Wary and withering looks were not in short supply, I can tell you.
A three-car, near-2000-horsepower, 10-wheel-drive convoy of super-saloons rolling up next to a gently steaming strip of Tarmac, freshly laid by one of North Wales’ finest road resurfacing crews, is evidently a rare occurrence in those parts – and also a cause for muttering concern.
This article was originally published on 14 April 2018. We're revisiting some of Autocar's most popular features to provide engaging content in these challenging times.
So it was last week. With the snow melting across the Snowdonian valleys, the good local councillors had plainly sent out the diggers, mixers and rollers to deal promptly with the potholes that elsewhere in Britain were doubtless being left to cause angry consternation and inevitable correspondence. Bravo, we should add: civic responsibility, thy name is Gwynedd.
Except that in one particular instance, before the Instarmac had fully set, there we were, just as they were picking up the cones, in a 604bhp four-wheel-drive Mercedes-AMG E63 S, a 640bhp Cadillac CTS-V and the 591bhp four- wheel-drive BMW M5, apparently ready to furl up the untouched, still hardening, barely painted road under our wheels like loose carpet. That was the unvoiced accusatory tone of those looks, at any rate, which certainly proved one thing beyond doubt: that the days when fast saloons like this could pass under the radar are now long gone.
Then again, when the horsepower bar is set at 600 and the cars are capable of hitting 60mph from rest in less than 3.5sec, the modern super- saloon only gets the sort of attention that goes along with that supercar performance level, I suppose. It’s natural to wonder what on earth these other-worldly executive four- doors are like to drive; and perhaps curiosity was all it was. And, had we been sharing a table at the local nutritious breakfast eatery, I’d have been delighted to tell the chaps in question the truth of it: that these cars are all every bit as rapid as you might expect them to be, but far from identically rabid.