The 600bhp luxury model, entered as car number eight, is being adapted by Bentley’s motorsport department in Crewe before it takes to the 156-corner hill. It will gain a roll cage and other safety features required by regulations, but a spokesman told Autocar that it will remain “as close to production specification as possible”.
This suggests the car’s interior will remain in place, ensuring that it tips the scales at least 2440kg, which is the weight of the standard road car without a roll cage. Exact specifications will be revealed in March, when the driver is also announced.
In standard trim, the Bentayga’s twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine produces 600bhp at 5000-6000rpm and 664lb ft of torque at 1350rpm-4500rpm. It can accelerate the super SUV from 0-62mph in 4.0sec, making it as quick off the mark as a Porsche 911 Carrera 4.
The all-wheel drive car uses an active anti-roll system that controls its air suspension to effectively eliminate body roll during fast driving. The system, which is also featured in the Bentayga’s Volkswagen Group sibling the Lamborghini Urus, features Comfort, Sport and Custom modes.
Bentley’s director of motorsport, Brian Gush, is heading up the Bentayga’s Pikes Peak programme. He said: “The Bentayga has set a 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”.
This year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb takes place on the 24 June. The Bentayga will be entered into the ‘exhibition’ class, which features unrelated models including a Dodge Viper and 1949 Ford F1 pick-up truck this year. The fastest overall car in 2017’s event was a Norma M20 RD prototype. It remains a favourite for the overall win in 2018.