Twenty-plus years ago, the Bentley brand was bought by the Volkswagen Group. That same year Rolls-Royce was acquired by BMW. Since then, these iconic carmakers have been positively transformed while maintaining their respective personalities. The 2019 Bentley Bentayga is a prime example of this.
The Bentayga is the first SUV from Bentley and showcases how much refinement, performance and prestige can be packed into a single-vehicle. Add in some all-terrain abilities and German engineering and it’s difficult to find fault with the Bentayga. Difficult, but not impossible.
Compared to the few competing premium luxury SUVs, the Bentayga has quite a bit less rear passenger space. It also comes up short in regards to technology, with some VW Group components disguised as Bentley bespoke.
If you’re a Bentley purist, these missteps are easily forgiven since the brand’s vehicles are known as more of a driver’s car than a car to be driven in. For that, the Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the likelier but more expensive choice. If you find yourself in the enviable position of having to decide between them, you’ll get no pity from us because you can’t lose with either.
The 2019 Bentley Bentayga is offered with either a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 (542 horsepower, 568 lb-ft of torque) or a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 (600 hp, 664 lb-ft). An eight-speed automatic sends power to all four wheels.
Standard features include 21-inch wheels, automatic adaptive LED headlights, automatic high beams, power-folding and heated mirrors, a heated windshield, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic sunroof, roof rails, soft-close doors, a power liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, an air ride suspension, adaptive dampers, selectable drive modes, hill descent control, and keyless entry and ignition. A hands-free liftgate is standard on the W12 and an option on the V8.
Inside, the Bentayga comes complete with tri-zone automatic climate control, premium leather upholstery, 16-way heated front seats with memory functions, a heated second-row bench, wood veneer trim, a cooled glovebox, a universal garage door opener, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with traffic and Google Earth functions, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, Apple CarPlay, and a 10-speaker CD/DVD player with satellite radio and 60 GB of media storage. Advanced safety features include a blind-spot monitor and passenger exit warning.
The Bentayga, and indeed all Bentleys, are noteworthy for their numerous customization options. Popular add-ons for the V8 include the City Specification (an automated parking system, the surround-view camera, a traffic sign reader, forward collision warning/mitigation, and rear cross-traffic alert) and the All-Terrain Specification (off-road drive modes, underbody skid plates, a surround-view camera system, and a cargo management system). These packages are standard for the V12.
Both the Bentayga V8 and V12 are offered with the Touring Specification (adaptive cruise control, a head-up display, cross-traffic collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, a low-level automated driving system, and night vision).
Comfort and seating packages include the Front Seat Specification (22-way ventilated front seats with massage functions, power-adjustable seat-belt height, and comfort headrests with hinged wings), the Four Seat Comfort Specification (the Front Seat Specification plus two 18-way second-row seats with a fixed center console and comfort headrests), and the Seven Seat Specification (reverts back to the second-row bench and adds two power-folding third-row seats).
Bundled options continue with the Bentayga Styling Specification (racy carbon-fiber elements), the Blackline Specification (replaces the chrome exterior trim with dark finishes), the Event Specification (a retractable tailgate bench and overhead lighting), the Sunshine Specification (power rear window shades and twin sun visors), and the Mulliner Driving Specification (diamond-quilted upholstery, a knurled gas and oil filler cap, and embroidered Bentley emblems). The Bentayga V12 includes the Mulliner Driving Specification as standard equipment.
Also available are 20- or 22-inch wheels, retractable running boards, a premium Naim audio system, rear-seat picnic tables, interior ambient lighting, a heated steering wheel (standard on V12), lamb’s-wool carpeting, vehicle location monitoring, Breitling clocks, and a rear entertainment system. In addition to the seemingly endless choices of paints and interior materials, wealthy buyers can also specify custom features to their heart’s content.
Import/Export 2019 Bentley Bentayga V8
Bentayga V8 is everything Bentayga was designed to be, balancing exquisite refinement with astonishing performance. Bold, contemporary styling cues and unparalleled levels of craftsmanship provide a sleek, sporting look, while the new cutting-edge V8 engine delivers immense power and instant acceleration. This agile SUV is a pleasure to drive both in the city and on the open road, accompanied by an immensely satisfying Bentley V8 sound.
Bentayga V8 shares the same sleek lines as the other models in the Bentayga range but adds some distinctive features to create an edgier exterior that matches the car’s dynamic feel. A black and chrome radiator matrix grille adds extra presence at the front, while the rear is enhanced by two twin-quad tailpipes, with a selection of large, striking wheels completing an imposing look. For those seeking to maximize the dramatic effect still further, the Black Specification* replaces all the exterior brightware with black-painted trim and adds a number of contemporary carbon fiber elements.
The handcrafted cabin of the new Bentayga V8 is the ideal setting for the exhilarating journey ahead. The straight fluted seats are as comfortable as they are elegant, with the supple leather hides available in a choice of five different color splits as standard. The upper cabin is trimmed in Eliade, a soft and tactile fabric available in five colors. And the contemporary sophistication of Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus veneer, Bentley treadplates and foot pedals in the classic ‘B’ design as standard provide the perfect finishing touches.
The innovative new Bentley V8 engine has been calibrated to suit this exceptionally capable SUV. Powerful and efficient, with seamless power delivery, it provides an effortlessly engaging drive – both on and off the road. It delivers an impressive 542 bhp (550 PS) of power that can take it to a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h), accompanied by a potent V8 engine sound that reflects the car’s phenomenal capabilities.
A range of in-car technology is designed to enhance the journey for both driver and passengers, with navigation, ventilation and a host of other features accessed through an 8” high-resolution touchscreen.
Driver assistance technology included as standards, such as Exit Warning and a rearview camera, makes the roads easier to navigate, while Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple CarPlay connectivity allow passengers to stay connected to the outside world.
A selection of specifications are available as cost options, allowing you to add a suite of extra features to your car. The City Specification is designed to enhance the urban driving experience, with features including Park Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Pedestrian Warning, City Safeguard and Reversing Traffic Warning, as well as a top-view camera.
The Bentayga V8, powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 co-developed with Porsche. It’s good for 542 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque, in comparison with the 600-hp/664-lb-ft W12. Yes, output drops slightly, but most customers won’t notice: Since the V8 Bentayga is also a bit lighter, weight-to-power ratios differ by less than 0.75 lb/hp between the two models. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the Bentayga V8 can propel itself from 0-60 in just 4.4 seconds and up to a top speed of 180 mph, only 0.4 second and 7 mph off the W12’s numbers, respectively. Critical for ever-increasing efficiency requirements, the new V8 gets auto stop/start and cylinder deactivation, making it able to run as a V4 in low-load situations.
Exterior changes for the V8 include a black and chrome grille, as well as figure-eight-shaped quad exhaust tips. Iron rotors are standard, but the Bentayga’s optional carbon-ceramic brakes measure an insane 17.3 inches up front and 14.5 inches in the rear, sitting inside 10-piston calipers; those don’t just sound big, they are — as in, the biggest front brakes on any production vehicle, to be exact. Though it’s a shame to hide such rotors, the Bentayga will be available with a choice of 11 wheel designs, including a new 22-inch model finished in black with a polished finish.
Supporting its nearly 5,300-pound curb weight, the Bentayga V8 gets an electric active roll control system termed Bentley Dynamic Ride; the adjustable dampers use a 48-volt electrical architecture to react to cornering forces as quickly as possible. A central controller allows the system to react based on driving style and also adjusts throttle and transmission response: The modes are sport (obvious), comfort (plush and refined), Bentley (what you and I would call “normal,” this blends sport and comfort settings) and custom (if you want to roll your own). But wait, there’s more: An optional All Terrain Specification adds four additional off-road driving modes: snow and grass; dirt and gravel; mud and trail; and sand dunes, depending on the type of surface across which you’re trekking. Inside, Bentley will offer its first high-gloss carbon-fiber trim as an option in place of the multitude of veneers available. Other new options for the interior include a wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, as well as chestnut-colored Cricket Ball leather — sort of a deep chestnut brown — and cross-stitching on the seams to highlight the lines. And if you want something else (just about anything else, for that matter), there’s always Bentley’s Mulliner division, which will be happy to customize whatever your heart (and wallet) desires. Finally, don’t forget the electronics: The Bentayga V8 gets an imposing list of convenience technologies and safety nannies that operate based on inputs from 12 ultrasonic sensors, five cameras and both short- and long-range radar. Park Assist will autonomous park the Bentayga in perpendicular or parallel spaces; Night Vision puts an infrared view of the surrounding terrain on the central instrument panel; Adaptive Cruise Control modulates both steering and acceleration/braking to provide some semi-autonomous operation; and Trailer Assist uses sensors in the tow bar to automatically back up a trailer with no steering input needed by the driver.
The 2017 Bentley Bentayga is an amazing thing; a 12-cylinder, ultra-lux SUV with a claimed top speed in the realm of 170 mph, and the off-road chops to take it places few, if any, buyers will ever decide to take it. The product of the fastest vehicle development program in Bentley’s history — just 42 months, from concept approval to production — it is an extremely well put together SUV from an automaker that has never built an SUV before.
Why even build an SUV in the first place?? Because luxury SUVs are shaping up to be the Next Big Thing. Being a part of VW gave the Bentley team plenty to work with when concepting the Bentayga. It’s built on the PL73 version of VW’s MLB platform architecture that also underpins the new Audi Q7. However, the Bentley gets its own suspension and brakes and debuts VW’s new 6.0-liter W-12 engine.
The interiod is beautifully crafted and is rich in signature Bentley-ness such as quilted leather and knurled metal. The dash fascia combines design themes from both Continental and Mulsanne, and the latest iterations of familiar Bentley instruments and switchgear. The attention to detail is impeccable, from the ultra-thin chrome surrounds for the switchgear, to the etched covers for the sound system speakers that look like woven metal.
The all-new W-12 under the Bentayga’s hood shares basic architectural elements such as bore spacings with the outgoing engine, but is 66 pounds lighter and features direct and port injection to help it meet emissions, performance, drivability, and cold start targets. A cylinder deactivation system shuts down one bank of cylinders. The twin-scroll turbochargers are integrated into the exhaust manifolds, and a new oil system has been developed, with pickups that ensure good oil supply throughout the engine, plus suction pumps to scavenge oil from the turbochargers, even when the Bentayga is tilted at extreme angles.
Bentley offers four on-road dynamic modes: Comfort, Bentley, Sport, and Custom. (Bentley mode represents what Guest and his team believe is the ideal setup for the car.) The steering feel can be changed in Custom mode if you want, though there’s really no need, as the nicely weighted and impressively linear helm helps you accurately place the big Bentley through turns.
The Bentayga’s killer app, however, is a trick anti-roll system called EWAS that uses fast-acting 48-volt motors to twist the anti-roll bars in the opposite direction to the cornering forces, keeping the car flat through turns. The EWAS system, which will be standard on 12-cylinder Bentaygas and optional on the V-8 versions that will arrive in the 2018 model year, works beautifully when you get the big Bentley among the switchbacks, keeping it uncannily calm and composed, yet feeling remarkably agile and light on its feet. Even better, there’s no negative impact on the ride, which is probably the best yet from a VW Group-era Bentley.
With a claimed top speed of 187 mph, Bentley boasts that the Bentayga is the fastest SUV in the world. The claim is made possible by a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 that makes a mighty 600 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque; an eight-speed automatic drives all four wheels. The interior can be configured to seat four or five; only the finest leather will cosset those lucky posteriors. Diesel and hybrid powertrains will be offered in the future; the Bentayga goes on sale in early 2016.