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Seen here first: The good, the mad and the ugly, CAR+ March 2016

Published: 25 February 2016

► We scoop the latest cars spotted on the roads
► From BMW's new Z5 to Audi's super A8 
► Entering the rings is Merc's first pick-up 

BMW Z5 (2018)

Here comes BMW’s Z4 replacement, whose architecture will be shared with Toyota. The Z5 is switching back to a weight-saving fabric roof and more compact dimensions – unless the engineers are giants, this car appears to be little bigger than an MX-5, good for nimble dynamics. Capable of accommodating four- and six-cylinder engines, the new modular rear-wheel drive platform will underpin Toyota’s Mk2 GT86 and potentially a larger, reborn Supra.

Vauxhall's new Insignia is expected to arrive in 2017

Vauxhall Insignia (2017)

The Insignia has lacked a wow factor, but this longer and sleeker second-gen car will be much more eye-catching. Expect details from the 2013 Monza concept, Vauxhall’s latest engines, and all-digital instruments, Audi TT-style, when it arrives in 2017. 

Essentially a Nissan Navara thanks to the Daimler-Nissan alliance, Merc's pick-up will arrive in 2019

Mercedes pick-up (2019)

Don’t be fooled: this Navara will become a Benz, as the Daimler-Nissan alliance widens. Just like those gaffer-taped wheelarch extensions, which hint at the broader Mercedes body to come. The double cab interior and six-pot petrol and diesel engines will also be bespoke, the ladder frame, axles and body structure shared. 

The 2018 BMW 3-series promises to be lighter, smarter and have better quality inside

BMW 3-series (2018)

First sight of all-new ‘G20’ 3-series. Based on the same flexible CLuster ARchitecture (CLAR) as this year’s new 5-series, the 2018 3 will be lighter, smarter and better quality inside. It’ll park itself remotely and drive semi-autonomously on motorways, and gesture control and carbonfibre wheels feature amongst the toys. Range spans 136bhp 1.5 three-pot to 365bhp 340i six.

This is a one off build for a mystery customer, Audi's XXL six-door A8 is expected to be finished in 2016

Audi super A8 (2016)

This six-door XXL wheelbase A8, papped cold-weather testing in Sweden, is no third-party, coach-built special. As the Ingolstadt plates suggest, and Audi has confirmed, it’s a ‘one-of-a-kind’ factory order for a very particular mystery customer. So particular they felt the new S-class Pullman was too conventional, apparently. Or perhaps too high profile – is that bulletproof glass?

Audi's Mk2 A5 cabriolet is expected to arrive in the autumn of 2016

Audi A5 Cabriolet (2016)

Audi A5 Mk2 is well on the way, with the coupe due in the spring and this cabriolet in the autumn. Both are based on the A4’s MLB evo platform, making them up to 100kg lighter, though with a longer wheelbase, LED Matrix lights and up to 20in wheels. Expect the punchier A4 engines to figure: 167bhp 1.8 and 248bhp 2.0 petrols, 2.0 and 3.0 V6 TDIs.   

Read more from the March 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CAR's road test team

Our reviewers: fresh perspectives for inquisitive minds

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