SUVs

Bentley Bentayga finishes Pikes Peak prep, poised to pounce

It needs to average 60 mph to beat the current record, which is a decent clip.

I'm in love with that paint color.

Bentley

When you think of six-figure cars attempting the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, you might think of some purpose-built race cars, or some street cars that have been modified out the wazoo. But a nearly stock Bentley Bentayga? Believe it or not, it's in the running.

Bentley announced this week that it's finished its prep for the Pikes Peak hill climb, which takes place this weekend in Colorado. Bentley will take a ever-so-slightly-modified Bentayga up the mountain. It first announced its plans in March, but now, it's ready to roll.

Its 600-horsepower W12 gas engine will be stock, but Bentley added an Akrapovic exhaust for better breathing, as well as a bevy of mandated safety bits, like a roll cage, racing seat and fire suppression system. Approximately 660 pounds of interior bits had to be removed for regulation's sake, but it's still treated the same as the current record holder. It'll look a bit more aggressive thanks to Bentley's carbon fiber Styling Specification body kit.

The Bentayga will need to average at least 60 mph across 12.42 miles, 156 corners and 4,720 vertical feet in order to grab the production SUV record. The current record holder has a time of 12:35.61, achieved in a 2014 Range Rover Sport by professional driver Paul Dallenbach.

But Bentley will have a hotshoe of its own in Rhys Millen. One of the leading drivers in competitive drifting, Millen already captured a class record at Pikes Peak in 2012. He was also the first person to complete a mid-air back flip in an off-road truck, but here's hoping that this weekend will see all four wheels on the ground the entire time.