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We all need some good news at the moment, right? And that good news has arrived with confirmation that the new BMW M3 and M4 are very nearly here, and they’ll arrive with a choice of manual or paddleshift gearboxes, and rear or four-wheel drive. As is the small M car way these days, there’ll be a 3.0-litre straight-six turbo engine up front, offering a ‘significant increase in performance’ over the old M3 and M4.

AC Cars has built an all-electric 304bhp Cobra

Well, here’s something we didn’t expect to see today. The modern-day iteration of AC Cars is bringing the iconic Cobra kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, with a limited run of all-electric iterations. Yep, you heard that right. What you see above is the Series 1 electric – designed to look exactly like the first generation of Cobra built in 1962, but with a 230kW (304bhp) electric motor and 54kWh battery pack under that composite body.

The Land Rover Defender Hard Top is your rugged new van

We know the new Land Rover Defender pretty well by now. The fact it managed to live up to the tidal wave of hype before its reveal says a lot - it’s pretty blooming spiffing. The main criticism? “Launch versions are too posh and high-spec to be true workhorses,” to directly quote our new Defender review. Issues which are kinda fixed by what you see here. It’s the Defender Hard Top, and it’s to all intents and purposes the Defender commercial vehicle the true nerds will get most excited for.

This is a 1,200bhp road-legal Lambo Huracán racer

We have an apology to make. In October 2019 a Norwegian company called Zyrus Engineering announced a new hypercar called the LP1200, and we completely missed it.  We’re not sure how, because the plans look absolutely bonkers. As you can tell, it’s heavily based on the Lamborghini Huracán Super Trofeo – a car which Zyrus campaigns in the limitless, open-spec Norwegian Extreme GT Championship, where most cars run well over 1,000bhp.

This is the new Audi Q5, and it has… fancy taillights

Another day, another facelift. Today it’s the turn of the Q5, Audi’s answer to the BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC and, by all accounts, a pretty good car. Looks much the same as the old one, though keen eyes may notice the shallower, wider grille, bigger side air intakes and redesigned sills (that give the impression of more ground clearance). The headlights are de rigueur LEDs with new DRLs. Around back a chrome strip connects the new taillights and the lower bumper has been restyled.

The Bentley Bentayga wants to be a Conti GT more than...

What do you do when your SUV is criticised for being too bold and in-yer-face? If you’re Bentley, you go ahead and embolden it some more. Apparently, owners love the Bentayga’s vertical face and stern features, so the designers have doubled-down for the facelift. And there are a lot of owners. Bentley sold 5,000 of them in 2019 alone, which is a sizeable portion of the global 11k market for the super-SUV set that also includes the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Lamborghini Urus. Neither of which are known as shrinking violets.

Mercedes-AMG will run black F1 cars this season

Mercedes-AMG has revealed a new black livery for its 2020 Formula 1 car, as a public sign of its commitment to increase diversity, and stand against racism. The W11’s halo will feature the words ‘End Racism’, while the mirrors will showcase the ‘#WeRaceAsOne’ hashtag. Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton said: “It’s so important that we seize this moment and use it to educate ourselves, whether you are an individual, brand or company, to make real meaningful changes when it comes to ensuring equality and inclusivity.

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This glorious Alfa Giulia touring car is ready for the Ring

Alfa Romeo saloons of old have bred some fantastic touring cars. Stick ‘DTM 155’ into your favourite search engine and prepare to lose the rest of your afternoon. But not before having a gander at its (sort of) modern-day equivalent. A bunch of Italians - who we’ve immediately fallen head over heels for - have transformed the latest Alfa sports saloon, the superb Giulia Quadrifoglio, into a touring car primed and ready to take on perhaps our favourite race: the Nürburgring 24 Hours.

BBR has boosted the Mk3 Mazda MX-5 to 224bhp

A UK-based tuner has modified an old Mazda MX-5, and we’ve got three words as to why you should care: independent throttle bodies. In the age of downsized, turbocharged engines with little charm, tuner BBR has instead turned to the tried and tested (and very excellent) method of installing individual throttle bodies to each of the Mk3 MX-5’s four cylinders. As any E46 BMW M3 owner knows, ITBs are ace.

Vauxhall really wants you to know the new Mokka is green

Welcome everyone, to the bold new world of the second-generation Vauxhall Mokka. No, seriously – the new Mokka really is in a different dimension compared to the chunked-up Corsa of old.

Skoda’s new tech should stop drivers dooring cyclists

Cars and bicycles, drivers and cyclists. Ever since they began sharing the roads there have been arguments and accidents. But now, just like Chazz Michael Michaels and Jimmy MacElroy in the greatest figure skating film of all time, they have an opportunity to come together. With coronavirus steering folk away from public transport, commuting by car and bicycle will surely become more popular than ever, and Skoda is hoping that its new tech will make things safer for those on two wheels.

All cars are pointless because of this 400bhp Audi Allroad

One of the truly unsung heroes of the Planet Car is the lifted, 4x4 estate car. Machines like the Audi A6 Allroad, Volvo V90 Cross Country, and Mercedes E-Class All-Terrain. You get all the space and most of the handling prowess of a luxury family wagon, but much less of the bulk – and the hatred in car parks – of a big, bluff SUV. And for most folks, they’re just as adequate off-road.

Hurrah! The Aston Martin AMB 001 is now moving

Aston Martin has made a bike. You might remember seeing the AMB 001 back in 2019 (such innocent days), when it was first unveiled. Well now, it’s actually moved, putting in some development miles around Pau-Arnos circuit in France. That’s quite important, as this will be a track-only bike. You might have already spotted its lack of concern for such dull details as ‘proper lights’, ‘a number plate’ or ‘absolutely any semblance of an aero screen’. This is a hardcore thing.

The 316bhp Arteon R is a big, fast, handsome VW

Facelifts are usually boring. But this one isn’t. Not only has VW turned the Arteon into a handsome Shooting Brake, it’s also introduced a new rather rapid R version. Just as we predicted.

This is the swoopy VW Arteon Shooting Brake

The VW Arteon – effectively a slipperier, plusher Passat – has been with us for a few years now. So it’s been facelifted. And along with all the normal boring stuff – updated infotainment, cleaner, greener engines and new bumpers that look almost exactly like the old ones (we’ll get to all that in a bit) – VW has given us this. It’s the Arteon Shooting Brake, and it’s quite excellent.

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