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Unmasked! 6 prototypes spied testing, CAR+ May 2016

Published: 05 May 2016

► Get the inside track on the latest prototypes
► New Citroen C3 Picasso goes more mini-SUV
► M5 sheds 100kg and keeps 4.4-litre twin-turbo 

Mk2 Panamera (2016)

Porsche’s second Panamera (codename G2) arrives later this year boasting an updated all-turbo engine line-up and a new modular platform that will stretch to a shooting brake based on the Sport Turismo concept. The ceramic brakes and big spoiler suggest this mule is a high-performance Turbo-with-a-captial-T version, promising 600bhp.

Developed by Porsche, the Panamera’s new Modular Standard Platform (MSB) will also underpin the new Conti GT.

Citroen C3 Picasso

Citroën C3 Picasso (2017)

Twinned with the new Vauxhall Meriva, the next C3 Picasso is more mini-SUV than mini-MPV, inspired by the Cactus and 2015’s Aircross concept. It’ll have split headlights and Airbumps, disguised on this prototype by the black panels on the doors, while the engines will be three- and four-cyl turbos. 

Porsche 911 GT2 RS

Porsche 911 GT2 RS (2018)

The quad exhaust cleaving the hacksawed rear valence of this 911 starts the countdown towards a new GT2 RS, confirmed by Porsche performance guru Andreas Preuninger and rumoured to be gunning for 690bhp. Already out cold-weather testing, it will be wide-bodied and turbocharged but rear-wheel-drive only. However, the days of riding bareback are gone, so expect this GT2 to be packed with cutting edge chassis tech, too.

Will the next GT2 RS be manual or PDK? Dual clutch suits track work, but Porsche didn’t commission its new ZF six-speed stick shift just for the 911R…

Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT (2017)

Next year’s all-new Bentley Continental GT will be lighter and bigger. The former is achieved via the aluminium and high-strength steel content of the new MSB platform, while the latter makes room for a smaller coupe in 2020, based on the EXP10 Speed Six concept that’s already influencing big brother’s styling. Initially powered by the latest 600bhp 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12, an updated entry-level 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and a new plug-in hybrid V6 model will follow. The same platform will also underpin the next GTC, Flying Spur, Mulsanne and the EXP10, as well as the new Porsche Cayenne. 

Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra (2017)

Beneath this curiously lumpen disguise lurks next year’s Nissan Micra. The pointy styling is influenced by the 2015 Sway concept and it’s built on the same Renault-Nissan CMF-B platform that will also underpin the next Juke. Three- and four-cyl engines will make it frugal, Nismo will try to make it sporty.


BMW M5 (2017)

Hot version of the forthcoming ‘G30’ 5-series is set to start where the old M5 left off – with the 592bhp 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 from the 30 Jahre edition. Fully active body control and the multi-material CLAR structure that makes it 100kg lighter will lead the dynamic evolution, the option of xDrive 4wd seeks to spread the appeal.

Read more from the May 2016 issue of CAR magazine

By CJ Hubbard

Former associate editor; road tester, organiser, extremely variable average wheel count