The official fuel economy figures car makers quote are, to a great extent, the stuff of fiction; designed to deliver the best possible results in official testing but with little relevance to the real world.
But the fact the official figures can be achieved does mean, driving style permitting, that extraordinary feats of economy can be demonstrated by modern, fuel efficient cars.
Which explains why a pair of Scandinavians - Henrik Borchgrevink and Knut Wilthil – where able to travel the 1,576 miles from Helsinki to Oslo in a Ford Mondeo ECOnetic over 40 hours and return an average of 101.25mpg, the furthest ever driven on a single tank of fuel in Europe.
The Mondeo they used was a bog standard production 1.6 litre ECOnetic with 115pS, a car Ford say should average 65.7mpg and emit 114g/km.
But in the careful hands of Messrs Borchgrevink and Wilthil it not only beat 100mpg but, using the official method of calculating CO2 emissions, managed to cut emissions to just 73g/km, a figure that would make the Mondeo ECOnetic a BIK and congestion charge star.
Which just goes to show that if you’re happy to drive like a numpty and average 40mph on open roads you can almost drive on fresh air.