The Bentley Bentayga is ready to race to the clouds.
With all the publicity surrounding Volkswagen’s first electric racecar, the incredible I.D. R, chasing a new EV record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, it’s easy to forget that Bentley is also about to attempt a new record at the 12.42-mile mountain course this weekend. After six months of preparation, Bentley has unveiled its race-ready Bentayga that will tackle the challenging hill climb. Impressively, the SUV has been left in mostly stock condition, but a few changes had to meet the Production class regulations.
The interior has been stripped out and fitted with a full roll cage, racing seat, and fire-suppression system. It’s also been fitted with an Akrapovic exhaust and optional Styling Specification Kit available to customers, which comes with a carbon fiber front splitter, diffuser, side skirts, and rear spoiler. Completing the look is an eye-catching Radium Satin paintwork and sponsorship decals. Bentley is confident the Bentayga’s 600-hp engine, adaptive air suspension and 48V electric active anti-roll control will allow the automaker to break a new production SUV record at Pikes Peak, but this will be an tough challenge for driver Rhys Millen.
The two-time champion will need to achieve an average speed of at least 60 mph to beat the current record set by a Range Rover in 2014. That’s not going to be easy considering the SUV still weighs two tons, even with a stripped-out interior. “We’ve honed the Bentayga’s incredible abilities and ensured we have a car for Pikes Peak that’s both safe and fast through two very productive test sessions with the Bentley Motorsport team,” said Millen. “The course is one you can only attack with a car that can gain and lose speed very quickly, because it’s so tight and twisty."
The combination of 600 bhp, 664 lb ft and carbon ceramic brakes means that the Bentayga can accelerate and decelerate incredibly hard – and that’s what I’ll be counting on for my run. I can’t wait to get started at the mountain later this week.”