See this Bentley Bentayga? It looks like pretty much any other, right? Look closer, though, and you’ll notice the Sparco bucket seats and the roll cage.
What you’re actually looking at is the vehicle that Rhys Millen will be driving up Pikes Peak this year. Millen’s a known name at the famous hillclimb event, his father Rod having won the event outright a record five times with Toyota. Rhys has won it twice – in a Hyundai in 2012 and in an electric prototype in 2015. And this year he’ll be driving this Bentley.
As its looks would suggest, this Bentayga is pretty much bone stock. It packs the same 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine as the production model, producing the same 600 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. It has the same 48-volt electric suspension, and even wears production-spec Pirelli tires. As you might expect, given that it’s being entered in the Production Class.
But given its task, it needed some safety upgrades. So Bentley Motorsport fitted it with a roll cage, fire-suppression system, and racing buckets and harnesses. It also has an Akrapovic exhaust and a carbon-fiber aero kit. But otherwise it’s bone-stock, right down to the (questionable) greenish-yellow Radium Satin paintjob.
“The opportunity to race with Bentley at Pikes Peak is one that I couldn’t pass up,” said Rhys. “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. 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.”
To get steal the crown, Millen will have to average over 60 miles per hour, and cross the finish line in under 12:35.61. That, in case you’re wondering, is the time Paul Dallenbach set in 2014 in a Range Rover Sport – before the SVR model ever enter the picture.