Bentley Introduces World's Fastest SUV

The 600-horsepower, twin-turbo 12-cylinder Bentley Bentayga tops out at 187 mph.
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The 600-horsepower, twin-turbo 12-cylinder Bentley Bentayga tops out at 187 mph.

Go big or go home. Bentley is arriving late to the SUV market amid continuing debate over the appropriateness of the purveyor of stately English luxury building a rough-and-ready off-roader. So the company has brought forth the fastest, most powerful SUV there is, putting a stake in the ground meant to establish Bentley's legitimacy as an SUV builder.

The Bentayga and its twin-turbocharged W12 engine (the same engine as in the car Idris Elba drove to a speed record) are both assembled in Crewe, Bentley's hometown, just like the company's sedans. But it matches the leather-and-wood coddled cabins of those cars with the all-weather, all-surface capability of a modern, computer-enhanced SUV.

"The Bentayga is truly the Bentley of SUVs," asserted Wolfgang Durheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley Motors. "It 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."

That technology includes leading-edge driver aids such as traffic sign recognition and adaptive cruise control that adjusts speed based on camera and GPS data about speed limit changes and curves in the road.

A signature feature of the Bentayga is a standard panoramic sunroof that opens up 60 percent of the roof area to let in air and light. Or occupants can drive away the outside world with a 1,950-watt, 18-speaker audio system.

Bentayga's aluminum construction contributes to a relatively light curb weight of 5,340 lbs., which is 520 lbs. lighter than it would have been with all-steel construction, the company says. That lighter weight also helps with the Bentayga's 4.0-second 0-60 acceleration time.

The twin-turbo W12 engine is the sole powertrain initially, but Bentley says it plans to offer hybrid-electric and diesel power in the future.

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Photos by Bentley Motors