The impressive new Bentley Bentayga V8 Diesel SUV
The newly launched Bentley Bentayga V8 Diesel kicks off at R2.95 million. And with a price tag like that, you’re perfectly right to expect the fastest and most powerful SUV ever made to be seamlessly blended with pure Bentley opulence in the brand’s first-ever diesel-engine chariot.
The vehicle – it doesn’t really feel like ‘car’ is the right word – has a rather distinctive design, to say the least. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but Bentley wants the design cues to enhance the Bentayga’s individual character. The Bentley client is not exactly one looking for subtlety or someone who prefers to fade into the background: a Bentley customer wants bold, and that front chrome grille certainly achieves it. The loudly confident looks carry over to the rear, where you just need to look at the two twin-quad tailpipes to see that it sports a signature powertrain beneath the bonnet.
And what would be the point of a car that looks like this but doesn’t boast anything under the covers? Bentley says that the Bentayga has the most technically advanced engine in the world, and at the heart of this 2.5-ton beast lies a 4-litre, 32-valve V8 diesel powertrain. At the same time, clean technology means it has the lowest CO2 emissions of any Bentley and a range of more than 1 000km.
Unique to this engine is its triplecharging system, which consists of two exhaust-driven turbochargers and one electrically powered one. The engine is noticeably quiet and you’ll be forgiven for forgetting to turn the car off (should you be driving it yourself, of course). It’s the engine that has garnered much of the attention in the run-up to its arrival, because it is a first from Bentley, and because it’s so refined yet super powerful. A whopping 900Nm of torque drives this 5.14m-long beast.
The interior is just as remarkable, with five standard hide colours and seven standard paint colours ( plus more than 100 optional Bentley paint hues) to choose from. The handcrafted cabin is completely customisable. It takes 12 hours for a Bentley specialist to handstitch just the steering wheel, and each of the 15 surface pieces is shaped by the brand’s artisans and finished with trademark attention to detail.
While some traditionalists might not like the idea of a Bentley SUV, the Bentayga is an instant leader of the pack in the niche luxury SUV market.
under the bonnet
Model: Bentley Bentayga Diesel Engine: 4 ℓ , 32-valve triple-charged V8 diesel, 320kW, 900Nm, 0–100km/h in 4.8 seconds Combined fuel consumption: 8.0 ℓ /100km Luggage compartment: From 431 ℓ (depends on seat configuration) Price: From R2.95 million