The current-gen Bentley Continental GT achieved a top speed of 331 km/h (206 mph) in the Australian Outback. However, it kind of falls short on the “wow factor” after the previous generation registered 330 km/h (205.48 mph) on ice. Still, it’s an impressive achievement.
Sure, the two scenarios are incomparable, especially as the new model did it on asphalt, but even so, the 635 PS (626 bhp), 820 Nm (607 lb.ft) W12-powered GT Speed Grand Tourer reached its maximum velocity in just 76 seconds, covering a distance of 9.4 kilometers in the process. That’s a football pitch per second, in case you were wondering.
The run was realized on the Northern Territory route of the Stuart Highway – one of only three de-restricted roads in the world – in controlled conditions, with a section of the highway closed and observed by a helicopter at all times. Mind you, the Stuart Highway covers a distance of 1,761 miles (2,834 km) from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Port Augusta, South Australia – which is approximately the same distance from London to Istanbul.
While traveling at top speed, the W12, 6.0-litre Bentley Continental GT is circulating 216 liters of coolant through its engine and radiator per minute, draws over 4,700 liters of air through its radiator each second, and uses 80% of its engine power just to overcome aerodynamic loads.
The driver responsible with the top speed run was six-time Australian touring car and two-time Bathurst 1,000 champion, John Bowe, and he was apparently quite impressed with the car’s capabilities:
“This isn’t a modified racecar; it’s a luxurious grand touring road car fresh off the production line. It took us a little over a minute to go from a standstill to 206 mph. That’s extraordinary. Even when you break through the 200 mph barrier, the GT Speed just keeps accelerating.”