Motor Mouth

The BMW M3 saloon's engine can do 200 million calculations a second, but Sathnam Sanghera finds this car fun as well as clever.

I was recently asked whether I consider myself to be British or Asian and, after a short pause, replied that I felt painfully English in all but three respects - in my approach to family, in my love of cars and in my predilection for mathematics.

But it's clear now the response was dur-brained. Ethnic identity is much more complex than that: you feel different according to an impenetrable chemistry of who's around you, where you are, what you're doing - and the predilection for maths and cars is really part of the same thing.

Indeed, whenever I think of any vehicle, there is always an associated statistic. The first car I ever admired - a Ford Granada - was also the first I ever saw with a speedometer that went over 120 mph. The brilliant thing about the new Fiat 500 is that, as well as being cute and classy and funky, it costs only £10,700.

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