Best new cars coming in 2021 - Mercedes to Nissan

From electric cars to supercars, this is our list of the best new cars coming in 2021

Mercedes C-Class

  • On sale: Early 2021

Sales of executive saloons such as the C-Class have been hit by SUVs in recent years, so Mercedes is pulling out all the stops on the next generation of one of its bread-and-butter models in a bid to give it fresh momentum.

The new C-Class will sit on Mercedes’ latest rear-drive platform, called MRA (Modular Rear Architecture). Cutting-edge 48-volt electrics are stitched into the new chassis, allowing greater scope for electrified powertrains. These should include plug-in petrols and diesels.

Inside, expect a cabin overhaul influenced by the MBUX infotainment system that has been such a big hit in the latest A-Class.

Mercedes EQA

  • On sale: Early 2021

When it goes on sale next year, the Mercedes EQA will be the only pure-electric premium crossover of its size on the market, beating upcoming BMW and Audi rivals to showrooms.

The new model will borrow a few styling cues from its larger stablemate, the EQC. Similar LED headlamps and aerodynamically efficient panelling are designed to eke the maximum amount of range out of the car’s battery. The most powerful version of the EQA will have approximately 270bhp, a 0-62mph time of about five seconds and a maximum real-world range of around 250 miles.

Mercedes EQB

  • On sale: Early 2021

Mercedes will rapidly expand its pure-electric range next year, and this will include a new compact SUV that will sit alongside the combustion-engined GLB in the line-up.

To save on development costs, the EQB will share its platform with the GLB, although that car’s running gear will be dropped in favour of an under-floor battery and a pair of electric motors with an expected output of 270bhp and 500Nm of torque.

Mercedes will also fit its usual range of ‘EQ’ styling tweaks, previewed by our exclusive image, with the SUV receiving a reshaped grille and a set of aerodynamically efficient alloys.

Mercedes EQS

  • On sale: Early 2021

Mercedes is readying its Tesla Model S rival for next year’s debut. The EQS will act as the technological flagship for the company’s EV line-up, showcasing the brand’s latest infotainment, design and electric powertrains.

Should the production-ready EQS’s performance figures match those of the concept, it’ll be able to cover 435 miles on single charge, while a 20-minute top-up from a 350kW DC fast charger should add around 350 miles of range. The cabin is likely to feature a new, three-screen version of Mercedes’ MBUX infotainment system.

Mercedes-AMG One 

  • On sale: 2021

The Mercedes-AMG One is designed to be the technological flagship for the brand’s road car line-up and takes on the Aston Martin Valkyrie. It’s loaded with performance tech plucked from the FIA rule book and is powered by a tweaked version of the 1.6-litre turbo V6 that’s used in Mercedes’s Formula One cars.

The plug-in hybrid powertrain has four electric motors and a compact battery pack. When combined with the V6, these provide a maximum output of 986bhp. Mercedes says this will propel the car from 0-124mph in less than six seconds, and on to a top speed of 217mph.

MG E-Motion

  • On sale: 2021

MG stunned audiences when it unveiled the E-Motion concept at the 2017 Shanghai Motor Show. And next year we could see the project reach production form. The E-Motion concept sits on a dedicated modular electric vehicle platform, which offers a claimed 0-62mph time of around four seconds and a maximum claimed range of 310 miles – although that figure was recorded under older test conditions.

Some of the concept’s features, such as the scissor doors and curved glass roof, will likely be dropped for the production version. But the powertrain could well be retained, delivering around 250 miles of range.

Nissan Ariya

  • On sale: Late 2021

Nissan will attempt to recapture its electric mojo with the Ariya, an all-new SUV that’s similar in size to the X-Trail.

The Ariya sits on a new platform, called CMF-EV, which allows a choice of front or four-wheel drive, as well as a number of battery options and motor outputs offering up to 310 miles on one charge. The Ariya will sport a radical interior, with a pair of 12.3-inch screens that can operate separately or as one, allowing information to be ‘swiped’ between them.

The crossover will also feature 4G connectivity and an always-on connection that allows over-the-air updates.

Nissan Qashqai

  • On sale: Mid 2021

The third-generation Nissan Qashqai will gain a striking new look when it goes on sale later this year, as previewed by our illustration. That means slimmer headlights, a larger grille and a generally sportier image, aided by a sloping roofline that was previewed by the IMQ concept exhibited at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show.

The new Qashqai will become hybrid-only, dropping diesel engines from the line up.

Nissan X-Trail

  • On sale: 2021

While the next X-Trail hasn’t formally been announced, the version sold in North America – called the Rogue – has made its debut. It takes design inspiration from the latest Juke, which means crisp new styling at the front but obvious design links to today’s car at the rear. However, there will be some minor tweaks before it’s ready for European buyers.

The US-market Rogue gets a 2.5-litre petrol engine, although the UK is likely to see smaller, more efficient petrol units, and possibly a Mitsubishi-sourced PHEV powertrain. As with the Qashqai, there are question marks over the future of diesel versions.

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