A bright, crisp winter morning, one of Japan’s best driving roads ahead and a Porsche Panamera turbo and Audi R8 V10 to play with.

Life could be worse…

I should explain. Although it’s my mission to drive many new models in Japan, I’d come late to these two hypercars. The Audi and Porsche had slipped through my fingers, so today would be a kind of catch up session - or what car bosses like to term “product familiarisation.”

The R8 came from Audi Japan’s press fleet. A journo mate brought along the Panamera from Porsche Japan. Parked up in the sunshine, it suddenly occurred to me that, while they’re not direct rivals, they do actually have a thing or two in common as German-built, 500bhp multicylinder machines with 185 mph-plus top ends tend to do.

Price? Again, close. We’re talking a basic 20 million yen or so a shot here, which at current yenshock rates works out at an elevated £135K or more. Yikes…