Rhys Millen and Bentley are preparing to chase the production SUV record up the fearsome Pikes Peak hillclimb in a Bentayga prepared by Bentley Motorsport. Nope, we aren’t pulling your leg.
The current SUV record on the famed strip of Colorado blacktop – formerly gravel, alas no longer – is 12:53.61, which means Millen and his hotted-up barge will need to average at least 60mph (97km/h) on the 156-corner course.
Power in the Pikes Peak-grade Bentley will come from the same 447kW/900Nm twin-turbo W12 in the range-topping variant, breathing through an aftermarket Akrapovic exhaust.
Air suspension, Pirelli tyres and clever Volkswagen Group 48V active anti-roll tech have all been borrowed from the production version, too.
Although it’s essentially a production car underneath, there will be a few race-ready touches on board the big Bentley. A full roll-cage, fire-suppression system and racing harnesses have all been fitted, just in case something goes wrong on the sky-high Pikes Peak course.
The racer will be finished in an eye-catching shade of ‘Rodium Satin’ with black chrome trim. It’s undergoing high-speed testing as we speak, ahead of Pikes Peak on June 24.
“The opportunity to race with Bentley at Pikes Peak is one that I couldn’t pass up. I visited the Bentley factory in Crewe, England last month and was amazed at the level of skill that goes in to handcrafting these cars,” said Rhys Millen.
“I also had the chance to drive the race-prepared car for the first time and was blown away by the performance that’s already available. I’m really looking forward to preparing for the race, competing on the mountain with Bentley and hopefully claiming a new SUV record.”