Bentley unveils the new Bentayga

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Manny De Los Reyes
Manny De Los Reyes
Manny de los Reyes, motoring editor of wheels.ph as well as its print edition, has been writing about cars since 1995. His life has been deeply intertwined with cars, having cleaned and maintained the family cars as a teenager, operating a paint shop and entering national car shows in college, before joining Nissan after graduation. He handled car brands as a copywriter afterwards. Today, when he's not testing or writing about cars or attending motoring events, he is home reading novels or playing with his shih tzu.

Bentley is one of the very, very few cars that would stretch any writer’s vocabulary for superlatives.

I should know, having been extremely fortunate to have driven two exquisite examples on equally exquisite locations—a sensationally stylish and sporty Continental GT on the highways of Adelaide two years ago and the magnificently luxurious Flying Spur up and down the mountain roads of Monaco last year. 

And today I struggle yet again to find words to describe a new model that redefined the ultra-luxury SUV genre when it was launched almost half a decade ago—the Bentayga. Bentley has just taken the wraps off the new Bentayga, the first car to be launched under Bentley’s Beyond100 business plan. With more than 20,000 Bentaygas handcrafted since the car’s launch – more than any of its competitors – the new Bentayga is set to build on an incredible success story to date.

Combining the speed of a supercar, the luxury and comfort of a limousine, the space and versatility of a spacious family car, and the unique capabilities of an off-roader, the new Bentayga follows its predecessor’s mantle of having the broadest performance envelope of any automobile on sale today.

Designed, engineered and handcrafted in Crewe, England, the extraordinary new Bentayga builds further on the outstanding success of its predecessor. Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, comments: “From its moment of launch nearly five years ago, the Bentayga has been the very definition of the luxury SUV. Like the Continental GT, the Bentayga created an entirely new part of the market, and since we set the benchmark many others have joined the sector, but no other car can offer a breadth of ability to rival the Bentayga.

“With the new Bentayga, we’re repositioning the pinnacle of the luxury SUV segment to be even higher, even further away from the competition. We’ve listened to our customers and made improvements to the areas most important to them, and the new Bentayga is a thoroughly modern and beautiful extension of the original car’s abilities and achievements,” Hallmark added.

Key to the new Bentayga is its strikingly dynamic look, which draws inspiration from the marque’s new design language, introduced by the third-generation Continental GT and all-new Flying Spur. Together, the three cars form a new family that are more visually connected than ever before. The bold styling offers an imposing road presence, with every aspect of the front of the car redesigned for a cleaner, modern look.

The larger, assertive matrix grille is now more upright, while new, intelligent LED matrix headlamp technology includes the signature Bentley design inspired by cut crystal glassware. A more aggressive front bumper emphasizes the performance characteristics of the car.

In profile, the muscularity of the design is clearly visible. A new, longer vent is positioned above the sculpted power line on the side of the front wing, while the lower door moldings are also completely new, alongside discreet V8 badging.

A striking new 22-inch wheel design is available in two finishes, expanding the number of unique wheel designs to five.

Perhaps the most dramatic design changes have been reserved for the rear of the car, where the new Bentayga is radically different from its predecessor. In line with the Continental GT, it features elliptical tail lamps for the first time. The lattice pattern offers a unique jewel-like appearance when illuminated, with a deep, three-dimensional glow. The lights also offer an animated ‘welcome’ feature with a sweeping direction indicator.

The lights feature within an all-new, full-width tailgate, resulting in a cleaner, more contemporary look. The license plate has moved down into the bumper, allowing for prominent Bentley lettering above. Larger, oval-shaped split sport tailpipes echo the design of the rear lamps, while a new, longer roof spoiler gives new Bentayga a visually longer, more elegant profile and makes the whole car look more athletic. A 20mm increase to the rear track width brings dynamic benefit and repositions the wheels in their arches to improve the car’s stance.

Two new colours are also added to the already extensive Bentayga palette – Viridian, a dark shade of metallic green based on the color of the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept car, and Patina – a luxury-focused mid-tone off-white. The Blackline Specification option replaces all exterior chrome with black versions.

The Bentayga’s highly praised interior has been significantly revised in the latest model. Among the major changes are a new center fascia and steering wheel, new door trims and all-new seats – now available with ventilation in the rear of the five-seat cabin option. Passengers in the rear also enjoy significantly more space, with legroom increased by up to 100mm depending on configuration. A next generation infotainment system is integrated seamlessly into the handcrafted, Bentley ‘wing’ dashboard design and features a 10.9-inch display screen with edge-to-edge graphics. The all-new digital display includes super high-resolution and dynamic graphics which are configurable to suit driver preferences.

Two levels of audio system are offered: the standard Bentley Signature Audio, offering exceptional quality by delivering 590W of power through 12 speakers, and the optional Naim for Bentley system delivering 1,780W of power via no less than 20 speakers including active bass speakers under both front seats, with super-tweeters located in each A and B-pillar for higher frequencies. Unmatched in the automotive sector, Naim for Bentley audio also offers eight listening modes, ranging from Digital Media to Classic. The Naim for Bentley speaker grilles are redesigned and now include an illuminated Naim badge.

The latest hardware and software bring all-new navigation with satellite maps, online search and other features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard. Rear seat occupants benefit from the introduction of a new, larger 5-inch touchscreen remote control tablet (running on a quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM), similar to that introduced in the all-new Flying Spur. It controls a lot of functions including multimedia, climate control, seat heating and massage, mood lighting, and window shades.

Connectivity around the car has been significantly improved, with USB-C data ports and a wireless phone charger now standard. The new Bentayga is now provided with an embedded SIM, as with the latest Continental GT models, meaning My Bentley connected car features no longer require customers to provide their own data connection. My Bentley in-car and remote services is a continually developing range of services available to customers through a dedicated app, available both on Apple iOS and Android mobile platforms.

The luxurious interior can be further enhanced with the application of dark tint diamond brushed aluminum trim for the first time in a Bentley, as well as two straight-grained veneers new to Bentayga: Koa and Crown Cut Walnut. Mulliner Driving Specification adds a new quilting design.

Three versatile seating configurations are available in new Bentayga. Apart from the standard five-seat, an optional four-seat layout features two individual rear seats separated by a center console. A three-row, seven-seat configuration offers the ultimate in practicality and flexibility.

The new model will initially be launched in Bentayga V8 guise offering supercar performance balanced with everyday usability, with the plug-in Hybrid and flagship W12-powered Speed versions to follow this year. The V8’s 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged petrol engine (mated to an 8-speed automatic) develops an impressive 550ps and an immense 770Nm of torque. The Bentayga remains the fastest SUV in the world with its scintillating 305 km/h top speed for the 6.0-liter W12-powered Speed version. The V8 is capable of 290 km/h and a 0-100 km/h time of 4.4 seconds. 

The Bentayga offers the widest range of on and off-road drive settings of any SUV courtesy of Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Mode and the optional All-Terrain Specification. Up to eight modes – four on and four off-road – are available, allowing drivers to select the perfect dynamic set-up for any surface or road condition at the turn of a dial.

Chris Cole, Product Line Director for Bentayga, comments: “With new Bentayga, our objective was relatively straightforward – to take the best and make it even better. To do this, we listened closely to our existing Bentayga customers, then addressed their comments to ensure the new model offers an even more complete, all-round proposition. New Bentayga reflects the truly sophisticated qualities and design make-up of other members of the Bentley family, such as the new Continental GT and all-new Flying Spur. It was already the pinnacle of the luxury SUV sector but now we have taken it even higher.”

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