So much fun. On paper it looks like you’d need to boot it to the redline to extract all of that 576bhp, but really the power delivery is so linear and consistent and ever so slightly overwhelming that you’d never notice. It just hammers its way round the rev counter at immense pace, Work your way through the four Driver Preference modes, from Touring through to Track, and the car gets progressively more aggressive and off the leash.
And louder. Quite a bit louder.
There are some truly delightful noises to be created from the engine, all of it meshing very nicely with the car’s mechanical nature. You always feel directly connected to the bits that make the thing go faster and slower, from the pleasingly weighted gearshift to the excellent brakes.
And, perhaps oddly, it’s quite well mannered. It rides surprisingly well, at least on well-maintained French roads, but even over the odd bit of cracked, potholed surfacing it didn’t thump or crash about. It isn’t too much if you just wanted to get somewhere, and the prospect of a long journey wouldn’t seem daunting.
In fact, the whole car feels as if it’s on your side. It’s benign and stable when you need it to be, but can be so easily provoked into sliding about when you want it to. It shrinks on tiny roads, and feels so much more agile than anything of this size (4988mm long) and demeanour should do.
The one thing that doesn’t work quite so well is the steering. It’s a bit inconsistent, offering feedback dead spots and slightly odd weighting when you’re not expecting it.
Oh, and the interior is, well, a little chaotic. There’s an awful lot going on in there, from the crowded dials with their multitude of oversized arrows marking the increments to the fiddly touchscreen and that boost gauge. Which you can’t see because it’s just in front of the gear lever, which is where they would have put the ashtray 20 years ago. Occasionally you get a reminder that somewhere underneath all of this engineering it’s part Holden Commodore, too - the doors are a bit tinny, the plastics a bit thin and hard.
But that’s like damning a perfectly cooked piece of fillet steak because the bearnaise sauce is a bit light on tarragon. It doesn’t really matter, as the rest of the car is well judged, and properly engineered, by blokes with pencils behind their ears. It feels as if it has been built, not programmed.