Bentley Bentayga takes aim at Pikes Peak SUV record

Bentley will attempt to break the Pikes Peak SUV hill climb record later this year with a lightly modified Bentayga W12

The Bentley Bentayga will face one of motorsport’s most challenging courses when it attempts to break the current SUV record at the Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado, USA later this year. The current record is held by a Range Rover Sport and was set back in 2014.

Driven by Pikes Peak legend Rhys Millen, the lightly-tweaked Bentayga W12 will race up the hill in June – as part of the historic festival. Mullen is no stranger to victory, however, with 14 class victories and two overall victories to his name. By signing for the Brit-based manufacturer, Mullen becomes the seventh ‘Bentley Boy’; a term given to a small group of drivers who are contracted to race cars direct from the factory.

Best 4x4s and SUVs on sale 

The Bentayga will only have a few modifications before tackling the infamous course. A roll cage and bucket seat have both been installed, while 300kg of weight has been stripped from the near-2.5-tonne production SUV. While the roll cage and seat have been added to boost safety, the weight loss will have the biggest benefit to the Bentayga’s outright performance.

The final set-up is still being perfected by Millen and his team of Bentley engineers, with the car currently undergoing tweaks to the anti-roll bars and suspension. Millen has also increased the size of the paddle shifters of the eight-speed automatic gearbox, to make changing ratios easier on the hill.

The Pikes Peak course is notorious for its dramatic drops, hairpin turns and high altitude.  The course rises to over 14,000ft and requires Millen to use an oxygen mask to keep concentration levels at their peak.

The hill climb, dubbed ‘Race to the Clouds’, has claimed the lives of six racers throughout its history, with the last death recorded in 2015 when Carl Sorensen crashed over the edge on his motorcycle.

Check out Volkswagen's all-electric I.D. R Pikes Peak challenger right here...

Recommended

Used Bentley Bentayga review
Bentley Bentayga

Used Bentley Bentayga review

A full used buyer’s guide on the Bentley Bentayga, covering the Bentayga Mk1 (2015-date)
6 Jan 2021
Bentley Bentayga Hybrid gets a new look for 2021
Bentley Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga Hybrid gets a new look for 2021

The updated Bentayga Hybrid electrified luxury SUV gets a new look in line with the rest of the Bentley line-up
4 Jan 2021
Aston Martin DBX vs Bentley Bentayga
Car group tests

Aston Martin DBX vs Bentley Bentayga

The Bentley Bentayga has received a facelift for 2020 - will it be enough to see off the new Aston Martin DBX?
29 Oct 2020
Bentley Bentayga now available with scatter cushions and custom golf bags
SUVs

Bentley Bentayga now available with scatter cushions and custom golf bags

The Bentley Bentayga range has been tweaked with the arrival of four new trim specifications and a raucous Akrapovic exhaust system
31 Jul 2020

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car
Nissan Juke EV - front (watermarked)
Nissan Juke

Nissan to launch new Juke-sized electric car

The new Nissan Juke-sized electric car will sit below the Ariya, and our exclusive images preview how it could look
8 Apr 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6: UK prices and specifications confirmed

The new all-electric Kia EV6 gets two batteries, 4WD and even a rapid sporty GT version. Prices start from £40,895
30 Mar 2021