• Bentley's one-off Continental GT is the official record holder of the production car catergory at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
• New Zealand racing driver Rhys Millen set the record at the 2019 edition at the famous Colorado mountain.
• Take a closer look at the outrageous looking British brute that sports close to 470kW and 900Nm.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Motorsport is intriguing to watch man and machine being pushed to their extremities, battling against rivals to finish on the top step of the podium.
A great example of this is the recent one-off Continental GT built by Bentley's engineers to take on Pikes Peak.
If you haven't heard of Pikes Peak, it's one of the highest summits in the Rocky Mountains situated in the state of Colorado in the United States.
900Nm of torque
It's the Pikes Peak Hill International Hill Climb competition that the men and ladies from Crewe had their eye on. They've built a special one-off version of their big two-door gran tourer to break the competition's production car record.
It retains the 6.0-litre W12 engine with turbochargers to produce close to 470kW and 900Nm, allowing it to reach a top speed of 333km/h and rocketing to 100km/h from standstill in 3.7 seconds. That's unfathomable for a car that weighs slightly less than 2.4 tonnes.
It uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and dispatches all its power to four wheels.
In order to tackle the 19.9km-long road that snakes up the beautiful mountain, Bentley replaced the plush motorised seats with racing bucket pews and even removing the rear seats (who needs them anyway?).
The racing car standard-issue roll cage is in place as well as a alcantara-rimmed steering wheel. There's a louder exhaust to make sure the spectators at the 2019 Pikes Peak could hear the big British brute climb into the clouds as New Zealand racing driver Rhys Millen clipped the finishing line with a time of 10:18.488.
Unbelievably, it is a full eight seconds faster than the previous record holder.
The sad thing about these types of cars, and I mean those with big engines, is that they are dying a slow death. In fact, Bentley's 4.0-litre V8 turbo motor is fast becoming more popular than the larger capacity W12 and it makes sense.
The smaller engine is less harmful to the earth, uses less fuel and produces almost the same amount of power. It's a no-brainer.