Bentley rolls into new segment with Bentayga

Big SUV can go from zero to 100 in four seconds

Published: September 9, 2015, 12:00 AM
Updated: November 23, 2021, 2:40 PM

Bentley Bentayga

Bentley has released details about its new Bentayga sport utility and in case Bentley Boys were mourning the selling out of the brand, it’s all Bentley, showcasing the brand’s core values of unparalleled luxury and sporting ability.

It just so happens to offer those hallmarks in a package that can go wherever its driver wishes, and it’s down-to-Earth enough to be driven every day. Like all Bentleys before it, it is designed, engineered and built in Crewe. It will make its global debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

The exterior look is classic Bentley with a well-balanced stance, powerful shoulders and haunches, and signature cues such as the large grille, floating headlights and B-shaped fender vents. From a certain angle, you’d be hard pressed to tell it is even an SUV, despite the well-integrated front skid plate below the bumper. Bentayga rides on standard 20-inch or optional 22-inch alloy wheels.

The interior is also what you’d expect from Bentley, with rich leather and wood finely handcrafted and precisely assembled. It also features all the technology favoured in today’s vehicles and some of the amenities of home.

It all adds up to what Bentley calls the most exclusive, most luxurious and most powerful SUV in the world.

“The Bentayga is the next step in our brand’s bold future,” says Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors. “With this extraordinary car we are looking forward to an exciting period of strong growth and sales success for Bentley. The Bentayga redefines luxury in the SUV sector and offers a genuine Bentley experience in any environment, thanks to a combination of unparalleled attention to detail, go-anywhere ability and cutting-edge technology.”

Power to go anywhere

Power is supplied by the twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 that puts out 600 hp and 663 lb.ft. of torque (available from 1,250 to 4,500 rpm). It takes the 3,250 kg (7,165 lbs.) behemoth to 100 km/h in a claimed 4.1 seconds, and tops out at 301 km/h. An eight speed automatic sends power to all four wheels as required, and uncouples from the engine when Bentayga is coasting or “sailing” along the highway in 5th through 8th gears.

The engine features direct and indirect fuel injection, switching seamlessly between the two to improve efficiency, and variable displacement that shuts down six cylinders in certain conditions to aid in lowering fuel consumption. A stop/start feature also shuts the engine down not just when the vehicle is stopped but when it is cruising to a stop. A high-performance clean diesel and plug-in hybrid will reportedly be available at a later date.

A full suite of driving aids keeps all that power in check. Among them, are traffic sign recognition and rear cross-traffic warning (to aid in backing out of a parking space). Top view uses cameras all around the vehicle and displays a virtual overhead view when backing up into or out of tight spaces. Parking assist finds and self-steers the Bentayga into tight parking spaces.

Control in all conditions

Bentley’s Driving Dynamics Mode combines with an optional Responsive Off-Road Setting to offer up to eight driving modes for any surface or road condition at the turn of a dial. Bentley Dynamic Ride is also on tap and the driver can keep tabs on it all (pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing, altitude, etc.) via the Driver Information eight-inch touchscreen.

On the road, adaptive cruise control will bring the car to a complete stop, while a Predictive setting uses the navigation system, speed sensors and onboard cameras to predict upcoming corners and adapt to speed limit changes in order to improve efficiency and fuel economy. Head-Up Display presents important drive-time info to drivers to allow them to keep eyes on the road and Electronic Night Vision allows them to identify potential obstacles at night, through infra-red technology.

Premium interior

Inside, the cockpit feels like something out of a home-theatre, with 22-way power adjustable, heated, ventilated and massaging front seats providing a sumptuous perch from which to enjoy a choice of three sound systems from standard through Naim for Bentley Premium sound quality (also the most powerful in the segment, pumping out 1,950 watts through 18 speakers).

The interior is available in 15 colours and can also be combined in three duo-tone combinations.

There is a choice of two or three position rear seat, with rear seat occupants getting ventilated and massaging individual 18-way adjustable seats with foot rests in the four-seat configuration. Rear seat riders can also find diversion thanks to introduction of the Bentley Entertainment Tablet – a front-seat mounted, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled removable 10.2-inch Android device. A seven seat model will reportedly also be available at a later date.

Light floods into the cabin through the standard two-panel panoramic glass roof, or can be blocked by an electric roller blind. On the outside, the roof is flanked by high-gloss black aluminum roof rails.

Personalization to the max

At the rear, the hands-free tailgate opens up onto a large storage space that can be decked out with optional removable Mulliner chillers for beverages, and storage for dry goods and tableware for a road-side snack break, complete with an optional fold-out event seat.

And befitting any Bentley, Bentayga features all the famed bespoke options to tailor it to its owner’s individual tastes. Included in the personalization features are 17 exterior paint colours with up to 90 hues, 15 carpet options, 15 leather choices and seven wood veneers. There is also the option of the mechanical Mulliner Tourbillon by Breitling clock for the centre of the dash. It comes in a choice of rose or white solid gold, with a choice of ebony or mother-of-pearl face decorated with eight diamonds.

For lifestyle choices, customers can tailor their storage options, such as choosing a load assist tray for the cargo area, or wet stowage cubicles to preserve the Bentayga interior from damage.