Bentley has announced that it will hand the keys to a specially prepared Bentley Bentayga W12 to two-time Pikes Peak champion Rhys Millen with the goal of breaking the record for production SUVs at the 19,99 km course in June 2018.

A time of 12:35,61 stands as the current production SUV record, set by a Range Rover Sport back in 2013. In order to best that time, Millen will have to average at least 97 km/h along the 156-corner hill climb.

“The opportunity to race with Bentley at Pikes Peak is one that I couldn’t pass up. I visited the Bentley factory in Crewe, England last month and was amazed at the level of skill that goes into handcrafting these cars," said Millen.

"I also had the chance to drive the race-prepared car for the first time and was blown away by the performance that’s already available. I’m really looking forward to preparing for the race, competing on the mountain with Bentley and hopefully claiming a new SUV record.”

Bentley director of motorsport Brian Gush said that Millen was the perfect driver for the job.

"With two previous overall victories to his name, Rhys’ credentials speak for themselves. His knowledge of the course, his professionalism as a competitor and his enthusiasm for the project make him the perfect choice for us," said Gush.

The Bentayga in question features an unmodified version of the 6,0-litre W12, producing 447 kW and 900 N.m. In accordance with the production class race specifications, the vehicle will feature a full roll cage, an onboard fire suppression system, racing seats and racing harnesses.

Production tyres will be supplied by Pirelli, and the Bentayga will sport a custom-fitted Akrapovič exhaust system. The automaker also states that the air suspension set-up with 48V electric active anti-roll control will remain unmodified for the run.