Just as numbers (power outputs, 0-62mph times etc) can never tell the full of story of exactly how a vehicles handles, so the same can be said of list prices letting you know how much a car really costs. Take this year's Performance Car of the Year contenders: eight amazing cars totalling £885,228, only they arrived for our annual test with a further combined total of £95,997.01 of optional extras fitted.
Some extras are crucial and can make or break a car, like the Megane's Cup chassis and the Lamborghini's ceramic brakes. And some of the most expensive cars came with next-to-nothing (or nothing at all) fitted. Most worryingly, a quick glance at the long list of fitted extras can see you agreeing that everything is a 'must-have'. Of course some press cars are specced to high heaven so all of the new tech can be tested by us hacks, but if you had £170k to spend on a 458, I doubt you'd be baulking at the extra Ferrari asks for sat-nav.
Anyway, here's the list of exactly what options were fitted to which vehicles at CAR's 2010 Performance Car of the Year test.
BMW M3 GTS: £117,630
No options fitted
Ferrari 458 Italia: £169,546 (plus £35,666 = £205,212)
Adaptive headlights (£1156); Alcantara boot lining (£1445); Alcantara headlining (£483); Alcantara A-pillars (£675), grey brake calipers (£820); iPod connection (£540); Scuderia shields (£945); electrochromatic mirrors (£915); sat-nav and Bluetooth (£2023); front and rear parking sensors (£1350); yellow rev counter (no-cost option); painted alloy wheels (£3372); racing seats (£4626); yellow stitching (£276); carbonfibre interior (£4240); yellow metallic paint (£12,800)
Lamborghini Gallardo LP570-4 Superleggera: £174,840 (plus £16,079.01 = £190,919.01)
Carbon ceramic brakes with yellow brake calipers (£12,684.13); nose lift system (£2496.88); four-point harnesses (£898)
Lotus Elise S: £27,450 (plus £5500 = £32,950)
Air-con (£1000); lifestyle paint (£1000); Sport Pack (£1500); Touring Pack (£2000)
Mercedes SLS AMG: £157,500 (plus £33,635 = £191,335)
Reversing camera (£355); bucket seats (£2770); Alcantara/leather wheel (£335); carbonfibre interior (£5875); Bluetooth (£330); forged wheels (£1680); carbonfibre mirrors (£1005); B&O stereo (£4950); ceramic brakes (£7970); carbonfibre engine cover (£3355); matt grey paint (£2935); special leather (£2095)
Porsche 911 GT2 RS: £164,107 (plus £1977 options = £166,084)
Lithium-ion battery (£1268); carbonfibre centre console (£709)
Renault Megane RS 250: £24,160 (plus £3140 = £27,300)
Cup chassis and Recaro seats (£1990); xenon lights and DRLs (£750); Renaultsport monitor (£300); space saver (£100)
Subaru Impreza Cosworth STi CS400: £49,995
No options fitted