Finally, we see another car to break the production car record at Pikes Peak after several years. The new record is now owned by the 2019 Bentley Continental GT following an excellent completion of the 2019 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb by a stock example of the British grand tourer. Driven by three-time champion Rhys Millen, the car took 10:18.488 minutes to complete the run, which is a whopping 8.4 seconds quicker than the previous record.
The previous record for the fastest road-going car at Pikes Peak lasted for no less than five years. It was a strong mark set by Fred Veitch in a stock 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S at 10:26.9 seconds. Competing in Time Attack 2 class, the 911 Turbo S relied on its 3.8-liter flat-six engine that pumped out 560 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.
Today it has been five years, and the Continental GT has destroyed the record after completing the course at an average speed of 70 mph. Under its hood, the grand tourer is powered by a twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W12 engine that churns out a commendable 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque.
Now you may think that it was the GT’s bigger output that played an important role in the run. Well, that may be true, to some extent; but you can’t forget Millen who was sitting behind the wheel. Despite its higher output, the 4,950-pound Continental GT is actually inferior compared to the 3,600-pound 911 Turbo S in terms of power-to-weight ratio. So Millen did play an important role as well in smashing the new record.
In addition, that also proves that the latest Continental GT is a dynamic machine. It would exceed anyone’s expectation of a car with dimensions of 190.0 x 76.9 x 55.3 inches and a weight of nearly 5000 pounds. Its W12 powerhouse also showed great capability during the run, being able to overcome the changing air on the way from start to finish.
Starting the course at 9,300 feet and going up to 14,100 feet above sea level for completion, the GT was entering an atmosphere where the air density was roughly one-third less than normal. It means that the car is capable of tackling pretty much all sorts of environments.
Last year, Rhys Millen also drove up the mountain a Bentley Bentayga in 10:49.9 minutes, claiming a new production SUV record with an almost two-second gap from the previous mark. So the British luxury carmaker currently holds two Pikes Peak records for both production SUVs and cars.