Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG

This is my new favourite big-banger saloon. I change my mind about these more often than Chelsea changes managers – one minute I have eyes only for the BMW M5, then I’m swooning over the Jaguar XFR and now it’s this Mercedes. I like to think this isn’t because I am feckless but instead because these manufacturers are engaged in a titanic struggle for top billing and try ever harder for ever more sensational results.

There is no denying that despite its four doors and executive aspirations, this car is at heart a bare-knuckle boxer, and a beautifully judged one at that. All the essentials are there: its ride and refinement are beyond serious criticism, but once you wind up its 518bhp, 6.2-litre V8 and let it go, you’ll find a car to focus your attention more than any other big saloon I can recall. It is massively fast, but also colossally good fun, which I’d not expected. I drove it in the wet on road and track last week and am still giggling. To be fair it was close to useless around a soaking Silverstone but on nearby lanes – well, I didn’t think we were allowed to have that much fun any more, let alone in an imposing saloon. I wish it were better looking and the price (£69,850) makes my eyes water, but if I had the money I’d have one. And the estate version at that.