New electric cars 2021: what’s coming and when?

Autumn 2021

Jaguar XJ

Arguably one of the most important new models to come out of Gaydon next year, the reborn XJ will continue Jaguar’s journey towards electrification and provide a direct rival to the Tesla Model S at the premium end of the saloon spectrum. 

Likely to prioritise comfort and driving dynamics over outright pace, the new XJ will share styling elements with the I-Pace electric SUV. 

Mercedes-Benz EQS

The S-Class of electric cars, as Mercedes-Benz is pitching it, won’t arrive with UK customers until the second half of 2021, but it promises to be a tech-laden limousine capable of keeping pace with the Porsche Taycan when it does. Production will take place alongside the S-Class at the company’s Sindelfingen factory in Germany.

An AMG performance version is also expected to arrive the following year with as much as 600bhp.

Tesla Model S Plaid

Long promised by Tesla boss Elon Musk, the Model S Plaid will go into production in the latter half of 2021 and challenge Porsche’s Taycan Turbo S for the electric performance saloon crown. It will use three motors to produce around 1100bhp and is capable of 0-60mph in less than 2.0sec. Top speed is expected to be 200mph, with Tesla claiming it will be the most powerful and quickest-accelerating production car in the world.

The Plaid (named as a nod to Mel Brooks’ comedy classic Spaceballs) will also gain a larger battery, allowing for as much as 520 miles of driving range on a single charge. Pre-orders are being accepted now, with UK prices starting from £130,980, and deliveries expected before the end of 2021.

Tesla Model Y

Deliveries of Tesla’s compact SUV began in North America in mid-2020, but it isn’t expected to arrive in the UK until the tail end of 2021 at the earliest. The much-in-demand SUV will arrive with the option to add a third row – which could make it the go-to EV for large families. It shares a platform and powertrain with the Model 3 saloon, which will hopefully speed up Tesla’s ability to deliver cars on time.

A more advanced version of the company’s ‘supercomputer’ semi-autonomous driving system is also predicted, as is a more potent Performance variant.

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