600-hp of luxurious offroading.
Bentley has finally taken the wraps off the Bentayga: all hail the SUV king. "The fastest, most powerful, most luxurious, and most exclusive SUV in the world," according to the British carmaker, the market-topping SUV also has "the world’s finest automotive cabin." That is, of course, until the like of Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini join the ultra-luxe SUV party. At 5.14 meters long, it is longer than the LWD Range Rover, yet the roof is 60 mm lower.
Completely redesigning the horror show that was the EXP 9F concept that previewed the project back in 2012, Bentley has gone for a sleeker Porsche Cayenne-like look and uses the same MLB-Evo platform on which the next-generation of its German cousin will be based. Power comes from a redesigned twin-turbo W12, that’s lighter, more efficient and more compact than its previous offering. It is also 24% shorter than a V12 would be, which is ideal for packaging. Bentley plans to roll out diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains in the near future, and a high-performance model, dubbed 'Speed' is currently in the making.
Output for the W12 is rated at 600 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque, which gets sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic and Torsen center differential. Top speed is a claimed 187 mph, while 0-60 mph comes in at 4.0 seconds, making it the fastest production SUV on the planet.
Whether buyers order a two- or three-person rear seat layout, the cabin is as lush as any other Bentley and beyond what they will find in any other SUV. 22-way adjustable front seats, with massage, ventilation and heating functions can be covered in 15 different shades of handcrafted diamond-quilted leather, there’s a choice of 15 carpets and 7 wood veneers, the 'floating' driver info panel boasts bright mineral glass as its screen, speaker grilles for the 18-speak Naim sound system are hidden behind fine metal mesh, there’s an eight-inch touchscreen in the dash and 10.2-inch tablets in the back…you get the picture.
Bentley also wants buyers to know the Bentayga is a true offroader. Prototypes were put through a million-mile five-continent test, and on the off-chance drivers will ever venture offroad, they will have four modes to choose from, with a console-mounted rotary control making immediate adjustments to the computer-controlled air spring system. There's also a 48V anti-roll system, and even a trailer assist feature. The live debut of the Bentley Bentayga takes place next week in Frankfurt.