I think it was when I saw the £73,040 price of the new BMW M5 that I started to think I had lost touch with the cost of new cars. I kinda had it in my head that big fast four-doors should cost about £60,000‚ rather than getting on for £80,000 with options. But here we are.

The Mercedes-Benz E63 estate is £76,020. The £60k range is instead being approached by the £55,565 C63 AMG, which I always thought of, like the BMW M3, as a sub-£50k motor. When did this happen? This isn't very scientific, but I plucked a to-hand copy of Autocar, from November 2009, to see if these price hikes were indeed hikes or just a failure of my memory.

 Back then a C63 was £50,407, an M5 (previous-gen) £65,325 and the E63 Wagon £68,408. Then, a Jaguar XFR was £59,900 and is now £65,350. An Audi R8 was £79,825 and is £87,935. In short, those prices are all up by around 10 per cent, give or take. Which, given inflation has been running at about five per cent for the past two years, doesn't sound unreasonable, especially if you note that a 2012 Nissan GT-R, thanks to some upgrades you never knew you needed, costs 27 per cent more than in 2009.