The auto industry is revving up to roar back. Car sales were down a hard 15% in 2020 thanks to plant closures and pandemic-induced purchase hesitation early in the year, but even as soon as Q4, brands like Fiat Chrysler saw sales begin to rebound. Drivers are eager to hit the road in vehicles that fit their needs (literally — 75% of new vehicles sold last year were trucks). Luxury vehicles are bouncing back even faster. While the overall auto industry grew 12% in the first quarter of 2021, the luxury market grew an impressive 20% — a figure experts expect will rise in the months to come. On the following pages, read up on nine of the cars that are turning heads and setting trends in Tampa Bay and beyond this year, from sleek SUVs to speedy sportscars.
2021 Jeep Wrangler (above)
Take command of the icon – the only vehicle with 80 years of revolutionary off-road expertise. It’s the mid-size SUV with full 4X4 capability!
2021 RAM 1500
Forge your own path with a workhorse that’s designed to be durable, functional and stylish. Step up to faster acceleration, more tech, more performance, durable storage system & best-in-class features.
2021 DODGE CHARGER
Built for speed, Charger remains the fastest mass-produced sedan on the planet. Boasting a spine-chilling 797 horsepower with the HEMI® SRT Hellcat V8 engine, the Charger dominates any road.
JERRY ULM CHRYSLER DODGE JEEP RAM MORGAN AUTOMOTIVE GROUP
2966 N DALE MABRY HWY
TAMPA, FL 33607
813.463.8462 | JerryUlm.com
2021 CHEVROLET CORVETTE STINGRAY
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray convertible was unveiled at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, and rightfully so. After all, its front fascia was inspired by F-19 ﬁghter jets and Formula One racing.
The first hardtop and mid-engine convertible in Corvette history gets a 6.2-liter naturally aspirated V-8 engine (8-speed dual-clutch gearbox) that wallops a pulse-raising 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. In this muscle car, zero to 60 is possible in less than an insane 3 seconds, with a top speed of 184 mph.
Displaying amazing nimbleness and response, the gorgeous Corvette Stingray will stop onlookers in their tracks. With a robust-styled appearance, which matches the awe-inspiring , albeit tight, cabin, this icon continues to be a huge draw.
WHAT TO KNOW: WITH THE CORVETTE STINGRAY, YOUR ADRENALINE HIGH KICKS IN
Tires: P245/35R19 front; P305/30R20 rear
Wheelbase: 107.2 inches
Length: 182.3 inches
Suspension: short/long arm (SLA) double wishbone
Steering: variable-ratio rack-and-pinion with electric power assist
Weight: 3,366 pounds
STARTING PRICE: $68,000
VISIT CHEVROLET.COM TO FIND YOUR CLOSEST DEALER
2021 FORD MUSTANG (ECOBOOST)
It may not have the power of a GT, Bullitt or Shelby GT500, but the Mustang EcoBoost with the optional high-performance package will leave any potential owner satisfied. A 2.3-liter inline-4 turbo EcoBoost engine pumps out 330 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Add MagneRide adaptive dampers to smoothen rough surfaces, 19-inch Pirelli Corsa summer tires and a 3.55 Torsen limited-slip rear axle, and you are in for a fun ride. The seamless six-speed manual gearbox comes standard.
The iconic Mustang is renowned for being exciting and nimble, with a cool, hands-on feel to the cabin. And it has always been sold at an unbeatable price. Same applies to the EcoBoost and the alluring high-performance bundle, which will impress even the hardcore GT and Bullitt fans.
WHAT TO KNOW: HIGH-PERFORMANCE ECOBOOST MUSTANG LEAVES A LASTING IMPRESSION
Wheelbase: 107.1 inches
Length: 188.5 inches
Weight: 3,758 pounds
Fuel capacity: 16 gallons
Mileage: 20 mpg (city); 27 mpg (highway)
STARTING PRICE: $27,865
VISIT FORD.COM TO FIND YOUR CLOSEST DEALER
2021 BENZ GLA35
Compact SUVs are aplenty on the road, but the 2021 overhaul of the entry-level GLA truly enhances the Benz lineup. The fine, snug ride is equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder turbo engine that puts out 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The 4MATIC all-wheel-drive vehicle is mated to a standard 8-speed auto, which can be driven in slippery, individual, comfort, sport and sport-plus modes. If you’re in the market for a small SUV that drives like a car while boasting strong acceleration, admirable cargo- and passenger-hauling capabilities, a test drive in the GLA35 is worth your time and effort.
WHAT TO KNOW: COMPACT BENZ GLA35 SUV BOASTS A CAR-LIKE RIDE
Wheelbase: 107.4 inches
Length: 174.6 inches
Fuel capacity: 13.5 gallons
Mileage: 23 mpg (city), 29 mpg (highway)
Weight: 3,704 pounds
STARTING PRICE: $47,550
MERCEDES-BENZ OF TAMPA
4400 N. DALE MABRY HIGHWAY
TAMPA, FL 33614
2021 BMW M550i
More lush and plush than sport. That’s been the recent discussion around the BMW 5 Series. But the 2021 M550i should put that notion to rest. First introduced in 1972, the midsize luxury sport sedan is an incredibly lively ride (0 to 60 in 3.6 seconds).
Under the hood of the attractive sedan (8-speed auto) resides a 4.4-liter twin-power turbocharged V-8 cylinder gas engine cranking out 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. M Sport brakes with blue calipers and the M logo are sure to grab any bystander’s attention. The digital instrument display and the infotainment touch screen are a massive 12.3 inches each.
A forceful engine with over 500 horses and the M label add more pizzazz and sport to the pricey ride.
WHAT TO KNOW: BMW M550I OFFERS LUXURY — AND EXHILARATION, TOO
Tires: P245/35R20 front, 275/30R20
Wheelbase: 117.1 inches
Length: 195.8 inches
Fuel capacity: 18 gallons
Mileage: 17 mpg (city), 25 mpg (highway)
Weight: 4,275 pounds
STARTING PRICE: $76,800
REEVES BMW TAMPA
109 E. FOWLER AVE.
TAMPA, FL 33612
2021 CHEVROLET CAMARO (3LT)
This one is especially for folks seeking open air and performance. The rest should take a back seat. Literally. The Chevy Camaro 3LT model (10-speed auto) is equipped with a 3.6-liter V-6 engine that develops 335 horsepower and 284 pound-feet of torque.
Immediately grabbing attention up front is a bulging hood that connects to prominent LED headlights and daytime running lights. The black bowtie and RS badge in the upper grille are visible too, making the convertible not just bold but also intimidating. However, the cabin displays a classic Camaro appearance with deeply recessed binnacles housing a rounded tachometer, speedometer, fuel and oil temperature gauges. The soft power top opens or closes in a mere 15 seconds with the push of a button. In fact, you can operate the top at up to a 30 mph speed.
If top-down motoring enthusiasts are looking to catch the sun and the eye of onlookers, this rear-wheel-drive ride fits the bill.
WHAT TO KNOW: DROP THE TOP AND ENJOY THE TRENDY CAMARO
Tires: P245/40R20 all-season run-flat
Wheelbase: 110.7 inches
Length: 188.3 inches
Fuel capacity: 19 gallons
Mileage: 18 mpg (city); 29 mpg (highway)
Weight: 3,691 pounds
STARTING PRICE: $37,500
VISIT CHEVROLET. COM TO FIND YOUR CLOSEST DEALER
2021 CADILLAC ESCALADE (4WD)
The fifth-gen Cadillac Escalade has gone cutting-edge in a big way. The full-size luxury SUV is equipped with OLED screen technology, which is basically light produced in response to an electric current. It features three screens: a 14.2-inch instrument display behind the steering wheel; to the left, a 7.2-inch touchscreen driver information center and a 16.9-inch infotainment screen in the dashboard. Each uses OLED and boasts twice the clarity of a 4K TV. Audiophiles will love the 36-speaker AKG sound miracle. Add the navigation system with augmented reality to the mix, and you’ll be stepping into a new world of vehicle tech.
A 6.2-liter V-8 Ecotec engine puts out 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. You can’t find a smoother transmission than the Escalade’s 10-speed. Don’t be misled into believing that this nearly 5,500 lb.-vehicle lacks power. In fact, the gas pedal unleashes strong acceleration to make this a graceful, smooth and easy-riding companion.
WHAT TO KNOW: CADILLAC ESCALADE GOES HIGH-TECH
MILEAGE: 14 MPG (CITY); 19 MPG (HIGHWAY)
Tires: P275/50R22 all season
Wheelbase: 120.9 inches
Length: 211 inches
Fuel capacity: 24 gallons
Mileage: 14 mpg (city); 19 mpg (highway)
STARTING PRICE: $102,995
ED MORSE CADILLAC TAMPA
101 E. FLETCHER AVE.
TAMPA, FL 33612
2021 TOYOTA RAV4 (ADVENTURE)
Since its debut in 1996, the RAV4 has stood the test of time delivering a sophisticated and enjoyable ride. Under the hood of this 2021 compact SUV resides a 2.5-liter inline-4 cylinder engine (6-speed auto) with variable valve timing that produces 203 horsepower and 184 pounds-feet. If you need to seat five in comfort inside a roomy and safe vehicle, equipped with a responsive powertrain, the RAV4 should be at the top of your list.
WHAT TO KNOW: TOYOTA RAV4 SEATS FIVE IN COMFORT
Wheelbase: 105.9 inches
Length: 181.5 inches
Fuel capacity: 14.5 gallons
Mileage: 25 mpg (city), 33 mpg (highway)
Weight: 3,615 pounds
Starting price: $32,900
5088 N. Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa, FL 33614