- bentley beat the production-car pikes peak record with a new continental gt.
- last year, bentley broke the production-suv record with a bentayga.
- rhys millen, the professional race-car driver who set last year's record, was behind the wheel for the attempt.
update 7/1/19: despite the week leading up to the event being fraught with rain and snow, on sunday, rhys millen smashed the existing production-car record at pikes peak in the continental gt with a time of 10:18.488. that's an impressive 8.4 seconds faster than the previous record, and also around 31 seconds faster than millen's record-setting bentayga time. he averaged 70 mph on the 12.42-mile course, which consists of 156 corners and a climb of almost 5000 feet—the peak of which is 14,100 feet above sea level. said millen of the run, "we came here with one goal in mind, and that was to be the fastest production car up the mountain and set a new record. today was a challenge with what mother nature threw at us, but the continental gt held strong all the way to the top, and we are now number one."
last year, professional rally driver and drifter rhys millen set a new record at pikes peak for the fastest production suv, using a bentley bentayga to smash the existing record by almost two minutes. in just a few weeks, on june 30, he'll be blasting up pikes peak to try to set the production-car record in another bentley, this time the new continental gt.
for the attempt, the continental has been wrapped in a matte lime-green finish that's partially covered by a glossy mountain livery. the number 100 is painted on the grille to mark bentley's centenary, and the brake calipers have been painted green to match. as a whole, it's purposefully similar in style to the record-setting bentayga. bentley doesn't give any technical details on modifications that have been made to the continental, aside from saying that it will have an onboard oxygen system that feeds into millen's helmet.
preview of a future w12 speed?
but from the photos, we see some details that make us think this record-attempt car could be a preview of an upcoming w12 speed model, which hasn't been revealed (or even announced) yet. there are some subtle carbon-fiber exterior bits consisting of a new front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser, plus quad oval tailpipes in place of the standard dual oval tips. this is just speculation on our part—it could be that bentley just fitted some new parts that will be optional accessories in the future—but it all still caught our eye.
the current record that millen will have to beat is a time of 10:26.9 that was set in 2015 by a porsche 911 turbo s. there's only the opportunity for one attempt on one day of the year, and pikes peak is a grueling, 12.4-mile course that ends at 14,100 feet above sea level. bentley put out a video showcasing the continental undergoing testing for the attempt at willow springs international raceway, which you can check out below.
this story was originally published on june 6, 2019.