That’s why the new XJ worries me, because when you step into that extraordinary cabin, you do not even catch a whiff of Arthur Daley’s ghost. There is blue lighting in the door pockets. The glove box is lined with purple velvet. And when you select Dynamic mode, the dials glow red. It’s like being in one of those bars in central London where visiting businessmen go to meet ladies.. It’s all a bit bonkers but it does add to the sense of occasion, as do the leather and the sense of space and the howl from the engine. A modern-day Ferrari feels very, very special.. Oh, grunting frump, you looked so fine on the catwalk. So. It’s no good just having a speedboat. It must have three big engines in the back and an enormous pouncing tiger painted down the side. Likewise, you can’t just have a motorcycle. It must be as customized as your girlfriend’s face, with 9 foot-long forks, a saddle made from the foreskin of a whale and exhausts that do absolutely nothing to mute the sound of the 7-litre V8 engine around which you simply cannot get your legs.. With my Chinese or Indian hat on, I can tell you that mid-engined cars are a damn nuisance. Because there will come a day when two people will want a lift. Or when you realize that your shopping won’t fit in the boot. They also scrape their noses on even the tiniest of speed bumps and are very uncomfortable.. So what we have here is a genuine four-seat limo. A car from which you would be pleased to emerge at a film premiere. But then this same car is also a tail-out, smoke-and-wail drift machine. And a finely balanced road racer, and a gadget. It’s everything. And it’s only ?73,040. We’re talking five stars and then some.. All of which is of no use to the Indians because the Tamil Tigers do not have any spy planes and the Bangladeshis do not have any low-level nuclear bombers. Yes, Pakistan can muster quite a few American-made F-16s, but these have a notoriously short range before they have to be refuelled. India, then, doesn’t need technology. It just needs a plane with a gun on it. And frankly, the Rafale will do.. Handling? Well, now, let’s be clear on this: if you want finesse and delicacy, buy a BMW. In a straight line, an AMG car is an easy match for anything made by BMW’s M – or motor sport – division. But through the corners the Mercedes will be left far behind. This is not a criticism. Because although the Merc may not be able to tame the laws of physics quite as well as an M car, it will put a much bigger smile on your face. BMWs reward your skill. Fast Mercs make you laugh.. However, in the world of very expensive supercars, things have always been rather different. Lamborghini put the Miura on sale knowing full well that if it were driven above 80 mph, it would take off. Then it came up with the Countach, a car with a cockpit so small it could only be driven by either an ant or a foetus. Neither of which would have the strength to move the gear lever, which is seemingly set in concrete, or the steering wheel, which was mostly a piece of decoration. Not that it mattered, anyway, because most days the Countach would not start.. Eventually, of course, the craze died down and the young men of Blackbird Leys went back to doing what they’d done for thousands of years: sitting in bus shelters chewing gum, mostly.. And now we get to the 5-litre supercharged V8 engine. It, like the car, is old, but that hasn’t stopped the engineers squeezing about 40 more brake horsepower out of it. Inside, it must look like a lemon that’s been run over by a bus.. So let’s take this to its logical conclusion. If I were to open a restaurant serving nothing but horse manure and grass clippings, the prices would be very low indeed. But would people eat there? No. This means that at least some emphasis must be placed on quality. And that’s the problem. Quality costs. So, if dinner looks like it could be cheap, there’s a reason. It’s rubbish.. Well, it’d never happen. First of all, there were no sunny Sundays, either this year or last. Which means your little TR6 would now be sitting in the garage with four flat tyres and an equally flat battery. You’re going to get round to fixing it as soon as you have a spare moment. But you won’t.. Coo! A baby thunderclap from Merc’s OMG division. Today most fast cars make a racket. Jaguar even fits a discreet little button that enables you to turn the silencer into a trumpet. So when an F-type goes down your street, it feels as if the Royal Artillery has just opened up with everything it’s got. I shall be honest. I like a car to make a noise. I loved the muscle-car rumble you got from AMG Mercedeses before the turbochargers came along. I love the melancholy howl of a Ferrari F12. And the shriek from the Lexus LFA was up there with Roger Daltrey’s scream towards the end of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’..