SUV Luxury: Bentley’s Bentayga creates a new market

Will Bentley’s first 4x4 be any good, and what does it mean for the luxury segment?

Peter Iantorno September 14, 2015

Bentley’s unveiling of the new Bentayga means that not only is a brand new model on the way, but a brand new class of car, the ultra-luxury SUV, has been created.

While the Bentayga will have all the luxurious trappings one would expect from a Bentley – leather-clad interiors, autonomous parking assist and something called ‘predictive cruise control’, which uses GPS to spot speed cameras and sharp corners and alters speed accordingly, to name just a few – it will also have some clever off-road tech such as Hill Descent Control and Dynamic Ride, which makes it almost impossible to roll even while travelling fast through tricky terrain.

Of course, the car’s off-road ability is immaterial in reality, as absolutely nobody is going to take a luxury car worth north of AED850K anywhere near a sand dune or bit of rough wadi terrain, but it's always nice to know that the car could cut it off-road if it ever needs to.

The fast lane of Sheikh Zayed Road will be much more the Bentayga’s scene though, and its 0-100kmh time of 4.1 seconds and top speed of 301kmh, delivered by a hulking six-litre twin-turbocharged W12, should ensure that it has more than enough grunt to charge down all in its path.

Faster than a Porsche Cayenne Turbo S and packed with the kind of luxury touches a standard G-Class could only dream of, there is genuinely nothing like Bentley’s new luxury SUV currently on the market.

Of course, the Gulf’s love affair with SUVs is a long and storied one, and it comes as no surprise that the likes of Aston Martin, Lamborghini and Rolls-Royce all have their own ultra-luxury SUVs in the pipeline too, which are sure to give the Bentayga a run for its money. However, until those competitors arrive, the Bentayga is in a class of its own.

Specs

  • Engine: 6-litre turbocharged W12
  • Power: 600bhp @ 5,250-6,000rpm
  • Torque: 900Nm @ 1,250-4,500rpm
  • 0-100kmh: 4.1 seconds
  • Top Speed: 301kmh
  • Price: Expected to start from AED850,000

Details: Expected to go on sale in the Middle East in the first half of 2016. Visit bentleymotors.com