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 (5141 millimeters), and across the beam it’s a fulsome 78.7 inches (1998 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 5672 pounds (2422 kilograms). But the 6.0-liter, twin-turbo W12 engine under the hood easily overcomes the inertia with 600 horsepower (447 kilowatts) and 664 pound-feet of torque (900 Newton meters). Which is enough to hurl the Bentayga from 0 to 60 miles-per-hour in rather 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. Because this huge, weighty, ultra-luxurious SUV runs all the way to 187 mph (301 km/h).

German magazine Auto Bild put the Bentayga to the test to find out if that top speed is actually achievable. And 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 100 mph (160 km/h) in little more than 10 seconds and it just keeps on going. Past about 150 mph (240 km/h), 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 183 mph (295 km/h). 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.

Gallery: 2017 Bentley Bentayga: First Drive

Got a tip for us? Email: