Bentley wants to smash yet another mountain record with this prepped GT racer.
Bentley made history in 2018 when the Bentayga completed the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in just 10 minutes, 49.9 seconds, setting a new SUV record. One year later, the Continental GT set a new production car record at the mountain. For the 2021 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Bentley is chasing another lap record with a new radical Continental GT3 Pikes Peak car.
Based on Bentley's championship-winning racer, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak is the first competition Bentley to run on renewable fuel and is designed to smash the Time Attack 1 record. This will be Bentley's third and final Pikes Peak record attempt.
To set a new record, the modified racer will need to complete the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in less than nine minutes and 36 seconds at an average speed of 78 mph. Considering the challenging mountain course has 156 corners and finishes around 14,000 feet above sea level, this will not be an easy task.
To adapt the Continental GT3 for Pikes Peak the race car's aerodynamics and powertrain have been extensively modified to create the "most extreme road-car-based Bentley in history." At the back, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak features the largest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley and a prominent rear diffuser. Complementing the aerodynamics is a two-plane front splitter. Under the hood, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak utilizes the road car's 4.0-liter turbo V8 modified with "carefully selected biofuel" to develop "significant horsepower."
As the automaker prepares to go fully electric by 2030 and develop synthetic fuel to preserve combustion engines, Bentley is currently testing different blends of fuels for the Pikes Peak car that will reduce greenhouse gases up to 85 percent compared to standard fossil fuel. Technical specifications are being kept under wraps for now, but the Continental GT3 track racer's V8 generates 550 hp so we'll assume it'll be much higher than that. Side-exit exhausts will also make the radical Pikes Peak racer's roar sound suitably savage. Other modifications include air scoops replacing the rear windows and a stopwatch mounted to the roll cage.
"We are delighted to be returning to Pikes Peak for a third time - now powered by renewable fuel, as the launch project for another new element of our Beyond100 program," said Bentley's Member of the Board for Engineering, Dr Matthias Rabe.
"Our powertrain engineers are already researching both biofuels and e-fuels for use by our customers alongside our electrification program - with intermediate steps of adopting renewable fuels at the factory in Crewe and for our company fleet. In the meantime, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will show that renewable fuels can allow motorsport to continue in a responsible way, and hopefully it will capture the third and final record in our triple crown."
Bentley will provide more updates on the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak car's development before attempting a new record on June 27 at the 2021 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.