One does not simply drive over the speed limit in Australia, where enforcement is strict. An exception is the Stuart Highway – the isolated Northern Territory route being one of only three derestricted roads in the world. The best place to try out top speeds, which is exactly what Bentley did here with a stock standard 2016 Continental GT Speed and Australian racing legend John Bowe.

As you can see in the video above, the Conti GT Speed reached its 331 km/h (206 mph) Vmax in just 76 seconds, covering a distance of 9.4 km in the process. At top speed, the 6.0 litre twin-turbo W12-powered grand tourer was covering a staggering 92 metres (or one football pitch) per second. Pause and imagine that.

Also picture this. At its top speed, the big Bentley is circulating 216 litres of coolant through its engine and radiator per minute; drawing over 4,700 litres of air through its radiator each second; and using 80% of its engine power just to overcome aerodynamic loads. Mind boggling, no?

Having 635 PS and 820 Nm helps, but “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 (320 km/h) barrier, the GT Speed just keeps accelerating,” said Bowe, a six-time Australian touring car and two-time Bathurst 1,000 champion. He currently races a Continental GT3 Down Under with Flying B Racing.

The Stuart Highway covers a distance of 2,834 km from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Port Augusta, South Australia – approximately the same distance as London to Istanbul.

In October 2013, the local government announced a trial period of reverting to an open speed limit on the 200 km stretch between Alice Springs and Barrow Creek. A section of the highway was closed for the Bentley’s run, with the assistance of the Northern Territory government and observed by helicopter. Check out the stunning shots below.