Porsche 918 Spyder in the Australian OutbackEnlarge Photo
In Australia’s Northern Territory, there’s a roughly 171-mile long section of highway where there are no speed limits. This means that in addition to Germany’s much-loved autobahns there’s one other stretch of public road where you can test your car’s speed at the limits without fear of running foul of the law.
It’s just one section of the Stuart Highway, running between Alice Springs and Barrow Creek smack in the middle of the Aussie Outback. The road had open limits for years but then in 2006 the local authorities decided to impose limits ranging between 68 and 80 mph because of statistics showing road deaths were three times higher in the state than elsewhere in Australia.
In 2013, due to low traffic figures and a lack of speed-related deaths on the Stuart Highway, the speed limits were removed—but only for an 18-month trial. It was during this trial period that Porsche drove its 918 Spyder from a standstill to the car’s top speed of 217 mph in a period of 40 seconds—with the acceleration to 37 mph done in electric-only mode.
Well, the trial period is now over and the good news is that the authorities have decided to permanently keep the open limits. In fact, they even plan to extend the speed-unlimited section by an additional 37 miles once the highway receives some upgrades.