Currently reading: Bentley reveals wild Continental GT racer for final Pikes Peak run
British firm is going for a third record on Colorado hillclimb in 2021 using biofuel-compatible racer
Felix Page Autocar writer
3 mins read
12 April 2021

Bentley will return to the formidable Pikes Peak International Hillclimb for the third and final time in 2021 in pursuit of a "triple crown" of course records. 

Having set a record time for the production SUV at the Colorado course with its Bentayga in 2018 and the production car record the following year with the Continental GT, Bentley will now seek to achieve the Time Attack 1 record for modified, production-based vehicles. 

The racer of choice is a substantially upgraded version of the GT3-specification Continental GT, which will be piloted once again by drifting champion Rhys Millen, who is aiming to cover the 12.42-mile, 156-corner course in less than nine minutes and 36 seconds - 42 seconds quicker than his 2019 time.

The Continental GT3 Pikes Peak, run in partnership with customer race team Fastr, is described as "the most extreme road-car-based Bentley in history," with revisions over the customer racer extending to a dramatic aerodynamics package and comprehensive powertrain modifications.

Most obviously, the car features the "biggest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley," along with a chunky rear diffuser and a dual-plane front splitter. The rear windows have been swapped for air scoops - which will aid cooling in the thin air at the top of the mountain - while other Pikes Peak-specific additions include a full roll cage and, crucially, a stopwatch. 

Just as significant as the visual enhancements are the powertrain upgrades, which allow the racer to be run on biofuel-based petrol, in line with Bentley's wider goal to promote and prove synthetic fuel technology. 

The Continental uses a variation of the road car's twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre petrol V8, with a "significant" power hike courtesy of the modifications - which are yet to be fully detailed - and the fuel used. An output of upwards of 600bhp is therefore to be expected, and Bentley promises that it will "sound as dramatic as it looks," thanks to a pair of short side-exit exhaust pipes. 

It will be the first Bentley race car to use synthetic fuel, and while the firm has yet to decide on a precise chemical formula, it promises greenhouse gas reductions of up to 85% compared with conventional petrol. 

"This first step marks the start of a longer programme that will investigate both biofuels and e-fuels for their potential to power the Bentleys of past and present in a sustainable way," the firm said.

As part of its bold Beyond100 transformation strategy, Bentley will develop synthetic fuel technology alongside its electrification programme, with the aim of increasing the sustainability of its combustion engines. 

Putting sustainable fuels into production will "allow customers to enjoy their current and classic Bentleys responsibly for years to come," the firm said. It estimates that more than 80% of all Bentley models ever built remain on the road. 


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pist0nbr0ke 12 April 2021

Peter Cavellini 12 April 2021 NEW
Bentley turned up to eleven?

But it's a big car won't look good going fast.


According to you.

Peter Cavellini 12 April 2021

Bentley turned up to eleven?

Find an Autocar car review