Ford will be blazing a trail this year with two performance models – the Puma ST and the Mustang Mach-E. With eye-catching styling, the Ford Puma was one of the big surprises of last year. Based on the excellent Fiesta, it raises the bar in the fun-to-drive stakes. Now an ST model – with 200hp and a 0-100kmh acceleration time of 6.7 seconds – has just gone on sale. Prices start from €41,813. The second big release of the year will be the Mustang Mach-E, a premium all-electric SUV with a range of 600km. The jury is still out on the idea of fitting a Mustang badge to an electric SUV. That said, the 0-100kmh time of less than four seconds bodes well for Mustang DNA. The Mustang is likely to hit showrooms in September.
Honda is aiming to have 40% of its cars powered either by battery-electric or hydrogen by 2030, 80% by 2035, and 100pc globally by 2040. In line with this, the updated HR-V becomes a hybrid-only model, with a 1.5-litre petrol engine with twin electric motors. It was expected to arrive in Ireland late in 2021, but it may now not arrive until 2022.
The Tucson continues to be a success for Hyundai, with a compelling blend of style, value and day-to-day practicality. A plug-in hybrid version is set to join the range along with a Santa Fe PHEV priced from €49,945. Pricing for the new Tucson model has yet to be announced. Hyundai will step up its offensive on the electric car market with the arrival of the Ioniq 5 in July. Two battery sizes will be available – 72.6kWh and 58kWh – and the maximum driving range on a single charge will be around 470-480km. More details, including prices, will arrive before its launch later this year. The Hyundai Bayon, a compact crossover based on the new i20, will launch at the end of the year and will rival the likes of the Ford Puma, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.
Jaguar’s all-electric I-Pace was joined earlier this year by plug-in variants of the F-Pace and E-Pace SUVs, as well as efficient new MHEV powertrains offered in the XE and XF saloons. We had expected to see an electric XJ to rival the Mercedes-Benz EQS and BMW’s i7, but it seems it is not now going to happen and a new XJ is no longer part of Jaguar’s future plans.
For 2021 a plug-in version of the smallest Jeep, the Renegade, is now available. The end of the year will see the introduction of a Compass 4xe plug-in hybrid and a new Grand Cherokee will be revealed. KIA Kia’s all-electric EV6 is due to launch here in October. There will be a choice of two models: the EV6, priced from €50,000; and the EV6 GT Line, with a starting price from €54,345. Both prices are inclusive of SEAI grants. A 77.4kWh battery is standard on both models and comes with a 510km range. The EV6 is the first of 11 new Kia electric models due to launch by 2026. A new Sportage is also likely to join the range at the end of the year but little is known about it at the moment.
The latest Defender captures the true pioneering spirit that has been Land Rover’s hallmark for more than 70 years, but is a world away from the fuel-guzzling iconic original and it is now offered as a plug-in hybrid. Priced from €75,550, the P400e is the most powerful and fuel-efficient Defender, with CO2 emissions of 74g/km. It is capable of driving for 43km on electricity only. There are also plug-in hybrid versions of the Discovery Sport, the Range Rover Velar and Evoque.
The launch of the UX 300e at the beginning of the year is only the first of many electric cars to come from the Japanese car brand. Lexus recently revealed plans to launch 20 all-new or redesigned models over the next five years, including battery-electric, plug-in hybrid electric and hybrid.
The MX-30, Mazda’s first all-electric car, launched this year and is the only new addition to the line-up. The 3 and CX- 30 have been refreshed, while the CX-5 has been upgraded and now comes with a new-generation 10.8-inch screen and infotainment system. It is available in either 2.0-litre Skyactiv G (163hp) or 2.2-litre Skyactiv D (148hp or 181hp). The 2 will see some minor upgrades later in the year, while the 6 is now available as a special edition called the ‘Homura’ and there is also a number of special 100th Anniversary edition models available.
27th May 2021