Dodge showed us something interesting this summer. (Image/Stellantis)

With so much of the world stalled during 2020, many folks in and around the automotive industry figured that 2021 would be chock-full of innovations, announcements, and debuts. And with many racing series retuning to full, or relatively full, schedules, we knew there’d be some excitement happening on the track as well.

Now, with 2021 entering the rearview mirror, we can see how much gearhead news was packed in those 12 short months. So let’s take a look back and recap 15 news stories that highlighted our year.

Miss any? We’ll give you a quick summary on each one, but you can click the respective headlines below for the full scoop.

15 Top Automotive News Stories of 2021

*** 1 ***

January 20 – FCA-Peugeot Merger Done: Stellantis is Offically Here

While years in the making, January 20 marked the first time the STLA ticker symbol appeared on the New York Stock Exchange, capping the automaker’s full transition to Stellantis.

*** 2 ***

GM CEO Mary Barra tells us they will gradually say goodbye to the internal combustion engine. (Image/Steve Fecht – General Motors)

January 28 – GM Plans to Eliminate Its Tailpipe Emissions by 2035

The news that GM was going all-electric in little over a decade sent shockwaves through the automotive industry. People are still calling it a watershed moment.

*** 3 ***

February 17 – John Force Racing Announces Return to NHRA

After sitting out for most of the 2020 season, we honestly wondered if John Force would ever come back. Well, he did. In a big way.

*** 4 ***

Gone far, far too soon. (Image/BMW)

March 1 & 18 – We Lose Mr. Norm, then Sabine Schmitz

During March, the gearhead community mourned the loss of two legendary car enthusiasts from opposite sides of the globe.

*** 5 ***

April 29 – NHRA Announces Electric Vehicle Racing Class

All-electric drag racing from the sports top sanctioning body? We can’t wait to see it in action!

*** 6 ***


May 20 – Ford Unveils All-Electric 2022 F-150 Lightning

Honestly, while the truck’s specs are really stout, its proposed sub-$40K price tag might be the most impressive detail.

*** 7 ***

July 8 – Dodge Teases Electric AWD Musclecar to Debut in 2024

Yes, Dodge—the “Hellcat-All-The-Things” people—are bringing a musclecar to the EV party. Because of course they are.

*** 8 ***

July 30 – Chevy Reveals 2022 COPO Camaro with a 572 Big Block

Say it with us: In 2021, you could order a Camaro with a cast iron 572 cubic inch big block V8, direct from the Chevrolet factory. (Granted it was a track-only model, but still…)

*** 9 ***

Winter, summer, whatever—it’s always sunny in Pomona, California. (Image/Stellantis)

August 2 – NHRA Winternationals Held…in August?

What’s better than watching the Indy 500 in August? Watching the NHRA Winternationals in August, of course.

*** 10 ***

August 18 – Nissan Shows Us All-New, 400 Horsepower 2023 Z

It’d been roughly 300 years since Nissan had refreshed its legendary sports car. And if its taillights are any indication (pun!), it may have been worth the wait.

*** 11 ***

September 17 – RPM Act Reintroduced in U.S. House & Senate

The RPM Act is proposed legislation that would ensure it stays legal to turn street vehicles into dedicated racecars. Click the link above and see how you can help get it passed.

*** 12 ***

Though he won’t be in the cockpit, NHRA fans will see Tony Stewart next year. (Image/Tony Stewart’s YouTube Channel)

October 15 – Tony Stewart’s Race Team Plans to Race in NHRA

After teasing us about this for a while, former NASCAR Champ Tony Stewart’s team will now field a pair of drivers in the NHRA next year. And no, Tony’s not one of them.

*** 13 ***

October 20 – Hello ZZ632! Chevy’s 1,000 HP Crate Engine

Yeah, amidst all the news concerning electric vehicles in 2021, this story kinda stood out.

*** 14 ***

October 28 – Goodguys Goes to Rolling 25+ Year Vehicle Age Limit

No longer a hard cap on 1987, the new rules mean any vehicle made 25 years before the current year can get in.

*** 15 ***


November 11 – Ford’s 760 HP GT500 V8 is Now a Crate Engine

Want to stuff the motor from the Ford GT500 into your Pinto? Of course you do, and Ford just made it a whole lot easier.


While we capped this list at 15, there were plenty of other stories from 2021 that warranted attention too. So, what’d we miss? Let us know in the comments below. And have a great New Year!