Bentley has announced its intention to contest the 2018 Pikes Peak hillclimb, not in a Continental GT, or even a Flying Spur, but rather in a Bentley Bentayga SUV.
The annual “race to the clouds” will take place on the 24th June this year, with Bentley announcing it will put its 600bhp SUV into the hillclimb event.
Using a Bentayga powered by the W12 engine, Bentley is preparing the all-wheel-drive vehicle by handing it over to the motorsport division of the company.
Heading up the project will be Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, who will have the fun job of turning a plush, soft-riding SUV into a ball-tearing monster.
After all, the climb in Colorado Springs is 20-kilometres long – about the length of a lap of the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
What’s the real reason Bentley is doing this?
This makes the challenge an interesting one if you consider that there was no way that the Bentayga was going to make a dent in the ‘Ring record, especially when the Alfa Romeo Stelvio stamped its authority on the track.
Thus, a crack at the Pikes Peak record for an SUV would certainly be attainable for the Bentayga. Mr Gush basically said as much:
“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.”
Let’s see whether Bentley can indeed pull it off. With 156 corners, the as yet unnamed driver will certainly have their work cut out for them.