Bentley enters Bentayga into Pikes Peak

There's rarely a shortage of intriguing entries for Colorado's annual Race to the Clouds. The event prides itself as one of the world's most diverse motorsport fixtures, and its 12.4-mile length regularly hosts everything from WRC cars to dune buggies, trucks to sidecars, and apparently no end of vintage machinery. Manufacturers with an appropriate product to publicize have long been in on the act; Volkswagen is building its first all-electric race car this year merely to promote the general concept of EVs (with a multitude of zero-emission models waiting in the wings to reap the benefits).

All this makes the prospect of seeing a 2.5 tonne Bentley Bentayga on the start line seem fairly reasonable. The British marque has entered its W12 model in the Exhibition class, although apparently it secretly harbours ambitions of setting a new record for production SUVs. (The car is being prepared by the motorsport division, but will only be modified to satisfy the regulations rather than stripped bare.) Somewhat less of a secret is the brand's desire to put the Bentayga's performance bias firmly on the map in North America, where it needs the car to sell by the bucketload.

As a result, Crewe is taking its first entry at Pikes Peak fairly seriously. "Since its launch, the Bentayga has set the luxury SUV benchmark with its unique combination of bespoke British craftsmanship, performance and grand touring ability. We hope to set another benchmark at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb by conquering the most demanding mountain road course in the world," said Bentley's Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush.

Of course 'conquering' the famous toll road is easier said than done. The entire route might have been paved since 2012, but there're still 156 opportunities for embarassing and/or spectacular misfortune to befall you - not to mention the power-sapping prospect of finishing at 14,110 ft. Doubtless Bentley will spend the run-up to June 24th reminding us that the Bentayga has over 600hp and 664lb ft of torque from its 6.0-litre engine and the car is underpinned by its fiendishly clever 48-volt active anti-roll system. It will need to make good use of both to make a telling impact on the Rocky Mountains.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (19) Join the discussion on the forum

  • cydaps 22 Jan 2018

    It's guaranteed to win one thing.... ugliest vehicle...

  • Gandahar 22 Jan 2018

    cydaps said:
    It's guaranteed to win one thing.... ugliest vehicle...
    Indeed, I hope they paint it black so the Yanks could mistake it for the fastest London Taxi up there.

    Rather ironically the whole route is now paved, so you do not even need an "off roader" to go up there, just an SUV fatmobile with command driving position. Would rather have the old days with gravel etc, the new 500bhp V8 Defender would possibly put the smackdown on it, Battle of Britain....

  • Gandahar 22 Jan 2018

    I hope they have a picnic stop half way up and do a shoot with perhaps the Fortnum and Mason Edwardian 6 Person Trunk Hamper being rolled out.

    Now that would add a bit of class to the run.

  • Macboy 22 Jan 2018

    cydaps said:
    It's guaranteed to win one thing.... ugliest vehicle...
    Bravo! You're the fastest, most obvious and most pointless comment winner of the day.

  • Integroo 22 Jan 2018

    I thought hot laps of the Nurburgring were the en vogue way of selling cars?

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