Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

A 2.5-tonne four-door luxury saloon that goes from 0-60mph in 6.2 seconds and on to 150mph is impressive stuff, but the 4.4-litre Arnage with 350bhp still feels a little under-powered. It’s more noticeable in the mid-rev sector when cruising as the engine has to work hard when overtaking. No wonder then, that sales of the 4.4 Arnage all but dried up when the hairy chested, full-fat 6.75 V8 turned up with its own turbocharger and 400bhp.

More importantly, the charger churns out huge amounts of low-rev pulling power. With that extra grunt, the Red Label manages 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds and tops out at 155mph – and crucially overtaking power goes from adequate to incredible as seamlessly as the automatic gearbox shifts gears. The 6.75-litre is also a quieter engine as it needs fewer revs to deliver its considerable power.

Later versions with 450 and then 500bhp serve up even more jaw slackening speed with just as much refinement.

Tweaks to the suspension and bodyshell mean that the latest Arnage is a much smoother ride, with less bodyroll. However, physics say the Arnage should be a right old handful in almost every situation – it’s huge, heavy and there’s a whole lot of power passing through the rear wheels. But somehow, the car ends up being a benevolent charmer that has a far greater ability to go round corners than the sheer scale of the car might at first suggest.

Yes, there is a lot of weight for the sizeable tyres to cope with, but the balance of the Arnage in all its guises means you can have some fun and surprise drivers of more nimble cars into the bargain. Post-2002 models gained electronically adjustable sports suspension, which further improved the handling. The steering is too light for the Arnage to be considered a proper sports saloon, but the brakes are every bit as adept at slowing the car as the engine is at speeding things up.

Drive with a modicum of reserve and you’ll notice the suspension glides over any surface with more than good grace.