Yesterday I drove 1095bhp's worth of machinery. And I only drove two cars. True, I could have done the horsepower harnessing with just one were it a 1184bhp Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, but the 552bhp Porsche 911 Turbo S and 543bhp Jaguar XJR delivering that combined 1095bhp together cost a mere £233,222 compared to the Bugatti’s £2,000,000 ticket.
But what all three have on common is the power to have you wondering whether they have too much of it. Drive any of them, and you proceed to a different rhythm than you do in lesser cars.
You bound between bends, vault past slower traffic, storm hills and crush postcodes. Yet the climax of this blurring eruption of power is always the same - you brake, heavily, from a speed slightly higher than wise, and behave like a circumspect suspect, always with an eye on the mirror and for the police-staked overhead bridge.
Full-throttle moments? They're as rare as a warming winter sun, if at least as pleasing. So you’ll often taste frustration when you drive these cars, and spend a lot of time restraining the twitch of your right foot.
In both Porsche and Jaguar the moment of restraint outweighed the moments of undammed power by 40, 50, maybe 100 to one. That’s crowded south-east England for you.
But when the moment does come, it’s magnificent.
I needed nothing like full power to ease past a trail of three cars on a wide A-road, nothing like full power to feel the Jag’s tail twitch as it departed a damp roundabout and nothing like full power to feel the 911 squat and slingshot as only a potent rear-engined car can.
And gradually, my thoughts at the pointlessness of these over-powered cars began to evaporate. It’s not what they can do on full throttle than counts, even if the numbers are striking – 4.9sec to 62mph for the Jag, and a searingly impressive 3.1sec for the Porsche – but what they can do on a sliver of throttle.
They have the power to startle, the control to contain the effects and the ability to advance on a different plane from cars battling with less than 500bhp and that feels good, even though you must continuously think about using it. And actually, having to work for your reward makes it that bit more enjoyable.