bent­ley ben­tayga

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.

Signature Travel & Lifestyle - - Contents - www.bent­ley­mo­

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.”

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