Bentley’s Continental GT is renowned for its luxury but the vehicle is also a highly capable performance machine, especially in 12-cylinder guise.
Bentley will use the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June to highlight this fact, with the automaker calling on Rhys Millen to race to the clouds in the latest Continental GT.
The car, revealed on Thursday, wears a special livery highlighting Bentley’s centennial this year.
Millen, a Pikes Peak veteran, entered last year’s run in a Bentley Bentayga and claimed a record for production SUVs with his time of 10:49.9, taking nearly two minutes off the previous record by averaging 66.5 mph. Bentley celebrated by launching a special version of the Bentayga.
This year, Millen is going after the record for production cars. According to the most recent list of records, the time to beat is the 10:26.8 set in 2015 by David Donner in a Porsche 911 Turbo S. Considering Millen drove a Bentayga a little more than 20 seconds off that pace, he should be able to crack the time in the lighter, more dynamic Continental GT.
The big coupe is powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 delivering 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. This is enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 207 mph, though the latter won’t help all that much given Pikes Peak’s winding 156-corner, 12.42-mile course.
What will come in handy are the car’s turbochargers. With the start line as high as 9,300 feet and rising to 14,100 feet at the summit, you’re looking at air that’s around a third of the density as at sea level. Turbochargers help alleviate the issue by compressing the air before it’s fed to the engine. The technology was initially popularized for aircraft flying at high altitudes.
This year’s Pikes Peak run will take place on June 30.