-only range of around 300-miles.
Audi Q4 e-tron
Audi will enhance its comprehensive range of electric cars with the Q4 e-tron, a compact and sporty SUV. The German carmaker already showed us the car in concept form, along with details about the car. Expect most of those specifications to move into the production model arriving next year.
The Q4 e-tron will be a Quattro model, which means that it will have two electric motors at each axle. The combined system output is 300 HP, enough to propel the SUV to 62mph in 6.3 seconds. Meanwhile, the 82-kWh battery would provide around 280-miles of range on the WLTP cycle.
Jaguar was one of the pioneers in the electric-crossover sector with the I-Pace, which proved very successful. The British company is now ready to dive even deeper into the EV world with the next Jaguar XJ. The luxurious sedan will only come in electric form for the next generation, and at first, won’t have any direct competitor.
Jaguar will probably utilize the I-Pace’s powertrain, which consists of two electric motors with a combined output of 394 HP and 512 lb-ft of torque. Down the line, we might see an even more powerful version. However, the XJ is not a performance car – instead, Jaguar wants to build a plush sedan that will provide a serene driving experience.
GMC Hummer EV
General Motors bets big on electricity, and the GMC Hummer EV pickup truck will pave the way forward. Like the original Hummer, the electric version will be huge on the outside, so it probably won’t have road presence issues.
The specs of the super-truck are impressive, to say the least. The two electric motors for each axle will deliver 1,000 HP and mind-blowing 11,500 lb-ft of torque, enough to propel the heavy truck to 60mph in only 3 seconds. Moreover, the truck could have a range of 400-miles and a 350-kWh fast-charging capacity. Considering the specs, expect the price to be in the six figures.
Ioniq 5 (Hyundai) (45 concept sliki)
Hyundai already has some interesting EVs in its lineup, namely the Kona Electric. However, the South-Korean company will soon launch the Ioniq brand, focusing solely on advanced-propulsion vehicles. The Ioniq 5 will be the first car from the brand, a mid-size crossover to compete with the Tesla Model X.
Ioniq (ahem, Hyundai) still didn’t disclose any information about the car. Nevertheless, we expect the range to be well over 300-miles since the Kona Electric already shows some excellent numbers. Also, Ioniq 5 will borrow the looks from the 45 Concept, which looks quite futuristic with its sharp and angled lines.
Hydrogen-electric vehicles are another solution for the increased CO2 emissions, at least that’s what Toyota thinks. The company already launched a production HEV car in 2014, which they called the Mirai. Now, Toyota’s hydrogen car enters its second generation, and we must admit, it looks quite stunning.
Gone are the quirky looks of the first generation, replaced with Lexus GS-like sporty styling. The second-gen Mirai will also have an electric motor on the rear wheels for better handling and drivability. Moreover, the new model will have the most advanced fuel-cell system to date. As a result, the new model could have over 420-miles of range with one tank of hydrogen. The best feature, though, is the 5-minute refueling time.
Lexus has some of the most beloved SUVs on the market. However, they still don’t have a flagship competitor to the BMW X7, Audi Q8, and Mercedes-Benz GLS. We will finally get the long-awaited vehicle next year. It will bear the name LQ, and judging by the concept model; it will be quite the looker.
The Lexus LQ will probably borrow the powertrains from the LS. The gas engine will be a 3.4-liter V6 twin-turbocharged unit with 416 HP. Meanwhile, the hybrid version will use a 3.5-liter naturally-aspirated V6 with two electric motors, pumping out 354 HP. Both versions will be available with AWD.
Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer
Jeep will finally re-enter the luxury SUV market with its Wagoneer nameplate. To make an even bigger impression on the market, Jeep will launch two versions – the regular Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer. The difference will probably be in the seating arrangement, with the latter featuring eight seats. Both SUVs should be toe-to-toe with the BMW X7, Ford Expedition, and Chevy Tahoe.
Curiously, Jeep will use a body-on-frame architecture derived from Ram 1500. However, the rear suspension will be independent for better road compliance and handling. As for engines, expect the same lineup from the Ram 1500, including transmission options. The styling should be similar to the Wagoneer Concept.
Ferrari resisted the temptation to launch an SUV successfully for over a decade now. However, the market definitely shifted to raised vehicles, and the Italian supercar manufacturer needed to respond. The first SUV from the company will bear the name Purosangue, which means “thoroughbred.” In other words, the company ensures that this will be a Ferrari first and foremost.
Following the name, the Purosangue will feature a 3+2 door layout, meaning the rear passengers will enter via “half-doors,” just like on the Mazda RX8. As for power, the SUV will get it from Ferrari’s 3.9-liter turbocharged V8, which should develop around 615 HP. Also, it’s almost certain that Ferrari will opt for a four-wheel-drive system.
Alfa Romeo Tonale
Alfa Romeo, a company that operates under the same roof as Ferrari, also looks to bolster its SUV lineup in 2021. The Tonale will be the smallest such vehicle from the company, competing with BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, and Volvo XC40. Judging by the Tonale concept, the production version should be quite the looker.
However, looks won’t be enough to dethrone the Germans. For that reason, Alfa Romeo decided to offer a plug-in hybrid version, along with a plethora of turbocharged gas engines. Customers can also opt for an all-wheel-drive version, but we’re more interested in the sporty Quadrifoglio that should arrive a bit later.
The last real update of Toyota’s full-size pickup truck dates in 2007. The Japanese company tried to bring the model to life with a thorough refresh in 2014, but that didn’t change things much. The Tundra is in dire need of a replacement, and we will finally get one in 2021.
The new truck will ride on the Toyota New Global Architecture-F. This move should strengthen the chassis considerably but also significantly reduce the weight. As a result, the new Tundra should boast much higher towing and payload capacities. Moreover, Toyota will finally get rid of its V8 engines and instead use a 3.4-liter turbocharged V6, a measure that will dramatically reduce fuel consumption.
Hyundai Santa Cruz
The pickup truck category gains another entry in the Hyundai Santa Cruz next year. This is the first such vehicle and a significant one. Hyundai will probably take hints from Honda’s book, though, and use a car-like unibody construction. We guess that the truck will be based on the newly-announced Santa Fe; thus the similarities in the name.
Furthermore, Hyundai will probably offer the Santa Cruz in two engine variants – a 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated unit with 185 HP and a 2.0-liter turbocharged one with 235 HP. Expect a towing capacity of around 5,000 pounds, which is not spectacular but certainly good for a truck that will start at around $25,000.
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Apart from the Wagoneer, Jeep will also refresh the Grand Cherokee in 2021. The all-new model will get new looks on the outside, but the biggest differences will be inside. Namely, the interior will get a total makeover with higher-quality materials, larger screens, and more space thanks to the longer wheelbase.
Jeep will offer a plethora of engines in the all-new Grand Cherokee. This time, the base engine will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged unit from Alfa Romeo. Meanwhile, the Pentastar V6 and Hemi V8 options will remain but probably bolstered by the eTorque mild-hybrid system. Jeep might even give the Trackhawk model another try, this time with even more power. We like the sound of that.
The second-gen XC90 mid-size luxury crossover started the revitalization of Volvo as a brand in 2015. Now, the Swedish/Chinese company is ready to launch the third generation, paving the way for other models to follow in the future.
Thus, one of the main features of the 2022 XC90 will be the Luminar LiDAR hardware, which should provide full self-driving capabilities. Like in Teslas, the hardware will be available from the start, but Volvo will need to activate it with a software update. Moreover, the next XC90 will almost certainly feature a fully-electric model, along with plug-in hybrid and mild hybrid powertrains.
Bollinger B1 and B2
Bollinger Motors is another fresh American manufacturer that focuses on developing and producing electric trucks and SUVs. Next year, they will start selling the B1 SUV and B2 pickup truck. Unlike Rivian, for example, Bollinger’s vehicles are much more utilitarian. The exteriors look like they came from the 1970s, while the interiors look decidedly spartan.
Under the military-like shell lies an electric powertrain with 614 HP, divided on both axles. Both cars should get around 200-miles of range and Level 3 DC fast charging. Bollinger markets the cars as off-road capable – the suspension provides 10-inch wheel travel, and there is 15-inch ground clearance.
Range Rover Crossover
Have you sometimes asked yourself what the difference between a crossover and an SUV is? Well, Land Rover decided to make things much more straightforward with the upcoming Range Rover Crossover. The latest vehicle from the company will be much closer to the ground, almost wagon-like. Thus, this model will be better prepared for on-road driving rather than off-road shenanigans’.
Range Rover built the Crossover on its MLA platform and, more importantly, will launch an electric-only version. The zero-emissions model will use a smaller battery than Range Rover’s 100-kWh unit, but it should still get around 300-miles of range. A plug-in hybrid with a 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder petrol will also be available.
Lagonda All-Terrain SUV
Aston Martin Lagonda was the first four-door car for the company. The quirky-looking sedan certainly looked futuristic, but it had some serious reliability issues. Now, Aston Martin wants to relaunch the brand as electric-only, and the first car will be a luxurious and sporty SUV. The British carmaker sees the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga as direct competitors.
The production-spec Lagonda will use styling cues from the All-Terrain Concept that Aston Martin announced in 2019. Moreover, thanks to the electric powertrain, the company promises similar space to the Cullinan, although the Lagonda is one meter shorter. We still don’t have information on the power or range, but expect some serious numbers there.
Chevrolet Corvette Z06
The first mid-engine Corvette is already a success, even during the pandemic. However, Chevrolet won’t rest on its laurels and is already working on the highly-anticipated Z06 version, which should arrive in showrooms next year. The sportier model will feature improved suspension and larger brakes to cope with the more powerful motor.
But, how much power will it make? Well, right now it’s anyone’s guess. And our estimate is that Chevy will utilize the 5.5-liter flat-plane crank V8, which should make it over 600 HP. Even better, the engine should rev to 9,000 rpm, and produce some amazing sound while doing that. Expect a 0-60mph time of around 2.5 seconds and a top speed of over 200mph. Ferrari should be worried, indeed.
Toyota GR 86 / Subaru BRZ
Toyota and Subaru stirred the enthusiast market with the launch of the 86 and BRZ. Now, the back-to-basics sports cars will enter the second generation. The Japanese carmakers prepared a host of upgrades for the new coupes, including a lighter body, updated suspension, and a completely new powertrain.
The thing is, we still aren’t sure if Toyota and Subaru will use a naturally-aspirated or turbocharged version of the 2.4-liter boxer engine. Obviously, we cheer for the latter, as it should have around 260 HP. However, we also understand the beauty of having a naturally-aspirated engine at this age. Anyway, both cars will be rear-wheel-drive only and will come with 6-speed manual transmissions as standard.
The Nissan (Datsun) Z line of sports cars is one of the most successful in automotive history. Naturally, when Nissan launches a new Z-car, enthusiasts take notice. And, this time at least, you really should pay close attention. That’s because the 400Z will be a much bigger upgrade than the 370Z was to the 350Z.
The car will look similar to the Z Proto concept, which mixes styling cues from the 370Z and the older Z-cars. Moreover, Nissan will utilize the 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 from the Infinity Q60, which should pump-out 400 HP. The 400Z will be exclusively rear-wheel-drive, and fortunately, the base models will have a 6-speed manual.
Alfa Romeo GTV
Alfa Romeo revitalized its brand with the launch of the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV. However, the historical Italian brand misses a GT car in its range. We are almost sure that they will launch one next year, though. The Alfa Romeo GTV will be based on the Giulia and compete with BMW 4-Series, Audi A5, and Lexus RC.
For the base GTV, Alfa Romeo will use the 2.0-liter turbocharged unit, currently available in the Giulia. But, we care more about the Quadrifoglio version with the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6, which pumps-out 505 HP in the Giulia. Later, Alfa might also introduce a revolutionary hybrid system that will raise the power level to 600 HP.
Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing
Apart from the pandemic, 2020 marked the death of the manual transmission. Well, almost. Of all carmakers, Cadillac decided to give the enthusiast feature another go in its upcoming CT5-V Blackwing sports sedan. Yes, the model will feature a 6-speed manual transmission, which tickles the car fanatic inside us.
And it’s not just the stick shift that entices us. The CT5-V Blackwing will have a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 under the bonnet, producing 650 HP. Cadillac also employed a track-ready suspension and brakes, creating a bespoke driving experience. The CT5-V Blackwing will arrive in showrooms in 2021, starting at $85,000.
Aston Martin Valhalla
Aston Martin will launch its first production-ready hypercar next year. Named Valhalla, the vehicle will surely instill fear in the competition, such as the McLaren Senna. The British manufacturer will produce only 500 units, though, starting at $1.3 million. Thus, you don’t need to fear it will take your money if you don’t have them, right?
Anyway, let’s get back to more serious stuff, aka the powertrain. Aston Martin will use an F1-inspired hybrid propulsion system, consisting of a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 and powerful electric motors. Other aspects of the Valhalla also have roots in racing, namely the carbon-fiber bodywork.
Toyota GR Super Sport
Toyota won the last three editions of the 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race with its LMP1 entry. Next year, though, the Japanese manufacturer will compete in the newly-conceived hypercar class. These vehicles should have similar performance, but also a road-going version!
The GR Super Sport is what Toyota has come up with. The production hypercar will use the same hybrid propulsion as the racing car. Specifically, a 2.4-liter turbocharged V6 and powerful electric motors with a combined output of 986 HP, enough to propel the GR to 60mph in less than 2.5 seconds. More importantly, the car will feature a feather-light carbon-fiber bodywork and a lot of downforce.
Toyota GR Corolla
Volkswagen GTI will soon get a fierce rival from Toyota in the US. Namely, Toyota will soon launch a hot version of the Corolla hatchback, which will use the same internals as the GR Yaris. There is a catch, though – the GR Corolla will be front-wheel-drive only. However, as long as it saves weight, we’re okay with it.
Under the bonnet, the hot-hatch Corolla will feature a 1.6-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, good for 257 HP. To our satisfaction, the car will also come exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission. Gazoo Racing (GR) will also significantly rework the suspension to make it handle sweetly through the corners.
Aston Martin Vanquish
Apart from the Valhalla hypercar, Aston Martin will launch a more down-to-earth supercar – the next-gen Vanquish. Curiously, the company won’t follow the formula that brought them success. Namely, instead of mounting the engine under the bonnet, they decided to make the next Vanquish mid-engine. Honestly? We applaud the move!
The mid-engine layout should make the driving dynamics sweeter and improve handling a bit. Moreover, Aston Martin will probably offer a 7-speed manual transmission, great news for enthusiast drivers. As for power, the Vanquish will come with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6, aided by electricity. Hybrid with a manual transmission? We really need to try that one!