after 97 years in the car-making business, Bentley launches a new model that is the world’s fastest – and most exclusive – sUV, writes sarah nicholson.
The world’s fastest and most luxurious SUV is now in Australia.
when Bentley does something it does it very, very well.
so when the esteemed British car maker announced it was striding into the sUV market, investing two years and $1.5 billion in product development, there was no doubt the resulting vehicle would be one of the planet’s most magnificent automobiles.
and we haven’t been disappointed, with the first Bentley Bentayga now in australia – a handsome trio ‘landed’ in time for an antipodean unveiling at the australian Grand Prix in March – and instantly ascending to be crowned the world’s “fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive sUV”.
The sleek sports utility vehicle is the company’s fourth model, and while crafted to sit comfortably beside the more conservative Mulsanne, Flying spur and Continental, it adds a contemporary note to the collection and signals the manufacturer’s move towards a more modern inventory.
“The Bentayga is Bentley’s attempt to contemporise the brand,” explained the company’s asia Pacific product training manager, Katya Zavialova.
“This is the first time Bentley has launched a sUV, but it stays true to our values and while it has some recognisable dna, like the iconic matrix grille and floating headlights, there are many things developed just for the Bentayga like the w12 engine and superform technology that lets us shape the body from a single sheet of metal.”
The Bentayga is a bona fide beast disguised as a beauty with the innovative w12 lurking beneath the bonnet boasting start/stop technology, providing the rapid power to accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds, and a top speed of 301km/h.
The 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine created in 2002 was redesigned from scratch in a joint venture between Bentley and Volkswagen to power the Bentayga. ‘new technologies’ unite to make it the world’s most advanced 12 cylinder that’s 24 per cent shorter than the competition to maximise cabin space.
“The way the Bentayga feels matters as much as the way it looks and we have remained true to the original concept car shown in Geneva three years ago,” Zavialova said at the vehicle’s introduction to australia.
“Bentley customers were involved in the design process because we wanted to know how they drive their cars in everyday life and the result is this sUV with effortless power that can be driven around the farm on weekends, handle the daily commute, and cope with the demands of driving in the city.”