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That said, it is not expensive to engineer a car for the Australian market. Certainly, you don’t have to employ a stylist. The current crop of Holdens aren’t too bad, in a meaty, knuckle-dragging sort of way, but the Fords… Oh dear. And it was always thus, even back in the days of Mad Max and his Interceptor.. It is quite similar in appearance to both the Jaguar XK and the Aston Martin V8, which is perhaps unsurprising since all three were styled by the same man. But it’s smaller than both of those, and cheaper, too. They’re talking about a price tag in the region of ?55,000. For that, you would get a supercharged V6 engine, which would then be boosted further by a Formula One-style KERS, or kinetic energy recovery system. Engage this by pushing a little button on the steering wheel and the 375 horsepower coming at you from the petrol engine would be increased momentarily by 94 more from an electric motor. Will that be a showroom feature? Who knows? Price Waterhouse Coopers, probably.. And then you can decide that actually, on some days, you prefer everything to be slightly different, so you can store this as well. Then you can choose precisely what information you would like on the head-up display. And then you can dive into all the submenus on the iDrive system and change everything up to the shape of the car itself.. What does it have that we are all supposed to covet? Extremely high taxes. Iffy weather. Lots of Lego to tread on in the middle of the night. And quite the worst pop music it is possible to imagine. The only Danish tune ever deemed good enough to be played on the international stage was‘Barbie Girl’.. Because of new air-intake ducting, new cylinder heads and a modified valve drive, you are presented with 416 brake horsepower. That is about 60 more than you were given in the old SLK 55, and in a car this size it means the performance is very nearly insane.. Which meant that I had to spend four days listening to him bleating on about how his Beetle is vastly superior to the big Merc. And that’s why I wasn’t as sad as you might imagine when theTop Gear festival ended. We’d had the best time, living like rock stars. But, as with rock stars, the musical differences between Hammond and me had become so enormous, I was beginning to wonder what he’d look like with no skin. I wanted to get home so I didn’t have to listen to him gloating any more.. Equally annoying is its susceptibility to crosswinds. You don’t just have to hold on to the wheel on a blustery day. You have to wrestle with it, as if it’s a bear and you’ve just trodden on one of its cubs.. There’s no getting away from the fact that this is an old car now. The dials look as though they’ve been lifted from a thirty-year-old Peugeot, the back seats are as useful as having no seats at all, the touchscreen command system, which operates the radio and climate control, is as counterintuitiveas an old twist-key sardine tin, and while an iPod connection is supplied, it won’t play tunes from your iPhone – or at least it wouldn’t for me. ‘What!?’ it says, when you try. ‘Are you suggesting you can play music on your telephone? Don’t be stupid.’. The steering suddenly developed some feel. The ride settled down. The revs dropped. The RS 4 stopped being a wild animal and became a car. It turns out that‘drive select’ alters the entire character of the machine. It changes the engine, the steering, the suspension and even the noises that come out of the tailpipe.. So I borrowed one for a test drive and – Holy Mother of God. It was shocking. Bad almost beyond belief. The idea, though, is quite good. There are plenty of people who would love to be propelled from place to place by this barnstorming little engine with its promise of 60 mpg-plus. But originally it was available only in the Fiat 500, which for many is just too small.. But there are some problems with this, as I discovered over a few days with the Aston Martin V12 Vantage roadster. On cold mornings the big metal lever was jolly chilly. So chilly, in fact, that you needed to think about wearing mittens before setting off. And in the fight-or-flight, hunter-killer world of male pride, you really want to be in a loincloth, not mittens.. One of these days someone is going to be killed and that’s why I want my next car to be inconspicuous. And that’s a problem, because every single car that offers the speed and excitement I crave comes with look-at-me styling. Except one: the Volkswagen Golf GTI.. I’m a big fan of the hard-top DS3, particularly the limited-edition Racing version. I’ll be honest: it isn’t much of a driver’s car; the gearing is too weird for that. On a hot lap of the Monaco Grand Prix track I stuck it in second about two seconds after the start and didn’t have cause to change gear at all until it was time to stop.. Well, last week I found out exactly what it is like to be passed by faster-moving traffic. I was driving the new Jaguar F-type; the one with the big engine. The V8 S. It can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in less time than it takes someone with a mild stutter to say‘62 mph’ and it has a top speed of close to 190 mph. It is a very, very, very fast car. But I was in Italy, so absolutely everything else was even faster.. It was all very warm and safe and pleasant and the engine was moaning out its one long song and I started to feel the same sensation I get after a lovely Sunday lunch and Sebastian Vettel has just taken the lead in the second corner. My eyelids became heavy. My head began to nod. And way off in the distance I noticed the brake lights were coming on….