2021 Is the Last Year For Some Very Cool Cars
These cars will not be available on the American market when we usher in 2022by Nicholas Waithaka, on LISTEN 07:14
Tens of models came to the end of their production cycle at the end of the last year, and 2022 will be no different. As automakers start to roll out their new model year products in anticipation of the next few months, other models will be signing off. The reasons vary from the electrification of variants to the release of new generations. Regardless, these models seem to have become obsolete, though their discontinuation will probably increase their popularity as the perception of rarity creeps in.
The announcement to end the production of the CX-3 was confirmed during an interview with Szymon Soltysik, Mazda Poland’s PR manager, who indicated that they were almost done accepting orders. The last of the units for the European market would be produced in December, though it is not entirely surprising. It was great when it was released and even offered a manual transmission alternative, but once the CX-30 arrived, the CX-3 no longer fit in. Low sales figures and Mazda’s prerogative to produce upscale models made its obsolete situation more apparent. The automaker sold only 8000 CX-3 units in 2020 and only 18,000 units in its best year but was proud to announce 33,000 CX-30 vehicles had been sold in 2020 alone.
Read our full review on the Mazda CX-3
In April, there was a report that Hyundai would discontinue some variants of the Veloster because they were not making it in the sales department. Hyundai did at first reassure that non-N versions of the model would remain next year, but it soon changed its tune. It’s not exactly surprising as the automaker only managed to sell 6,785 units of the Veloster in 2020. Hyundai will only retain the N variant as it does away with the R-Spec, 2.0 Premium, and the Ultimate. The decision to spare the N is understandable considering the impressive 2.0-liter turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission. In any case, the partial stoppage of the Veloster shows the automaker is moving away from small sports cars and paying attention to the more practical Kona and Venue models.
Read our full review on the Hyundai Veloster
Following a decade of successful production, the Italian supercar manufacturer is saying goodbye to the Aventador. A worthy successor to the Murcielago, the mid-engine V-12 supercar has aged quite well since 2010. Lamborghini will probably retain the V-12 engine but convert it for the next offering as the brand plans for an entirely electric or hybrid lineup. In tribute, the automaker made a final Aventador, the LP780-4 Ultimae, the swansong of a 58 year legacy of naturally aspirated V-12 engines. It has a 6.5-liter V-12 engine producing 770 horsepower. Six hundred of them were made and have already been sold out. The new hybridized generation will mean better performance, of course, but it is sad as it marks an end for a heritage-rich supercar.
Read our full review on the Lamborghini Aventador
Polestar is a Swedish performance brand under Volvo that released its first model in 2019 and received a lot of criticism because of the pricing. The first iteration of the Grand Tourer coupe costs $155,000. Due to this expense, everything about the Polestar seemed a bit overrated. For one, the hybrid powertrain, which features a 2.0-liter inline-four-cylinder with supercharging and turbocharging on the front axle, not to mention the electric motor on the rear axle, is needlessly complicated. Similarly, the body panels are also carbon fiber, yet the car still weighs 2.3 tons, so they were irrelevant as far as weight reduction. Following its end, the lineup will be down to the Polestar 2, but the automaker will release a third iteration that will allegedly be similar to the Volvo XC60 SUV.
Read our full review on the Polestar 1
The Passat will be discontinued after the 2022 model year, but Volkswagen opted to release a Limited Edition as a tribute to the Chattanooga, Tennessee factory, which has rolled them out since 2011. The decision to discontinue the Passat comes after lackluster market performance. It was meant to soak up the competition from the Hyundai Sonata and Honda Accord, which were selling close to 480,000 units on an annual basis. Unfortunately, the Passat only managed to sell less than 15,000 vehicles in 2019. It will also be discontinued in the European market but for different reasons. The Skoda Superb and the Passat cannibalized each other’s sales, but the plans to move the latter’s production to Turkey failed because of the ongoing Syrian conflict. So it made sense to remove the Passat from the market to allow for better profits.
Read our full review on the Volkswagen Passat
Lotus Evora and Elise
Lotus is letting go of the Evora and the Elise to give way to a new generation of lightweight sports cars. The Company CEO Phil Popham has already confirmed a new model, the Type 131, or Lotus Emira, will be far better than the aforementioned models. He indicated that the goal is to make a car with the everyday viability of rivals like the Porsche Cayman. Debuting in the spring of 2022, the Emira will feature a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces 400 horsepower, and it will also probably be the last Lotus to have a combustion engine. Lotus stated that the brand is all about looking forward, and the future is about continuous innovation. During the last year of the Evora and Elise models, the company will be reflecting on the legacy of the current range.
Volvo has produced great wagons, though few customers in America opted for them. The Volvo V90 was, in fact, available on special order basis only and came in two configurations: the turbocharged front-wheel-drive T5 and the all-wheel-drive T6. The T6 powertrain will be used in the Volvo Cross Country, but the rest will not continue. As for the V60, the nameplate will be discontinued, but the recharged T8 plug-in hybrid engine will also be used for the Cross Country. Unfortunately, the market is increasingly preferring SUVs or crossover body styles, so wagons have had to adapt to survive. Volvo had adjusted then by continuing to sell the V60 Cross Country and the V90 Cross Country to compete with the Mercedes E450 All-terrain and the Audi A6 All-road.