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Motoring

Get revved up: There's slew of exciting new cars hitting SA's shores in 2021

From hot hatchbacks to high performance, here's a preview of some of the most anticipated offerings in various categories

31 January 2021 - 00:02 By and brenwin naidu
The BMW 128ti.
The BMW 128ti.
Image: Supplied

The automotive industry will - like all sectors - seek to recoup the losses it suffered amid the obvious difficulties of 2020, and the current, low interest rate ought to continue stimulating the market.

In addition, a barrage of new models will make their way to South African shores.

Here are some of our most anticipated offerings, segmented by category:

SPORT-UTILITIES AND CROSSOVERS

It's fitting that we start with the end of the market receiving more interest than traditional sedans and hatchbacks.

New cars you can look forward to include: Volkswagen Tiguan, Subaru Forester, Peugeot 3008, Opel Grandland, Mazda CX-30, Mahindra XUV500, Kia Sorento and revisions for the whole Jeep line-up (Renegade, Compass, Cherokee, Wrangler and Grand Cherokee).

Chinese firm GWM promise no less than three new sport-utility vehicles this year. Toyota will launch the Urban Cruiser, doppelganger of the Suzuki Vitara Brezza, which is also imminent. Nissan plans to release the Magnite, while Renault has a new Captur in the works.

The Nissan Magnite.
The Nissan Magnite.
Image: Supplied

Mitsubishi has a contender for the affordable seven-seater crossover market, dubbed the Xpander. Expect updates for the Fiat 500X too, as well as an updated Stelvio from Alfa Romeo.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

This year Mercedes-Benz launches its all-electric EQ range of vehicles in SA.

Meanwhile, Jaguar adds plug-in hybrid derivatives to the E-Pace and F-Pace line-ups, and the same goes for sister division Land Rover, where the Defender, Discovery Sport, Evoque and Velar are the recipients.

Hybrid duality will be added to the Toyota Corolla and RAV4 too. BMW will launch the iX3 in the final quarter.

HOT HATCHBACKS

There's plenty to look forward to if you have a penchant for the genre.

Abarth has two limited run models: the 595 Scorpioneoro and 595 Monster Energy Yamaha Edition. Audi will release the next chapter of the S3 story.

BMW has the 128ti, aiming to take the fight to the Volkswagen Golf GTI - the eighth-generation model of that car is also on the horizon, alongside the new Golf R.

Hyundai is raring to go with an enhanced i30N, which gains a dual-clutch automatic transmission choice. And the Yaris GR from Toyota, already receiving critical acclaim abroad, looks set to be a real firecracker.

DROP-TOPS

Reduce the distance between your head and the sky in something roofless this year. There are some attractive picks joining the fray, like the Aston Martin Vantage Volante and the Ferrari Portofino M.

The striking Lexus LC also gains a convertible option, while Porsche is celebrating 25 years of the Boxster nameplate with a special edition model.

The Lexus LC.
The Lexus LC.
Image: Supplied

HIGH-PERFORMANCE

BMW will drop its latest M3 and M4 duo in the first quarter of the year, while the M5 facelift is also on the cards.

Audi has a bunch of RS-badged models in the works: a new RS4 Avant, RS5, RSQ8, RS6 Avant and R8 flagship.

Maserati is adding the more potent Trofeo version to its Ghibli and Quattroporte ranges, and Porsche may give us a new 911 GT3 and a PDK option for the 718 Cayman GT4.

Good news if you're a fan of British sports-car brand Lotus as the marque will make a local comeback this year.

Mercedes-AMG is planning a Black Series version of the GT, while the GLE 53, GLE 63 S and GLS 63 are also coming to town.

Lamborghini's road-legal race car, the Huracán STO, will be available in small volumes.

PICK-UPS

If you were getting tired of the two-horse domination by the Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger, these additions will bring variety to the mix. The new Nissan Navara boasts beefier looks and, as before, will be produced locally.

But more exciting is the arrival of the Peugeot LandTrek - the first time in decades that the French marque will have a bakkie in its stable.

Mazda launches an all-new BT-50 soon, based on the new-generation Isuzu D-Max. Interestingly, Isuzu says their new D-Max is likely to arrive only in 2022.

The Mazda BT-50.
The Mazda BT-50.
Image: Supplied

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