There are two little known facts about the Bugatti Veyron SuperSport which, in a funny sort of way, provide the proof as to how serious a car it really is.
One is its emissions figure of 539g/km, the other is its official combined fuel consumption figure of 12.2mpg.
In isolation they are both obscene numbers besides those of virtually any other car. In the context of what’s gone before, however – namely, the original Bugatti Veyron – they represent extraordinary progress.
To make any engine produce an extra 197bhp and 183lb ft would surely mean you’d also make it thirstier and dirtier in the process? Not so if you are Bugatti. The Supersport actually burns less fuel and chucks out less carbon than the regular Veyron – yet it’s faster, more powerful and has more torque.
True, it also weighs some 50kg less, which helps it burn less fuel (slightly) but ultimately the SuperSport achieves what it does because Bugatti (and therefore Volkswagen) has learned that much more about engine building during the last five years. This means the Veyron may yet have a point to its existence beyond merely being the world’s fastest car, especially if the knowledge gained by its creators is passed on to the rest of the VW empire. Which, surely, it will be.
Even so, the reason the Veyron SS is my car of the year is not because it’s half an MPG better than a regular Veyron. It’s my car of the year because it is the fastest, most luxurious, most insane machine that I drove at any stage during the last 12 months.
The way it sucks the far horizon towards you when you put your foot down at 40mph is, if you’re not ready for it, actually quite a disturbing thing to experience within the confines of the public highway. Yet in the end this is what makes the Veyron SuperSport what it is; the most advanced, most incredible fair ride that money can buy. And for 30 very lucky, very wealthy people there may never be anything like it ever again.