IN the words of D:Ream and a bunch of awkward Labour MPs dancing in ill-fitting suits – “things can only get better”.
Let’s not dwell on 2020 but instead look ahead to what’s coming up in the world of cars next year.
We’ve teamed up with new car sales outfit YesAuto.co.uk to run the rule over 21 motors we will see in 2021.
ALFA ROMEO GIULIA GTA
We will see fewer and fewer cars like this over the coming years.
Alfa’s Giulia GTA will produce 533bhp with zero-leccy gubbins and is designed with lap-time crushing in mind only.
A 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 takes care of the shouty business.
AUDI e-TRON GT
The Porsche Taycan is probably the most exciting EV on the planet.
It’s ballistic missile-fast and comes close to driving like a proper Porsche, although it just falls short.
The e-Tron GT is Audi’s version of the same car, sharing the Taycan’s battery tech and platform.
Only it should be cheaper. Tidy.
BMW’s answer to EV saloons like the Tesla Model 3 has some tasty-sounding figures — 523bhp driven through all four wheels, a sub-four second 0-62mph dash and a range of 373 miles.
And it promises to charge up to 80 per cent in under half an hour.
When you hear the words “Citroen C4” a little part of you inside dies.
The last model was quite possibly the most forgettable car of all time.
Not so with this new version.
It looks good, with coupe-crossover styling, and will offer an affordable electric alternative to cars like the Ford Focus.
Stupid name, serious car.
It’s the first all-electric model from Seat’s spicy sister outfit Cupra, will come with a very useable range of 310 miles and should offer around 200bhp, all of which will go to the back wheels.
That makes it a mild electric hot hatch, being a similar size to the Seat Leon and VW Golf.
Less than £8,000 for what is basically a re-skinned Renault Clio?
I can’t overstate how important this car is.
The basic model, which will be the UK’s cheapest new car, doesn’t have air-con but it only takes a few quid more to have all the bells and whistles.
And as it shares its underpinnings with the Clio, it means it drives like a much more expensive car.
FORD MUSTANG MACH-E
Oh boy, have we waited a long time for this.
Something called Covid-19 stalled delivery but early next year we will finally see the Ford electric SUV on the streets.
It’s not the Ford SUV that excites me most, though.
As was revealed on these very pages, Ford is chewing over the idea of bringing the Bronco to Britain.
If it happens, it won’t be this year, but it’s still something to get excited about.
HYUNDAI i20 N
The standard Hyundai i20 has been given a thorough makeover to bring the fight to the Ford Fiesta next year, but the big news is an N version is also being launched, using hot hatch knowhow gained from the i30 N and targeting the Fiesta ST.
I love the i30 N so this 200bhp pocket rocket is high on my “to do” list.
Kia’s third EV — as previewed by the Futuron and Imagine by Kia concepts and also codenamed CV — is a hi-tech crossover saloon that can do 310 miles non-stop.
It recharges to 80 per cent in 18 minutes, using 800v charging trickery currently only seen in the Porsche Taycan.
Like the Taycan, it’s rapid, and can box off 0-62mph in 3.5 seconds.
As you may have spotted in the headline, Kia will also unveil a thoroughly modern logo in the next few days, minus the old oval. I like it.
The fifth-generation Sportage will be unveiled this summer.
Think Sorento — but reduced to 70 per cent in the photocopier — with the same tech and engines as the new Hyundai Tucson.
That means hybrid, petrol and diesel.
Hard to believe Sportage has been with us for 27 years now.
Europe’s favourite Kia is a solid family motor with bombproof reliability.
LOTUS TYPE 131
Finally, an all-new model from Lotus.
Not sure the world could stomach yet another slightly lighter, more powerful variant of the Exige.
Little is known about the new model — codename Type 131 — except it looks like a baby Eviya and its real name will start with an E.
Rumours suggest it will use a 3.5-litre V6 engine from Toyota, so you can expect it to thump hard.
I could have listed one of the many EVs Merc has scheduled for next year, but it’s the Mercedes-AMG One that is most exciting.
It’s basically an F1 car with numberplates, using a heavily revised 1.6-litre V6 engine nicked straight out of Lewis Hamilton’s race car.
No pit crew required either.
I’ve seen it already — you’ll see it in February.
But I can tell you it’s good. Very good.
Sweet spot family SUV. New look. Stiffer chassis. Hybrid engines.
But the big news is the cabin.
Plush, roomy and hi-tech with head-up display, digital dash and luxuries like massaging front seats and a heated steering wheel for the first time.
PORSCHE 911 GT3
Now we’re talking.
This track-focused 911 will use a 4-litre flat six to produce 493bhp.
And it will weigh less than Granny’s shopping basket.
Expect a lot of aero and a lot of noise.
It will also feature the rear-wheel steer set-up found in the 911 Turbo.
Take my money now.
PORSCHE TAYCAN CROSS TURISMO
Building on the success of the Taycan EV, Porsche is readying an estate version.
Adding a dose of practicality to the head-scramblingly fast Taycan, you’ll be the fastest parent in the school car park by a long way driving one of these.
Especially If you get the 715bhp version.
This sleek coupe-crossover is sure to go down a storm when it arrives next summer to sit alongside the Kadjar and Captur in Renault’s SUV roster.
You’ll be able to choose from a 138bhp 1.6-petrol hybrid, or two 1.3-litre petrol mild hybrids which offer 138bhp and 158bhp.
An RS Line version is also expected, which will add some sporty tinsel but nothing in the way of extra horses.
Something a bit more normal now, the next generation of Skoda’s tidy and affordable city car will make an appearance late next year.
It will be built on the same platform as the Audi A1 and VW Polo, so look to those cars for an idea of the engine line-up.
No official pics revealed but spy shots suggest a serious revamp in terms of styling.
SKODA ENYAQ iV
Following the lead of parent company VW, Skoda begins its assault on the EV market next year, starting with the Enyaq iV.
It follows a recipe we are becoming increasingly familiar with — SUV, 300-plus miles of range, a couple of choices of battery and motor size.
There will be a vRS badged model coming further down the line, though, which will be all-wheel drive and cover 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds.
Prices will start at £33,450 for the entry model.
TOYOTA YARIS CROSS
Don’t be fooled by the word Yaris in the title, this isn’t a supermini with a lick of plastic cladding and a roof rack, like the Ford Fiesta Active.
The Yaris Cross is a proper crossover which will go head to head with cars like the Nissan Juke.
It’s a Toyota, so a hybrid engine is a given, and there will be a four-wheel drive version on sale.
The British-built Astra will be renewed late next year, and we’re expecting a proper overhaul, now Vauxhall is owned by PSA.
Astra will share the same platform as the Peugeot 308 which means the engine line-up should include a 1.2-litre petrol, a 1.5-litre diesel, plus a PHEV version capable of around 30 miles of electric driving.
Fingers crossed we’ll see a hot VXR too.
The only thing carried over from the old Mokka is the name. Thankfully.
This is far better-looking and features Vauxhall’s new “detox” design inside and out.
The new Mokka will be available with a smattering of 1.2-litre turbo petrols and, for the first time, a fully electric version.
VOLKSWAGEN ID 4
We’ve tasted the ID 3 and were impressed, so things look rosy for the ID 4 crossover — the second model from VW’s new ID electric car family.
The biggest battery version, at 77kWh, will offer up to 323 miles of range, and there is expected to be an all-wheel drive model further down the line.
Hang on, that’s 22 cars, not 21.
I knew I should have listened harder in maths class.
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