Changes to the pension system come into effect from April – unlocking millions of pounds for people aged 55 and over.
We don’t recommend you blow all your hard-earned savings on a car, but for some people it will provide the opportunity of a lifetime.
So if you’re in the market for a sublime supercar, here are my top two pension picks: the Aston Martin DB9 and the Nissan GT-R.
Aston Martin DB9 Carbon Edition
Just the name alone is enough to make most people go weak at the knees. Aston Martin is a cocktail of desirability and thoroughbred Britishness, with a splash of James Bond mixed in.
And most desirable of all is the Aston Martin DB9, a compact coupé with curves in all the right places.
A visual feast from every angle, it is long, low and lean. I can’t think of a more beautiful machine, or one that evokes so much passion in people who know about cars.
Press the start button and the DB9 even excites your ears. The acoustic exhaust system sounds like Barry White with laryngitis, a raunchy soundtrack with every blip of the accelerator.
There are few cars that will make you feel this good as you scrape the ice off the windscreen on a cold, January morning.
However, even owning a DB9 has some drawbacks. The brakes are no match for the Nissan, there is limited legroom in the cabin and the tiny boot was designed for people who only travel with a washbag.
It also has pop-out door handles that lie flush against the bodywork. Wonderful – except that you can’t find them in the dark.
At least you can console yourself with a free Aston Martin umbrella, plus a chrome-topped pen that pops out of the dashboard where 007’s ejector button used to be.
The Aston Martin DB9 Carbon Edition that I tested costs a few thousand pounds more than the ‘standard’ DB9 at £142,027. There are a few minor cosmetic tweaks made from lightweight carbon fibre, but the 6.0-litre V12 engine remains the same.
Would I buy one? Hell, yes! It may have a few flaws and cost more than the Nissan GT-R but the DB9 remains a magnificent form of transport.
The Nissan GT-R
Takumi is a Japanese term for master craftsman and there are only four at Nissan who are qualified to hand-build a GT-R engine.
Each 3.8-litre unit has a plaque bearing the name of the Takumi maker – creating a twin turbo engine that catapults the car to 60mph in just 2.7 seconds.
As Nissan proudly boasts in its advertising campaign: What if the only competition was yourself?
For once the advertising spiel is right because there are only a handful of supercars that can keep up with the ballistic GT-R – and they all cost a lot more.
The Nissan GT-R is a hairy-chested monster that eats Porsches for breakfast. With permanent all-wheel drive, massive brakes and four exhaust pipes big enough to fire missiles, it devours everything that gets in its path.
I can’t think of a more exhilarating, everyday supercar that will leave you with spare change out of £80,000, or just enough to pay your speeding fines.
Looks versus speed
It inspired me to drive faster than I usually dare. Even Ferraris pulled over from the fast lane as a mark of respect. So that only begs one question: why does it look as ugly as a cage fight?
What a shame that Nissan didn’t involve a master stylist to design the GT-R bodywork and interior too.
While the Aston Martin DB9 is a sublime beauty inside out, the GT-R looks like you could nail it to a chapel door to keep Satan at bay. No wonder other motorists seemed terrified.
The GT-R has a long heritage that dates back to 1969. It’s always been a bruiser and holds the track record at the notorious Nürburgring in Germany as the fastest production car in the world.
That doesn’t excuse the dated interior, a brash and an over-complicated rash of buttons and dials, including G-force and ‘yaw’ sensors that explain all the forces you feel on a corner.
It does have four seats, a boot and plenty of gizmos, but could you ever imagine Bond turning up at Monte Carlo in one of these?
Would I buy the Nissan GT-R? Despite all this, I loved the GT-R. Slip the gearbox and suspension into race mode, engage the launch control and hang on for the drive of your life!
Oh, and I recommend a pair of cheesy Raybans too. So nobody can recognise you…