Bentley’s Uber-Luxury Bentayga SUV Is a Supercar Shaped Like an SUV
February 11, 2016 - Picnic Time
Let’s get a Bentayga’s specs out of a approach first, since they’re mind-boggling. A tip speed of 187 mph. Zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds. A leviathan 6-liter twin-turbo 12-cylinder engine that produces 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. A plaque cost starting during $230,000.
Hear those numbers, and we consider of a neat sports automobile from McLaren, Lamborghini, or Ferrari. But a Bentayga is an SUV. A family hauler, grocery-getter, and occasional snowcat to a lodge. An positively huge one during that, magnificently luxurious, refined, and aromatically high (that leather!). But a supercar specs betray even some-more aspirational goals from a eminent British carmaker.
Demand for oppulance SUVs is off a charts globally, and if you’re racing for marketshare opposite a likes of Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW (with Rolls-Royce and Lamborghini entrance soon), make-up a house of Versailles into a seven-seater and pursuit it finished won’t cut it. You need something able of doing everything, with roughly pornographic oppulance and opening on the track, by a mud, in a snow, over a river, and opposite a dunes. It doesn’t matter that 98 percent of owners (per Bentley’s admission) won’t ever leave a pavement. They need to know they can.
Which leads us to Bentley’s initial SUV, that is the fastest on Earth. At an positively porcine 5,379 pounds, a Bentayga is some-more than a ton heavier than a wickedly able McLaren 650S, nonetheless offers opening numbers so tighten to a Mac’s that a disproportion isn’t value discussing.
I’m holding a Bentayga adult a 35-degree dune, arcing gracefully opposite a face, afterwards powering down to a tray before descending a subsequent one.
So let’s speak about sand. Specifically, a fantastic windswept Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area—aka, Glamis Dunes—near a Salton Sea in Southern California. Bentley has pitched a tent and rolled out a swift of Bentaygas to denote their off-road prowess. we stand into a bronze indication and float out into a khaki-colored sea as a breeze whips a sand, erasing my marks and roughly positively doing a series on a reward paint.
This arrange of turf is all yet unfit to span with anything that isn’t specifically engineered for it, like a camel, or a insanely brisk buggies figure dunes in a distance. One of them approaches, a motorist checking us out. He rides on measureless tires and a cessation with transport totalled in feet. He looks like he’s prepared for the Paris-Dakar. Someone asks him what kind of energy his Chevrolet Corvette engine makes. Six-hundred horsepower, he says.
Us too! But that’s where a similarities end. The dune cart speeds gracefully over a silt like a gazelle opposite a Serengeti, with adequate torque to lift a wheelie for 100 yards. The Bentayga is some-more serene. The newly redesigned W12 engine (think of dual V6 engines side by side) uses some cold module tricks to switch between approach and surreptitious fuel injection as indispensable to optimize fuel potency and emissions. Coupled with a ability to deactivate 6 cylinders while cruising down a highway, a Bentayga scores a sufferable 18 mpg combined. The engine propels a SUV with all due authority, yet a attack on a silt is some-more stately. How could it not be, during roughly 3 tons? It’s also a ruin of a lot some-more comfortable. Dune Buggy Dude doesn’t even have doors. I’m swaddled in leather and �lite with massaging seats, soft-close doors, and a breathtaking sunroof. The Bentayga is not scarcely so atmospheric or majestic as Bentley’s flagship Mulsanne sedan, yet retains a brand’s honed feel of impassioned luxury.
And engineering. we learn this while aggressive a 35-degree slip before arcing gracefully opposite a face of a dune and powering down a other side, usually to do it all again. It’s remarkably easy with a Bentayga’s atmosphere suspension, that can yield as many as 9 inches of travel, an discretionary traction government module with 8 settings for only about any sourroundings brief of a Rubicon Trail, and some-more than adequate torque to get we over, or through, anything. The day didn’t go off yet a hitch—a Bentayga spasmodic bottomed out or got hung adult and need a tow, yet a problem was constantly user error, someone with reduction ability than courage. And in each case, another Bentayga did a towing.
If we spend some-more time in a woods or on a route than on a sand, no worries. All a same tech works there, too. We strike a silt and rocks 100 miles from Glamis and a Bentayga was likewise staid and confident. The SUV won’t hasten over boulders or conquer a Baja 500, yet let’s be honest. Exactly 0 buyers would wish to.
They’re also rarely doubtful to produce a large Bentley on a track, yet if they felt a need, a Bentayga is some-more flexible than anything this large ought to be. Bentley incited us lax on Chuckwalla Valley Raceway, a 2.7-mile circuit with 17 turns. Its worldly electric active hurl technology—the initial in an SUV, and distant faster than prevalent pacifist automatic systems—keeps this thing agree than final night’s champagne by a turns. It’s unflappable. It clearly works really tough gripping a top-heavy lorry staid during tough cornering, yet it does a pursuit admirably.
Apart from a few white knuckle moments—I did contend this thing weighs roughly 3 tons, right?—the Bentayga is staid on a track, a tires squealing only adequate to keep things interesting. Bringing something this large down from triple-digit velocities requires critical brakes, though, and a large cast-iron rotors overheat quickly. Bottom line? The Bentayga can hoop a track, yet isn’t accurately during home there.
Of course, anyone spending $230,000 for a truck is distant some-more expected to produce an onramp to a turnpike than a front true during Chuckwalla and substantially cares some-more about oppulance than performance. And here a Bentayga shines. The quilted leather is sublime. The metalwork gleams. The discretionary Naim sound complement is like carrying a LA Philharmonic roving with you. And of march there’s a prolonged list of electronic gadgets for damn nearby all we can consider of, including self-parking. And since income is no intent for people during this finish of a market, there are options aplenty, including a tradition cruise set and a $150,000 Breitling Tourbillon clock. Because of march there is.
Aesthetically, a Bentayga is a bit of a puzzle, with all a features, motifs, and impression lines Bentley is famous for, and a span of back haunches that looks utterly able of twerking. With a honking large grille and oversize turn headlights, a front of a Bentayga is questionable, yet undoubtedly Bentley. You might not find it attractive, yet it is dramatic, it is different, and you’ll never mistake it for a some-more undignified cousin, a Audi Q7, that that a Bentayga shares a DNA (your golf buddies don’t need to know that). And when you’re spending this kind of income on a vehicle, how it looks and feels is during slightest as critical as how it performs—even if many people will never try a outdoor limits.
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