It's amazing how fast such a big SUV can be

If you’ve not actually seen one in the metal, it’s hard to wrap your head around just how big the Bentley Bentayga is.

By European standards at least, the Bentayga is enormous, vast, immense, planetary. From stem to stern it measures 202.4 inches (5,141 millimetres), and across the beam it’s a fulsome 78.7 inches (1,998 mm). That’s appreciably longer and wider than a Range Rover; in fact only American fare like the Cadillac Escalade is bigger.

It’s heavy, too, tipping the scales at 2,422 kilograms (5,672 pounds). But the 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12 engine under the hood easily overcomes the inertia with 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. That's enough to hurl the Bentayga from 60 miles per hour from a standstill in less than four seconds (0 to 100 kilometers per hour takes four seconds exactly).

But that’s just the aperitif. Indeed, even the mountainous mid-range thrust is almost incidental. No, the single most incredible number from the Bentayga’s performance figures is the top speed. This huge, weighty, ultra-luxurious SUV runs all the way to 301 km/h (187 mph).

German magazine Auto Bild put the Bentayga to the test to find out if that top speed is actually achievable. As it turns out, not only is it achievable, it looks like a walk in the park.

On an empty stretch of autobahn, in the dead of the night, the Bentayga is off from a standing start and well past 160 km/h (100 mph) in little more than 10 seconds, and it just keeps on going. Past about 240 km/h (150 mph), the rate of acceleration slows down as the Bentayga’s brick-like shape battles the air, but the numbers keep racking up until it finally reaches top (eighth) gear at 295 km/h (183 mph). And there's still more to come.

The final count is 302 km/h, or 187.65 mph, limited more by the forces of physics than power. And it appears to be solid as a rock at that speed, which is, perhaps, the most amazing thing.

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