2021 is almost over and what a year it has been, although of course not all in a good way. We’ve seen a huge amount of change, including in the car industry where the switch to electric has really started to take hold. It remains to be seen what impact the cut in UK Government grants for electric vehicles (EV) will have, but the industry is surging forward and we will have loads of new models in 2022. We will bring you a full rundown of what’s coming early in January but for now, let’s get back to the latest news.
Not surprisingly, we are going to start with some EVs. The biggest reveal of the year, at least in terms of number of new models, was the reveal of an impressive 16 new EVs from Toyota and Lexus. President of Toyota, Akio Toyoda showed all 16 concepts in one go, including everything from city micro cars to SUVs, saloons to sports cars and even a new Lexus supercar. Toyota has been criticised for focusing on hybrids rather than electric but the Japanese giant had already promised a bunch of EVs and now it’s shown what it has been busy with. They are all concepts at this stage, but expect a flood of them coming off production lines in the coming years.
We recently drove the new BMW i4 and iX EVs and of course there are more to come from Munich. It’s currently finishing up testing of its new i7 flagship electric saloon. Not surprisingly BMW isn’t revealing much apart from the fact that they say it’s quite good in hot and cold conditions and promises typical 7 Series luxury combined with zero emissions.
At completely the other end of the EV scale is the concept of the Citroen My Ami Buggy. Citroen has now confirmed that it’s pint-sized Ami EV is heading to the UK but the Buggy adds even more cool into the equation. It’s like the modern Beach Buggy, with funky looks for surfer types and golf estate residents. No word on production but it’s the one we would have, provided they put screens on the doors to keep out the British weather.
Polestar sales are starting to take off in the UK thanks to the great design and technology of its Polestar 2 EV, but as promised there is more to come, a new model every year for the next three years in fact. Next up for the Swedish automaker will be the, yes you guessed it, the Polestar 3 which will be its first SUV and will be built at its new plant in the US.
Slightly electric is the new Mazda 2 hybrid which is also only slightly Mazda. Actually it’s not really Mazda at all, it’s a Toyota. Essentially it’s the very good Toyota Yaris hybrid with a Mazda badge. Yes it’s badge engineering and looks nothing like any other new Mazda 2, but if you’re a Mazda fan and have been tempted to switch to Toyota for its hybrid tech then now you don’t have to, at least we think that’s the idea.
Talking of vehicles wearing different badges, after Ford revealed its new Ranger, now we have the first sketch of its twin, the new Volkswagen Amarok. The two rivals have teamed up on commercial vehicles and we’ve already seen the results of this with the new Ford Transit Connect and VW Caddy. We will have to wait a bit longer for the official reveal of the new Amarok and like the Ranger there should be potential for some form of electrification, although it’s not likely to go beyond hybridisation.