ON THE ROAD – IAN LYNAS PREVIEWS THE BENTLEY BENTAYGA S
Make no mistake, when it comes to SUVs, few can share the on road presence of the Bentayga. The challenger from Bentley first appeared on the scene back in back in 2015, and soon it was followed by others in what I would call the super league of SUVs. The premium manufacturers were perhaps a little slow to catch on that the SUV was the in thing in motoring and by taking this route many has transformed their volume.
Now, for the first time since the launch of Bentayga, an ‘S’ model is now available with striking design cues and unique detailing on the latest version of Bentley’s benchmark, go-anywhere luxury SUV. The new enhanced sports Bentayga provides an even more engaging drive, with Bentley Dynamic Ride active anti-roll control fitted as standard and an enhanced Sports chassis mode. There is now a fifteen per cent increase in damping which stiffens the chassis and provides a platform for a more dynamic SPORT mode ESC tune. Together with a revised visual presence through the distinctive addition of black details, and a more sporting soundtrack courtesy of a newly designed, free-flowing sports exhaust, all of this combines to increase the already imposing presence of the Bentayga ‘S’ on the road. You certainly will not fail to recognise the newcomer, distinguished by a range of distinctive exterior features, including new unique 22 inch wheels with three finishes, innovative ‘S’ badges positioned on the lower edge of the front doors, and Blackline specification as standard. The profile has increased presence due to the larger rear spoiler, gloss black side sills and lower bumpers, front and rear and there are dark tinted lenses to head lamps and tail lamps, black door mirrors and black split oval tailpipes complete the striking exterior.
Moving to the interior, a luxuriously refined cabin, unique new seats, stitching, a new colour split and Alcantara to reflect the striking exterior and increased dynamic ability. Colour accents on the instrument panel, centre console, door pads and seat bolsters as well as Alcantara to seat cushion and back inserts, steering wheel and gear lever, give the new Bentley a bold and contemporary style. ‘S’ badges can be found on the passenger fascia as well as new graphics in the driver’s instrument panel and illuminated treadplates, denoting the model.
To the all important heart of the matter- the latest addition to the busy world of the SUV is powered by Bentley’s renowned four litre, twin-scroll turbocharged V8 petrol engine, combining immense power with impressive fuel economy. This engine which I have enjoyed and in its latest generation it develops 542bhp (550 PS) and 568 lb.ft. (770 Nm) of torque, with a 0-100kph (62mph) time of 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 290kph (180mph). Now in anyone’s book that is true sports car performance, and very, very impressive from a vehicle which such generous dimensions. Make no mistake, performance which is class leading is complemented by a range of 654 km, or just over 400 miles with CO2 emissions of 294g/km. This is one vehicle that I would enjoy on a long journey; imagine hurtling across Europe behind the wheel of this very impressive SUV.
I wonder what the traditional Bentley owner thinks of the Bentayga; for sure they could not be critical of the performance on tap.