We had an argument in the office today. The subject matter? Not who's turn it was to get the Oreos, rather the question of: which country produces the best cars; Italy or Germany?
Of course, both have their merits. Italy - like its women - creates hot-blooded things of beauty, that ooze passion, style and sex. As for Germany, it's cars are solid, utterly reliable (you don't see an Audi R8 burst into flames) and wholly understated.
Below are three of Italy and Germany's finest current cars. Then, it's up to you to have your vote so that we can finally put this matter to bed. (An office bet of £2 also depends on your say!)
Justin Bieber owns a Ferrari 458, so it must be good, right? If that doesn't convince you, its ball-breaking beauty and singing 4.5-litre, 562bhp V8 probably will. Oh yes, it'll also hit 200mph and is good for 62mph from standstill in just 3.4 seconds.
In an age of austerity and downsizing, the V10-powered Audi R8 thoroughly sticks its two fingers high in the air. It's also desperately pretty, offers sublime handling balance and will top out at 197mph.
This is the latest Maserati Quattroporte and ain't she, erm...striking? Opening the Quattroporte's engine line-up is a 4.7-litre Ferrari-built V8, which produces 453bhp. Prices will start from £80k after it makes its debut at the Detroit motor show this month.
Admit it. You were expecting a BMW M5, weren't you. Well, the Merc sounds better, which is why it's made the cut. Also available in load-lugging estate form (pictured for added cool), this twin-turbocharged E63 AMG V8 pumps out a colossal 518bhp (540bhp for this year's facelifted car). Yummy.
Maybe not what you were expecting to find in this list either, but the Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari kicks ass courtesy of its gutsy 180bhp turbocharged 1.4, quad exhaust pipes and of course, Ferrari badging. At £30k, however, this next car looks like a sure winner...
We gave the BMW M135i a lot of love last year and we're not scared to let that spill over into 2013. The M is monstrously fast, superbly priced and fantastic fun. We want one again!
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