A new year brings new hope – and new cars.
We’re all glad 2020 is in the rearview mirror and if we look ahead we can see a number of exciting new models headed our way in 2021. At Torquecafe.com we’re interested in the cars that will put a smile on your face – either with performance on or off-road.
There’s too many to cut it down to just five models, so over the next two days we’ll be bringing you the highlights of the automotive year. So start marking your calendars and saving your pennies if you want to park one of these new machines in your driveway in ‘21.
There’s no bigger name headed our way in 2021 than America’s iconic sports car. After eight generations the Chevy Corvette is headed down under thanks to a factory right-hand drive program and the establishment of General Motors Specialty Vehicles (GMSV).
It became something of a ‘will they/won’t they’ scenario that left ‘Vette fans on tenterhooks throughout the last year. First, Holden announced it was coming, then GM announced Holden was being shut down, leaving the Corvette’s future in limbo. Eventually GMSV confirmed its plans to establish itself as a niche player in the local market with the Corvette and Silverado ute leading its line-up.
You’ll need to be patient a little while longer because the Corvette isn’t due until later in the year, but it should be worth the wait. The Corvette C8 Stingray is the first mid-engine of its kind, packing a 6.2-litre V8 good for 370kW of power and 640Nm of torque behind the driver. No pricing has been confirmed but expect it to be a cut-price rival to mid-engine competition from Europe’s finest.
Hyundai i20 N
It will be a big year for Hyundai’s burgeoning N Performance division with not one but three new models expected to hit dealerships in ‘21 – the pint-sized i20 N, the refreshed i30 N and the all-new i30 Sedan N.
The i20 N will help the brand leverage its World Rally Championship involvement, whilst also providing a lower entry price to the line-up which should help attract new buyers. Based on the all-new i20 city car, N Division has given it a major upgrade with 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine making 150kW/275Nm. It also gets a six-speed manual transmission, mechanical limited slip diff and unique dampers to ensure it provides driving thrills to match its acclaimed big brother – the i30 N hot hatch.
Speaking of which, the i30 N will get a mid-life makeover this year, crucially adding an automatic transmission option for the first time. Dubbed the ‘N-DCT’ the all-new eight-speed, wet dual-clutch transmission should help dramatically widen the appeal of the i30 N; and the power bump to 206kW/392Nm will help too.
Both the i20 N and i30 N with N-DCT are due in the first half of the year.
Following in the second half of the year will be the i30 Sedan N, which is expected to take the same 2.0-litre turbo and N-DCT from the i30 N hatch and place it inside the striking i30 Sedan body. It’s likely to replace the i30 Fastback N in the local range and act as the alternative choice for those who want hot hatch performance in a more sophisticated package.
Evolution, not revolution, is the name of the game for Subaru’s new BRZ. And that’s fine, because it was one half of the cars that helped redefine affordable performance cars in the last decade; along with its Toyota twin – the 86.
While Toyota is yet to reveal the new 86, Subaru took the wraps off the new BRZ in November. It features a subtle change to the styling that sharpens up the out-going model while retaining the same silhouette.
The biggest news is under the bonnet though, where the 2.0-litre flat-four is replaced by a more powerful 2.4-litre four-cylinder boxer engine. It makes 170kW and 249Nm, which is an upgrade of 23kW and 37Nm, which is still modest but should help maintain the simple but engaging character of the out-going model.
Subaru Australia has yet to confirm when the new BRZ is due to hit local showrooms, but expect it in the second half of the year.
Volkswagen Amarok W580
The battle for supremacy in the ‘fast ute’ market looks set to continue in 2021. The first hit goes to Volkswagen Australia, with the German brand’s local arm drafting in the team behind HSV’s greatest hits to create the Amarok W580.
The Amarok was already the most powerful ute on the market thanks to its 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel (200kW/580Nm), but VW Australia tasked Walkinshaw Automotive Group (WAG) to build a ‘GT-spec’ ute. The resulting Amarok W580 features unique suspension, a custom exhaust and unique alloy wheels wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion tyres.
While orders are already open the first W580 is due to roll off the WAG production line in April.
Since McLaren re-entered the supercar market in 2012 it has used the same basic V8 engine and platform (MonoCell) for all of its Ferrari-rivalling models. That ends in 2021, with the launch of the brand’s all-new Sports Series model – Artura.
The Artura will lead the brand into a new era, with an all-new chassis and, crucially, an all-new V6 engine with hybrid technology. McLaren says it has used lessons from the P1 and Speedtail hybrids to develop this all-new powertrain.
The company claims the twin-turbo six has the same performance as the twin-turbo V8 but has better response from lower in the rev range, as well as the ability to drive for short periods on electric power alone.
The Artura has been revealed in camouflage testing guise, but the full reveal is expect early in the new year before it hits the road in the back end of ‘21.