The Bentley Bentayga and Rhys Millen breaks Pikes Peak record as fastest SUV


Rhys Millen, Bentley Bentayga at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 2018.
Photo: James Lipman /

When you want to break a record in Pike Peak, you get a driver who knows that tract better than anyone else. Rhys Millen drove a lightly modified Bentley Bentayga claiming the record for a production SUV at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

The two-time champion Rhys Millen hails from New Zealand, and was in Manila in 2012 by invitation from Red Bull to perform a drift maneuver at Kilometer One at the Quirino Grandstand, Luneta Park.  This writer interviewed Millen during his visit and found out that Millen also performed a lot of the stunt works in the movie “Tokyo Drift”, including the famous spiral drift maneuver at the parking lot scene, saying “I did the stunt in one take.”

Millen completed the 12.42-mile course in just 10:49.9, obliterating the previous record by taking nearly two minutes off the previous record, averaging 66.5 mph.

“This record proves the outstanding dynamic ability of the Bentayga – demonstrating again how Bentley Motors is the only automotive company in the world that can combine pinnacle luxury and breath-taking performance. Congratulations to all at Bentley Motorsport and to Rhys Millen and his team.” Said Chris Craft, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Sales & Marketing.

Climbing almost 5,000 ft through 156 corners, the Bentayga deployed its unique combination of a 600 bhp, 900 Nm W12 engine, adaptive air suspension, active electric 48V anti-roll control and carbon ceramic brakes to set a stunning new benchmark.

Rhy Millen – “What an incredible machine. To take a luxury SUV with minimal modifications and be able to drive up this course in under 11 minutes is a huge testament to the performance and level of engineering in the Bentayga. I had a great run – the car was planted all the way up and gave me the confidence I needed to push hard. I’m delighted to take the SUV record for Bentley and for everyone that’s been involved in this project.”

Bentley says that only minimal changes were made to a standard production Bentayga in order to comply with the rules. The front seats were replaced with racing versions while the rear seats were removed, and a roll cage and fire suppression system were installed. Tyres were selected from Pirelli’s DOT-marked range, and a production-specification Akrapovic sports exhaust was fitted. In every other way, the Pikes Peak car is a standard Bentayga, finished in eye-catching Radium Satin paintwork accented by the all-black chrome and carbon fibre body kit provided by Bentley’s Black Specification.

Limited Edition Pikes Peak model

To celebrate the record-breaking run, Bentley is today announcing a new Limited Edition Bentayga, strictly limited to just ten cars. The Benteyga is handcrafted by Mulliner – Bentley’s in-house bespoke and coach building division. The exterior is finished either in deep Beluga black paint or striking Radium, with 22” wheels in a bespoke two-tone finish of Beluga with Radium accents. The Black Specification is included, replacing all exterior chrome with gloss black components and adding a carbon fibre splitter, side skirts, diffuser and rear spoiler. A subtle Pikes Peak motif adorns the front fenders.

Inside the car, a Mulliner Design Color Split marries Key Lime accents with Beluga leather, with Alcantara inserts to the seats and doors. The steering wheel and gear lever are also trimmed in Alcantara, and the headlining is technical Eliade cloth. A Pikes Peak logo decorates the carbon fibre fascias, and numbered Pikes Peak treadplates complete the interior.

The Pikes Peak Bentayga features the same engine and chassis systems as the record-breaking racer. Bentley’s iconic 6.0-litre twin turbo W12 provides 600 bhp and 900 Nm, fed through a ZF eight speed automatic transmission to permanent four-wheel drive. Adaptive air suspension and Bentley’s unique and world-first 48V electric active anti-roll control system (Bentley Dynamic Ride) ensure the perfect balance between refined ride comfort and optimum body control. The Bentayga Sports Exhaust and Touring Specification pack complete the car.

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