If you’ve just bought a Mini featuring one of the recently revised petrol engines, or a Ford Mondeo with the new Ecoboost power unit, you might have been more than a bit miffed to discover that, a few months after you bought your shiny new upgraded car, it has been rendered obsolete by another round of upgrades.

Read Autocar's first drive of the new Ford Mondeo

Take the Mini. In March this year its range of petrol engines were improved, the 1.6 litre engine of the First, One, Cooper and Cooper S all putting out more torque, and in most cases more power, together with improved economy.