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Bentley aims high at Pikes Peak. Image by Bentley.

Bentley aims high at Pikes Peak
600hp Bentayga SUV prepares to tackle famous US hillclimb
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What's this then?

This is, or will be at any rate, Bentley's first racing SUV.

Hang on, a racing SUV?

Yup, Bentley is planning to race a 600hp, 900Nm, W12-engined Bentayga up the famous Pikes Peak hillclimb course in Colorado, US on 24 June this year. Although the car will be modified for the attempt, essentially it's going to run the road-standard engine and 48-volt active anti-roll suspension system

Hang on, where do I know the name Pikes Peak from?

Ari Vatanen, Peugeot 405 T16, massive wing, lots of dust and oversteer? You can find the video on YouTube.

Oh yes! Wow, that'll be something else.

It probably won't be quite as spectacular - after all, Pikes Peak is an all-tarmac road now, not a dirt track as it was for Vatanen. But the Bentayga will still be put through its paces picking a path round the 156-corners and 14,115 feet of elevation change.

Crikey. That's half way up to grazing a Boeing's belly.

Yup. Don't look down. Leading the project is Bentley's Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush, who comments: "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."

More details will be given in the coming months ahead of the June event, and it'll be interesting to see who is picked to drive in the wheeltracks of the likes of Mario Andretti (who won the hillclimb in 1967 with a modified Indycar), Vatanen, Michele Mouton (won it in an Audi Sport Quattro), and Sebastian Loeb (who took a heavily modified 875hp Peugeot 208 to victory in 2013, and still holds the hill record).

Neil Briscoe - 19 Jan 2018

Earlier articles featuring 2018 Bentley Bentayga

2018-01-12: Bentley Bentayga adds a V8 petrol

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