The most important cars to go on sale in 2021

Cupra Formentor

Cupra Formentor
The Formentor will be Cupra’s first standalone model. (Cupra)

Cupra used to be the sporty division of Seat, but now it has splintered off to be its own brand. Until now it has built performance versions of existing models, but the Formentor will be its first standalone car.

Being a member of the VW Group you know it’ll be well made and reliable to go with those sleek and stylish looks.

Hyundai Tucson

Hyundai Tucson
(Hyundai)

The past few years has seen Hyundai carve itself as not only a mainstream contender, but also a genuinely viable option as a premium car maker.

The new Tucson will spearhead this move upmarket, seeing the existing SUV given a comprehensive makeover. Its USP will be the new ‘parametric hidden headlights’ – it will be interesting to see these in action in the real world.

Nissan Qashqai

New Nissan Qashqai
A revised suspension setup underpins the new Qashqai. (Nissan)

Arguably the most important car in the crossover market, the Qashqai has been key to the segment’s sales boom over the past decade.

With a huge list of rivals to compete with now, early spy shots indicate a completely new look for the brand new model, while a new high-tech and more upmarket interior has been hinted at.

BMW M3/M4

BMW M3
Both M3 and M4 models are available with four-wheel-drive for the first time. (BMW)

The BMW M3 is one of the most iconic names in the car enthusiast world, so a new one going on sale is a pretty big deal. Speaking of big, the model’s front grille has sparked much conversation online, but as with any performance car, the way they drive is the key selling point.

BMW has given its super-saloon a hefty makeover, with the new 3.0-litre straight-six engine making 503bhp and 650Nm of torque. It also gets a four-wheel-drive system instead of the typical rear-driven setup.

BMW iX3

BMW iX3
The BMW iX3 crossover will be a top-seller. (BMW)

It’s likely 2021 will be the year of the electric vehicle, with many big manufacturers taking their EVs from niche models into a wider range of mainstream segments.

BMW is a prime example of this, with multiple new EVs expected in 2021, making it hard to pick just one. An electric version of the hugely popular 3 Series, called i3, will be a key model for the German brand, its iX SUVs will likely be the best-sellers, while the i7 will be an intriguing new luxury flagship model.

Mercedes-Benz EQA

Mercedes-Benz Concept EQA
This concept previews the EQA’s styling. (Mercedes-Benz)

Another firm launching a variety of EVs under new branding this year is Mercedes-Benz with its series of EQ-badged cars].

One of the most important will be the EQA, the electric version of the existing A-Class – the hatchback is Mercedes’ best-selling model and regularly finds itself in the top five-selling cars in the UK each month.

Audi e-tron GT

Audi e-tron GT
The look of the e-tron GT has been highlighted by concept images. (Audi)

Electric vehicle sales are rapidly increasing but still make up a small segment of the market. Increasing interest will be down to exciting performance models like this, the Audi e-tron GT.

It’s expected to be revealed in production form soon before going on sale later in the year. The sleek coupe will have two motors making a total of 637bhp, making it more powerful than the firm’s R8 V10 supercar.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Ford Mustang Mach-E
(Ford)

While the name might have sparked some controversy among Mustang enthusiasts, there’s no doubt that for mainstream buyers the chance to buy an electric Mustang SUV might just be too good to turn down.

Ford’s first full EV looks great and offers power and range choices at varying price points to appeal to a wider market – the top-spec version boasts a 370-mile range, one of the largest of any EV.

VW ID.4

Volkswagen ID.4
The new ID.4 sits on Volkswagen’s MEB platform. (Volkswagen)

Volkswagen has used the controversy surrounding ‘dieselgate’ to drastically pivot its strategy to focus heavily on electric vehicles.

The firm is known for building excellent, affordable cars for the mainstream market, so is one of the most important players in bringing EVs to the general public. Its electric ID range was launched with the ID.3 hatchback, and that will be joined this year by the ID.4 crossover.

Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ
(Jaguar)

In the premium car market, Jaguar Land Rover is quite a small player outside of the UK. However, the EV revolution presents an opportunity to take the fight to the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi.

The new Jaguar XJ will be the focus of this, because it is switching to being an electric vehicle. Spy shots hint at a much chunkier design than the current curvier styling.

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