2016 Bentley Bentayga
Enter the Ultra Luxury Class SUV
By: Shin Takei, Automotive Editor At Large
When Bentley announced they were going to build a SUV a few years ago, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. Up to this point the Range Rover Autobiography was the top SUV in the world and there was everything else. But after driving the Bentayga on paved roads I must say a new era has arrived. Since I didn’t experience the car off-road, I can’t comment on its behavior away from pavement. However, I have a feeling that over 90% of its owners will stay on pavement most of the time. The Bentayga is powered by a new 6 liter twin turbo W12 engine with an 8 speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. It develops 600 bhp at 5000-6000rpm and 664 lb-ft of torque at 1350-4500rpm, enough to propel the 5379 lb vehicle from 0-60 in 4.0 seconds. The overall shape is that of a large SUV but the styling is unmistakable Bentley with the wide grille and signature lighting. As with other models the panels with sharp creases are Superformed out of aluminum. There are three wheel sizes from 20” to 22”. Bespoke ordering allows the owner to choose from 19 standard exterior colors expanded to 90 custom choices. There are 15 interior leather colors and 3 duo-tone combinations together with 7 wood veneers to allow the owner to create his own environment.
Open the door and climb onto the throne. If the scent of premium leather doesn’t intoxicate you, the high-grade hand assembled components that make the luxurious interior will forever spoil you to accept anything less. There are 16 or 22 way adjustable seats with 6 programmable massage functions to relax you. Degree of build quality is high as tolerances are kept to a tenth of a millimeter. As expected, Bentayga comes equipped with a plethora of standard and Bespoke features to choose from.
The familiar Mulliner Driving Specification provides enhancements like diamond pattern quilted seating and door panels. Event Specification provides a sliding folding event seat in the rear cargo area for “tail gate events”. All Terrain Specification adds four off-road driving modes like Mud and Trail, Sand, Dirt & Gravel and Snow, Ice and Wet Grass. Styling Specification is about carbon fiber additions and aerodynamic improvements to the front, side and rear body. You can add the Black Brightware Specification to make all bright trim black and get a meaner look. The Luggage Management Specification secures your luggage to the cargo area floor. Additionally there are Retractable tow bar and Sill Steps, aerodynamic roof cross bars for cargo box, surfboards and bike carrier for the tow bar. Bespoke Three piece picnic hamper which can cost more than your other car and the Mulliner Breitling Tourbillon Clock will definitely enhance the luxury of your Bentayga.
Suspension travel is 8.85 inches with a maximum ground clearance of 9.6 inches and the wading depth is 19.7 inches. These will come in handy when you encounter sudden storms with heavy rainfall or cross streams and culverts. On the highway, the Bentayga is stable, smooth, comfortable and reassuring. On curvaceous roads the all-wheel drive and Bentley Drive Dynamics Mode keep it on the road even if you drift away. Yes you can get used to all of this in the lap of luxury and be reassured you can drive anywhere on your property even in severe weather that may render your other vehicles stay inside the garage. Now for the 1% and 5% Dilemma: If you’re within the 1% you really don’t have a dilemma, you just have to decide if you really need one and go order one at your local Bentley dealer. If you’re part of the 5% your dilemma is whether you should sell or trade in your Range Rover Autobiography for the Bentayga. For sure the valets will move the Range Rover aside for you so your Bentayga will have front-row center. 12/For the rest of us we can look forward to the Bentayga if and when we can make it up there. The Bentayga is definitely the most powerful, fastest, most luxurious and most exclusive vehicle in the ultra -luxury SUV segment.
For more information, please visit www.bentleymotors.com/en.htmlmost