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.