► 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
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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