The new Bentley Bentayga is chock full of the latest hi-tech gizmos, has a cabin crafted in wood and leather, and its permanent all-wheel-drive system is linked via an eight-speed gearbox to a twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine that delivers 447kW/900Nm and a top speed of 300km/h.
Bentley has revealed the first official pictures of the Bentayga, which will land in New Zealand next year. Bentley’s Auckland outlet has already had inquiries about it. No word on price yet, but it starts in Britain at £160,000 ($NZ370,000).
The name Bentayga comes from a combination of ‘Taiga’ – the world’s largest snow forest that crowns the entire Northern Hemisphere – and ‘Roque Bentayga’, a rugged peak in the Canary Islands. Bentley says the name encapsulates the wide variety of climates and terrains that the Bentayga is capable of tackling.
The name hasn’t been well received by the motoring world at large, but Bentley sales chief Kevin Rose defends it: “Live with it like we have and it fits the car really well,” he says.
The W12 engine has been reworked for the Bentayga alone. It can haul the SUV’s kerb weight of 2422kg from 0-100km/h in 4.0 seconds, roughly as quick as the Cayenne Turbo S. But the Bentayga has a higher top speed than the big Porsche.
Bentley claims town-and-around fuel use of 12.8 litres/100km (22.1mpg) from the 85-litre tank. C02 exhaust emissions are measured at 292gr/km.
- It’s 4WD but doesn’t have a low range gearbox. It gets eight driving modes: Sport, Bentley, Comfort, Custom, plus four off-road modes. The air suspension offers four ride heights. Bentley Dynamic Ride uses a 48-volt system to counteract roll.
- Driver aids include Traffic Sign Recognition, Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, and Top View, which shows the vehicle’s surroundings.
- The twin headlights are recessed on each side of the grille and the lenses sit flush with the bodywork. The outer LED daytime running lights change colour to act as indicators.
- Inside is on-board WiFi, a 20cm touchscreen for the infotainment system. There is also night vision and a head-up display, plus safety features such as traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control and self-parking. Rear seat passengers can get a Bentley-branded 26cm Android tablet.
- Leather has been ‘solar loaded’ to ensure it doesn’t fade in even the hottest climates. Diamond quilting is used on the top area of the leather seats and the side bolsters “so it can be seen from the outside,” says Bentley.
- There are 17 standard exterior paint colours and 95 additional hues. Choices include 15 carpet options, seven handcrafted veneers, 15 interior trim leathers, 20-, 21-, 22-inch alloy wheels.
- An integrated Mulliner hamper set includes refrigerator, bespoke fine Linley china cutlery, crockery and crystal glass. Sections of the hamper can be removed and used as outdoor seats.
Sales chief Rose believes the SUV will be a showroom success: “Thirty per cent of our existing customers already have a high-end SUV, so if we can convince even a small amount of those into buying the car we have a very strong business case indeed.”
The plan is to sell 3,000 to 4,000 SUVs a year, which would make the new model a crucial part of Bentley’s aim to boost annual sales from 8510 last year to 15,000 cars by 2018.