Bentley Bentayga Shatters Class Record at Pikes Peak

Bentley is even releasing a limited number of 'Pikes Peak' edition cars to celebrate its win.

When one thinks of the Pikes Peak, they envision a battle between a series of agile production-series sports cars or maybe wildly modified vehicles looking to be crowned king of their class. Rarely does the thought of a luxury SUV eating the corners come to mind, and Bentley thought it was high-time to fix that with its Bentayga’s latest record at the annual hill climb event.

A few months ago, Bentley announced that it would send its W-12-powered Bentayga to Colorado with rallycross and drifting veteran Rhys Millen at the wheel. And while this may not have been the most exciting news (because we know how much enthusiasts love SUVs and crossovers), it has developed into one incredibly surprising record-smashing event when the German people-hauler crossed the finish line in just 10:49.9.

Throughout each of the 156 nail-biting corner, Millen piloted the Bentayga with hairpin precision. He maintained an average speed of 66.5 miles per hour throughout his 5,000-foot ascent, making the trek that would demolish the previous class record. In fact, the last record was held for the last five years by Land Rover when driver Paul Dallenbach ran the same course in a 2014 Range Rover Sport in just 12:35.6; something that Millen beat by 1 minute and 45.7 seconds.

What might come as a shock is that Bentley made minimal modifications to the vehicle. Its twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter engine pumped out a stock 600 horsepower from 12 cylinders, meaning that its powertrain as a whole remained unmodified. The manufacturer did fit the SUV with a roll cage, fire suppression, and more suited Pirelli tires, as well as fit more appropriate front seats for the driver while removing the rears altogether.

And while the Bentayga may be no Volkswagen I.D. R (which set its own impressive record during the weekend), the luxury SUV’s feat is certainly noticed by the community. Bentley also seems to have been extremely confident that its SUV would be taking the record this year, as it announced that it would be offering a limited run of ten “Pikes Peak” edition Bentaygas to commemorate the win, so as long as you can stomach the undoubtedly expensive price tag. Bentley hasn’t released an actual number just yet but knowing that a base Bentayga starts at $229,100 means that the Pikes Peak Bentayga will surely be pricey.