The horsepower race has been going on for the better part of two decades now, ever since the manic 400-bhp V8 BMW M5 was unleashed on an unsuspecting public back in 1999 the mantle of most powerful sports saloon has been passed around as if producing the most overpowered vehicle came with total market dominance.

These halo models do tend to cast a warm glow over their lesser stablemates but exactly how many buyers opt for a base Audi A4 just because there is also a crazy RS4 version in the range is open to debate. Nevertheless, power is exciting and more excitement is better so whereas 400-bhp was a massive number in its day, reserved for Ferraris and Porsches, it is now merely a footnote in the history of the modern uber-saloon.

They may not possess quite the same level of handling finesse as a sports car but there is something very desirable about a ballistic saloon that can also double as a luxury limo when required. Start slideshow