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.
Photos by Bentley Motors