New £200,000, V12-engined super sports cars are rare things; it’s not often you get to test one, even in this business. Getting the chance to travel in two of them within the space of a fortnight, before any single paying customer – that would be something.

But that’s the incredible, wonderful, ridiculous kind of privilege that being in this line of work can give you. On Tuesday I was in Sierra Nevada, getting on terms with Aston Martin’s £190k Vanquish; twelve days later, Maranello, and the £240k Ferrari F12. If you’d put a price on those two days, I certainly couldn’t afford it.

But, with six months still to go until both the Ferrari F12 and Vanquish launch in the UK, I’m in a unique and unexpected position: driven an F12; driven an Aventador; and ridden in the new British alternative to both.

People expect the Ferrari to be dynamically brilliant, and it is: poised, enthralling, and equally at home on road or track. Other people don’t really care how the Aventador handles; they’re in love with the outrageous image and idea of it as much as anything else. The surprising news? That, even in the face of such incredible opposition, there’s still a case to buy the bigger, slower, less powerful Aston over both. Quite a strong one, actually.