There is something particularly appealing about a car that does not shout about its performance abilities, the lack of garish paintwork, huge wings and massive alloys also broadens its appeal beyond the usual boy racer types.

In the US these cars are referred to as ‘sleepers’, unassuming on the outside but with plenty of performance under the bonnet, or hood as it may be. In the UK they are called ‘Q-Cars’, a term originating from the Q-Ships used to lure in unsuspecting German submarines.

These Q-Ships would be disguised as harmless merchant vessels with their armaments hidden behind false panels, ready to surprise any attackers. It is a little ironic then that most of today’s best Q-cars tend to originate from Germany.

The modern day automotive equivalent is not quite so dramatic but they too hide their true performance potential underneath plain styling, the only warning being their massive brake calipers and perhaps a few too many tail pipes protruding from behind a bland looking rear bumper. Start slideshow