Bentley Bentayga Fastest, Most Luxurious SUV, For A While.
“We’ll soon see similar new vehicles from Maserati, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Mercedes Maybach”
Bentley says its first SUV, the Bentayga, is the most luxurious and fastest in the world.
The Bentayga was shown to the public for the first time at the Frankfurt Car Show in September 15, and is going on sale around the world now starting in Europe, followed by the Middle-East, with China and the U.S. following late in the second quarter.
Prices start at $229,100 before tax in the U.S., or from £160,000 after tax in Britain. Bentley, long-established maker of super-luxury limousines, sports saloons and convertibles, is now owned by Germany’s Volkswagen.
The Bentayga is powered by a 6.0 litre, 12-cylinder twin-turbo engine which develops 600 hp and will blast you from rest to 60 mph in four seconds. Half of the cylinders can shut down in the interests of “economy”. Versions of this engine will also likely appear in the Audi (also VW owned) A8 limousine.
The Bentayga, named after a mountain peak in the Spanish Canary Islands, could reach 187 mph if you were minded on an unlimited German highway. Other engines available later will be a V8 diesel and a hybrid, all using an eight speed automatic gearbox. No word yet on an all-electric version.
Bentley doesn’t spare the hyperbole in describing its new vehicle, talking about its “exquisite luxury” and “elegance”, except in this case, it probably isn’t hype. Open a door and it reeks of class, with its “intricate detailing and precision in wood, metal and leather which creates a modern, luxurious handcrafted interior”.
Rare? Not for long
You might think that an expensive SUV in this rarefied world would have a monopoly on sales. Not so. In the next couple of years we will see similar new vehicles from FCA’s Maserati, BMW’s Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, VW stable-mate Lamborghini and Mercedes Maybach.
What about this formidable competition?
“They are a couple of years behind us,” a Bentley spokesman said.
Bentley has big ambitions, but has had to scale them back a bit as emerging markets go sour and China weakens. At the Frankfurt show Bentley said it planned to raise overall output to about 20,000 a year by 2020 from just over 11,000 in 2014, with the Bentayga accounting for between 4,000 and 5,000. But consultancy IHS Automotive now reckons Bentley sales will only reach just under 14,000 by 2020 and 15,500 by 2025. The Bentayga will account for just fewer than 3,500 in 2020 and just over 4,100 in 2025. IHS does concede that its overall volume figures don’t include the mooted possibility that Bentley will one day make a smaller SUV.
If you take the Bentayga off-road there are eight settings available at the touch of a dial to match the conditions. Standard is a panoramic glass roof. You won’t be able to fault the connectivity or computerised safety aids. When you visit the local horse show a folding event seat slides out from the back.
Bentley said the diesel engine will be available soon after launch but the plug-in hybrid won’t appear until sometime in 2018.
“A full electric version isn’t planned, but we could do one though,” Bentley said.
|Engine:||6 litre twin-turbocharged V-12 petrol|
|Power:||600 hp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm|
|Torque:||900 Nm @ 1,350-4,500|
|Acceleration:||0-60 mph 4.0 seconds|
|Top Speed:||187 mph-301 km/h|
|Fuel Consumption:||claimed combined 21.6 mpg-13.1 l/km|
|Suspension:||four-link double wishbones-trapezoidal multi-link
|Boot capacity:||430 litres|