Bentley Continental GT Speed: Vmax in the outback
5th November 2015
The 16MY Bentley Continental GT Speed has been taken to its top speed of 206 mph (331 km/h)* by Australian racing legend, John Bowe, on the derestricted Stuart Highway** deep in the Northern territory.
The 635 PS (626 bhp), 820 Nm (607 lb.ft) W12-powered GT Speed Grand Tourer reached Vmax in just 76 seconds, covering a distance of 9.4 kilometres in the process. At top speed, the 6.0-litre twin-turbo Grand Tourer was covering a staggering 92 metres (or one football pitch) per second.
John Bowe said: “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.”
The Stuart Highway covers a distance of 1,761 miles (2,834 km) from Darwin in the Northern Territory to Port Augusta, South Australia – approximately the same distance as London to Istanbul or New York to Denver. In October 2013 the local Government announced a trial period of reverting to an open speed limit on the 120-mile (200 km) stretch between Alice Springs and Barrow Creek.
At Vmax the 16MY Bentley Continental GT Speed 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 per cent of its engine power just to overcome aerodynamic loads.
A six-time Australian touring car and two-time Bathurst 1,000 champion, John Bowe was the perfect choice of driver for Bentley’s high-speed run in the ‘Red Centre’. He is also familiar with the Continental as he currently races a GT3 Down Under with Flying B Racing.
*Top speed verified by GPS speedometer provided by Motec (www.motec.com.au)
**High-speed runs were performed in controlled conditions. A section of the Stuart Highway was closed with the assistance of the Northern Territory Government and observed by helicopter at all times. Full safety checks were performed on the vehicle before the high-speed run.