Rhys Millen will go hunting for a production car record.
If you were taken by surprise last year with Bentley’s run up the hill at Pikes Peak, you weren’t alone. The opulent automaker sent a Bentley Bentayga SUV racing up the mountain, and it wasn’t just there for show. With noted Pikes Peak veteran Rhys Millen at the wheel, the big people mover actually set a new production SUV record. Now, Bentley is planning a return to the Colorado mountain later this year with its sights set on another record, only this time the goal is a bit more ambitious. The ultra-luxury brand hopes to set a new production car record with its big grand touring machine, the Continental GT.
The Bentayga's record run:
If that sounds strange, again, you’re not alone. The Continental GT certainly has power to spare, courtesy of its twin-turbo W12 producing 626 bhp. That power goes to all four wheels through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, and at full blast, the big GT will do 207 mph. However, the key word in that sentence is big, because the Continental boasts a long wheelbase that carries no less than 2.5 tons of two-door elegance. That’s not an insignificant amount of mass to carry up a mountain, but the plush GT car will have an advantage behind the wheel as Millen is slated to return as the Continental’s driver.
“Bentley’s success last year along with the experience we gained will prove to be instrumental in preparing for our return to the mountain,” said Brian Gush, Bentley’s motorsport director. “The challenge to set the outright record for production cars is not one we underestimate, but we are confident in the combination of our W12 engine, the dynamic ability of the new Continental GT and the outstanding skill of Rhys Millen.”
A closer look at the Continental GT:
- Bentley Continental GT V8 debuts as 542-bhp coupe and cabrio
- 2019 Bentley Continental GT Convertible revealed as 207-mph tweedtop
Details on the car or the planned run aren’t available as-of-yet, but presumably, the Continental GT will be in near-stock trim similar to the Bentayga with the only changes being for safety. As for the specific record, it’s unclear exactly what kind of time Bentley will be shooting for, as very few manufacturers are interested in setting such records at Colorado. We can’t help but think there are other all-wheel-drive production vehicles that could outrun the big Bentley up the hill – the Lamborghini Aventador immediately comes to mind – so the Continental could gain the title simply by showing up to the party.
Then again, we can’t think of a snazzier way to climb a mountain than nestled into the comfortable confines of a Bentley.