Is this really what 2021 holds, or did we miss something?

Being as dynamic as it is, the automotive industry is full of unexpected turns. A lot of manufacturers broke off from their traditions in pursuit of sales or simply to adapt to the new market, while others go back to their roots. One thing is certain: it’s never boring for us car enthusiasts since every year we get new vehicles coming out as well as new concepts that hint at the future of the automotive industry as a whole. Here are some of the new things we can expect from 2021.

A more upscale Mazda 6

Predictions for 2021 - What's Coming, What's Not, And Why You Should Care
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A new Mazda 6 is said to arrive soon. And although the sedan would come out as a 2022 model, we are expected to get a lot of details next year. Mazda has been working with Toyota for a while, sharing many components, such as engines and drivetrains. A lot of things can change by the time a car is officially launched and nothing is yet certain. That said, the new Mazda 6 is said to be rear-wheel-drive but all-wheel-drive will be optional.

The sedan would also have a turbocharged inline-six engine, as well as mild-hybrid versions. There is a chance that the Mazda 6 will use a 3.0-liter straight-six and possibly a 3.3-liter turbo-diesel which we will see on the next-generation Lexus cars. The base engines could still be inline-fours from the SKYACTIVE family. A station-wagon/shooting brake version could be announced later in 2021.

Porsche 911 Turbo RS?

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Although it is not certain whether it would be called the Turbo RS, recently Porsche hinted at a lightweight 911 Turbo S coming in the near future. The Turbo has always been the fastest 911 with comfort in mind. If they are making a lightweight version, this means it’s going to be more track-oriented. The charm of the 911 Turbo S is that it could embarrass hypercars while being comfortable and practical at the same time. Moreover, it costs a fraction of their price.

Although we do not know how much of the comfort it will retain, we do expect it would be much more track-focused, boasting more aggressive aero and a slight bump in power. The bump in power might come from an ECU remap or a less-restrictive exhaust system. Mild hybridization is not out of the question either, as it is becoming more mainstream in high-performance vehicles.

Possible announcement of a Nissan 400Z NISMO

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If there is one thing we know about Nissan’s sports car models it is that eventually the brand’s motorsports division, NISMO sprinkles their magic on them. A sportier version of the Z-car could be announced towards the end of 2021. In typical Nissan tradition, the NISMO would have a more aggressive body kit featuring and a la R35 rear wing design, a lower front fascia with larger intake and side vents, and chunkier side skirts. A new lightweight wheel design is to be expected as well.

The engine is where things get interesting. Most probably, it will have a revamped version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6 with a bump in power to around 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet (550 Nm). A six-speed manual is a must, but a possible dual-clutch automatic is possible. Another possibility is to have a version of the 3.8-liter V6 from the GT-R. Should they choose to make that happen, the NISMO 400Z will not only be very quick out the box but potentially be a collector’s car as well.

Mazda RX-9

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While on the subject of Japanese sports cars, Mazda is another company that is expected to bring back a modern-day successor to the 1990s rotary rocket – the RX-7. There is an obvious pattern to Japanese sports cars of late. Nissan, Honda, and Toyota brought back the legendary GTR, NSX, and Supra models back, each of them was preceded by an amazing-looking concept a few years before their official announcement. In 2021 it will be six years after the unveiling o the RX Vision concept, so the introduction of a new “Rotary rocket” could finally happen next year.

There have been numerous rumors about Mazda working hard on a new rotary engine, which should be both reliable and compliant with the latest emissions regulations. The power output of the future sports car is consistently said to be around 400 to 450 horsepower and the car’s dry weight would not be much heavier than 2,750 pounds (1,250 kg). It is possible that the new rotary engine would be co-developed with Rotary Beats, the same company responsible for the Furai’s powertrain.

Opel to adopt PSA EV propulsion from 2021

Predictions for 2021 - What's Coming, What's Not, And Why You Should Care
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Peugeot Citroen Automobile’s ownership of the Opel brand is no secret. In March 2017, the French concern acquired the German brand for the price of €2.2 billion, after 16 years of losses under GM’s ownership. From next year, most if not all of Opel’s model lineup will be based on Peugeot platforms. This means that a lot of PSA’s tech would be carried over to Opel models, including the electric propulsion. Peugeot already started electrifying their line up with the e-208 and e-2008 compact crossover, which are both EVs.

With this in mind, PSA would probably push for the electrification of Opel’s lineup, starting with the Corsa and Mokka models, receiving the powertrains from the e-208 and e-2008 respectively. It is not known whether mild hybrids would become a thing in PSA’s lineup, but if it does, the 508, 3008, and 5008 models would probably be the first ones to receive it. This means that the next Opel Insignia (Buick Regal in the US) could receive a mild-hybrid version as well.

The first Ferrari SUV might be a hybrid

Predictions for 2021 - What's Coming, What's Not, And Why You Should Care Exterior Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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We already know that Ferrari’s first SUV – the Purosangue – is on the way. Not only that, but it might also be using a hybrid powertrain. It is still uncertain what the internal combustion engine will be, however. So far, the potential options are a V-6, V-8, or a V-12, although due to emission regulations, the latter is less probable.

A V-8 looks like the good middle ground, especially considering Ferrari already has the 4.0-liter twin-turbo unit, which is a newer version of the 3.9-liter that’s beating inside the 488, California T, and Roma models.

It’s possible that the internal combustion engine will power the rear wheels together with a small electric motor, while the front wheels will have two separate electric motors. Although the V-8 is the most logical choice, there is still a chance that the Purosangue might receive a V-6. If so, it might be a version of the same unit used in the Alfa Romeo Giulia QV and GTA, since there have been numerous speculations about it being an actual 3.9-liter V-8 with two of its cylinders chopped off – a rumor which Alfa Romeo was quick to dismiss as mere speculation.

Dim Angelov
Born in 1992, I come from a family of motoring enthusiasts. My passion for cars was awoken at the age of six, when I saw a Lamborghini Diablo SV in a magazine. After high school I earned a master’s degree in marketing and a Master of Arts in Media and Communications. Over the years, I’ve practiced and become skilled in precision driving and to date have test driven more than 250 cars across the globe. Over the years, I’ve picked up basic mechanical knowledge and have even taken part in the restoration of a 1964 Jaguar E-Type and an Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint. Lately, I’ve taken a fancy to automotive photography, and while modern cars are my primary passion, I also have a love for Asian Martial Arts, swimming, war history, craft beer, historical weapons, and car restoration. In time, I plan my own classic car restoration and hope to earn my racing certificate, after which I expect to establish my own racing team.  Read More
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