A witness to the 800km police chase said the cars were going "off the clock".
Ricky James saw the blue Subaru shoot past while he was refuelling his car in Palmerston. The driver was almost 16 hours into police pursuit that spanned the South Island from Nelson to Dunedin.
"She was pretty full on . . . It would've been going about 180 to 200 clicks. It would've been off the clock," James told Fairfax.
He said a police car passed through the 50kmh area shortly after.
"It must've been a twin turbo Subaru Legacy. It would've had a bit of work done to it to be that quick . . . They [police] had no chance to catch up."
A 20-year-old who allegedly led police on a marathon chase - often at dangerous high speeds - has been nabbed.
Like a scene from the iconic Kiwi movie Goodbye Pork Pie - in which a local goon hires a car and travels the length of the country, their high-speed exploits gaining police attention - the alleged offender managed to evade authorities for almost 800km.
Police said the pursuit started in Stoke, near Nelson, at about 1am.
The alleged evader was driving a blue Subaru station wagon and failed to stop for officers in Nelson and Christchurch.
He also sped off when police tried to stop him in Palmerston and then Dunedin before he abandoned the car.
"A traffic unit attempted to stop the speeding vehicle in Palmerston this afternoon but it fled in a southern direction down State Highway 1,'' police said. "Police followed the vehicle for a short time but the motorist's driving was deemed too dangerous for the matter to continue.''
He was later arrested in Waikouaiti just north of the southern city at 5pm.
The man has been arrested and charged with driving while disqualified and for failing to stop for police.
Police said he will appear in the Dunedin District Court tomorrow and it was likely other driving charges will be laid.