Gone is the not so substantial year 2020 and we have entered 2021 with the hopes of having fewer shocking events. But there is a lot to look forward to such as new cars that are planned to enter the SA market with many returning in new faces and new models that we have never witnessed before with the aim of swiftly joining the market.

During these tough times, the automotive market is slowly but surely recovering from the loss of the lockdown and the reigning Polo and Hilux are still the best-selling models in SA. A number of new cars will be coming to SA and in this list, we mention those we are much excited for and others that are questionable.

Honourable mention: Mazda BT-50

Mazda made the choice to switch partnerships from Ford to Isuzu for the platform on their new bakkie and it will share components such as the interior bits with the D-Max. The whole look will align with Mazda’s current line-up design language which is referred to as the “Kodo design” and that is evident on the front of the BT-50. It will be offered with a 3.0-litre diesel engine producing 188 hp (140 kW) and 450 Nm of torque when it launches sometime this year in SA. This will be, in our own opinion, the best looking bakkie on the market.

5. Hyundai Tucson

Here is one popular SUV that is completely unrecognizable in its fourth generation and it aims to offer a unique design and new technologies that will make it stand out from the competition. With headlights that are infused with the diamond pattern grille, muscular body creases and a rear strip taillight, the new Tucson will go unnoticed in the SA market when it launches in the second half of 2021. The interior has two 10.25-inch screens with one as the instrument cluster and the other as the infotainment screen which has a new multitasking interface.

4. Toyota GR Yaris

The rather controversial Yaris that made headlines when its price was announced for SA sits comfortably in this list not only for that but with what it is offering. This would be described as taking a step back in time and collecting all the things that made a driver-focused car exciting. It has the most powerful 3-cylinder production engine, four-wheel drive that can vary most of the power to the rear wheels and it has a 6-speed manual gearbox. It exists as a homologation for the rally-car version with 25 000 units planned for production. The looks suggest that this will not be mistaken for a normal Yaris.

3. Mercedes Benz S-Class

The “first of many” and the best-selling luxury sedan in the world will land in SA in the second half of 2021 and this will be the most technologically advanced car in the Mercedes Benz line-up, heck probably the whole car market. The S-Class has some notable features such as the digital lights with the ability to project images onto the road, the rear-axle steering with a steering angle of up to 10-degrees, a 3D instrument cluster, and a 12.8-inch OLED infotainment screen. There are too many features to mention but you can read the full S-Class article here.

 2. Volkswagen Golf 8

Defined as the People’s car, the new Golf has a lot to live up to by offering the best in class for a reasonable value. It is unmistakably a Golf because of the evolution redesign with a hint of new technological features such as a different infotainment system and the Car2X connectivity which enables communication with other cars or objects that have this system. After the Golf 8 launch, we can expect the Golf 8 GTi and Golf 8 R to arrive later on in 2021 with the Clubsport version expected to be announced for SA arrival.

1. BMW M3 and M4

With a bold decision taken by BMW M designers to fit a large kidney grille to the front of both M models have made them the most anticipated cars of 2021. Both are powered by the S58 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six engine with 510 hp (375 kW) and 650 Nm of torque for the competition models. The power will be shifted through an 8-speed automatic gearbox with all of it going to the rear-wheels but there will be an M xDrive version coming later on. Both the M3 & M4 are expected to go on sale in SA in the first quarter of 2021.