Bentley Aims for 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Record With the Bentayga

Automotive News 4 January 23, 2018 by

Suzuki, Audi, and Toyota are all names closely associated with the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Now Bentley is looking to add its name to the list.

For the 2018 event, the folks from Crewe plan to prepare and race the company’s newest SUV, the Bentayga.

There’s no mention of what “prepared” means though. However, all indications point to a mostly stock Bentayga tackling the course.

With a 6.0-liter W12 pumping out 600hp and 664 lbft of torque, the engine is suitable enough. However, the Bentayga is fairly porky at 5,400lb. That’s not the ideal starting platform for a race vehicle. Add in all the safety equipment and a 6,000lb race weight isn’t out of the question either.

Spanning 12.44 miles with 156 corners and topping out at 14,111 feet above sea level, the course is demanding. With the electronically controlled anti-roll bars and AWD, the Bentayga seems to have what it takes to conquer the track — at least on paper.

One worry is power loss. Despite two turbos spinning away, being over 2.5-miles above sea level does put a strain on performance. It’s not as much as a naturally aspirated engine, but any power loss is sure to hurt, especially with all that weight.

Paul Dallenbach, with the record-setting Land Rover Range Rover Sport in 2013.

There is precedence for big SUVs running up Pikes Peak. In 2013, Land Rover took its Range Rover Sport and ran it up the course in 12:35.61 with an average speed of 59.17 mph. This set a record for production SUVs climbing the famed course.

Now Bentley hopes to best that record.

Despite its hefty weight, the Bentayga does have a leg up over the 2014 Range Rover Sport. With more horsepower and torque, along with a quicker 0-60 time, it has a real shot at taking home the crown.

If Bentley manages to best the record, there’s a chance we could see a Range Rover SVR make an appearance at some point. Obviously, nothing is official, but given how Jaguar — the sister company to Land Rover — loves to chase oddly specific records, don’t count it out.

To secure the overall production record, the Bentayga will need some help. In 2015, David Donner ran a Porsche 911 Turbo S up the course in 10:26.896. Chances are that’s out of reach for the big Bentley. However, a time in the high 11-minute range isn’t out of the question.

To see how the Bentayga fares, you can check out the Race to the Clouds on June 24.

If interested in attending the race, head on over to the website for the event. There you’ll find all the ticket information and schedule of events.

Thanks to Pebb for the tip! 

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