With looming emissions legislation and the blanketing of speed cameras on our roads, who would have thought the old German horsepower war would still be going on in 2019? 

The M3 and M4’s 500bhp-plus figure shouldn’t be too surprising, given Mercedes-AMG has been selling the C63 with 503bhp for a few years now. But this is no longer a race between BMW, Audi and Mercedes, thanks to Alfa Romeo bursting onto the scene with the wonderful 503bhp Giulia Quadrifoglio

But, yet again, I find myself questioning where it will all end. Many will call me a cynic, but I feel like we are already in a situation where super-saloons are becoming less fun because they’re too powerful. 

For me, nothing beats the thrill of nailing a corner apex, running up to the redline and rattling through the gears on the straight. The current M3 is already at the point where you can do that for a precious few seconds before flirting with a court appearance. With more than 500bhp and the stability of four-wheel drive, the business of spirited driving could become sanitised. 

Perhaps, then, a base model, with not much more power than today’s M3 and M4, rear-wheel drive and the involvement of a manual gearbox could be the sweetest spot in the range.