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.