The Bentley Bentayga Speed Now Looks Like the Continental GT, still the fastest in the world

In production since late 2015, the Bentley Bentayga received its much deserved mid-cycle facelift in June 2020. Less than two months have passed and the British automaker revealed the updated Bentayga Speed model, which means the old Speed goes out of production after only a year on the market. Changes are similar to those seen on the regular model, while drivetrain specs remain unchanged. However, the Speed is now your only option if you want a Bentayga with a W-12, as the big mill is no longer available on the regular SUV.

What’s new on the outside

2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed Exterior
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The revised Bentayga Speed looks a lot like the outgoing model, but Bentley made some changes to the design, mostly inspired by the Continental GT and the Flying Spur.

It’s not very obvious at first glance, but the front fenders were reshaped for a sportier look. The front grille is bigger now, while the headlamps feature the recently introduced "cut crystal glassware" design. The bumper sports more notable changes, as the side vents are taller now, while the center vent no longer extends toward the corners.

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More notable changes are visible around back, starting with the thin and oval taillights. These are borrowed from the Continental GT and replace rectangular units seen on the outgoing model. At the same time, Bentley moved the license plate recess from the tailgate into the bumper, making room for a big badge and "Bentley" lettering between the lights. The rear bumper now carries oval tailpipes that mimic the shape of the taillights. Although I’m not a big fan of these taillights on the Bentayga, it’s something we have to get used to since it just became the company’s corporate design. The revised fenders make the Bentayga Speed look wider and a bit more aggressive than before.

What’s new on the inside

2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed Interior
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As the most important part of a Bentley, the interior of the Bentayga needed more than just a few nips and tucks that come with a facelift. And Bentley delivered, as the Bentayga Speed features brand-new seats, revised door panels, a new steering wheel, and a new, larger infotainment display that measures 10.9 inches.

The screen is now integrated in the center stack just below the redesigned air vents and above a larger control panel for the A/C system.

The fully digital instrument cluster comes from the Continental GT, so you can now customize it to a number of different views, but it also displays more detailed information about the vehicle. There’s plenty of new tech as well, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, USB-C outlets, and a bigger and faster tablet for the rear seats.

2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed Interior
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When it comes to trims, you can now choose from a few new options, including dark tint diamond brushed aluminum that mimics the finish of the front grille. There’s also new stitching and quilting, as well as extensive options from Mulliner.

As before, you can opt from three different seating layouts.

There's the four-seat configuration with two second-row seats, the classic five-seat layout with a rear bench, and the seven-seat version with two additional seats in the trunk section.

The four-seat version gains almost four extra inches of knee room thanks to seats that recline more than before.

Is the 2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed more powerful than before?

2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed Exterior
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As it was the case with the regular Bentayga, the facelift doesn’t bring more power to the Speed. This means that the twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W-12 generates the same 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque as before. But since this output makes it the fourth most powerful (third if we don’t include hybrids) production SUV in the world, there is no real reason to complain.

What’s more, while the outgoing Speed was only 26 horses more powerful than the regular Bentayga, now there’s a bigger gap between the two because the W-12 is no longer available with the standard model. The latter can only be specified with either the 4.0-liter V-8, which delivers 542 horses and 568 pound-feet of torque, notably less than the Speed. Of course, Bentley continues to offer hybrid and diesel drivetrain, but they don’t come close in terms of output and performance (except for the diesel’s matching torque figure).

2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed Exterior
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With no changes to the specs, the Bentayga Speed retains the previous 0 to 60 mph sprint of 3.9 seconds, which is mighty impressive given the weight of the SUV. Top speed also remains unchanged at a whopping 190 mph.

Only a few SUVs are more powerful than the Bentayga Speed

2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed Exterior
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The Bentayga Speed is the world’s fourth most powerful SUV, surpassed only by the Lamborghini Urus (641 horsepower), Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid (670 horsepower), and Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk (707 horsepower). However, it remains the most powerful luxury hauler, climbing above the Rolls-Roce Cullinan, rated at 563 horses in standard form and at 600 horsepower in Black Badge trim.

The Bentley Bentayga Speed is the fastest SUV in the world

2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed Exterior
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While it’s slower from 0 to 60 mph than most high-performance SUVs due to its heavy weight, the Bentayga Speed delivers the highest top speed at 190 mph. This benchmark is actually shared with the Lamborghini Urus, but it’s notably faster than all the other performance SUVs, usually rated at between 170 to 180 mph.

How much does the 2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed Cost?

Given the substantial changes inside and out, the facelifted Bentayga Speed should cost a bit more than the old model. The outgoing SUV retails from $235,700, so I guess it’s safe to assume that the updated hauler will fetch at least $250,000 before options. The Bentayga Speed is the most expensive model from the lineup and commands a premium of at least $70,000 over the entry-level version.

Is the 2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed better than the Rolls-Royce Cullinan?

While Lamborghini, Porsche, and Jeep offer SUVs that are quicker and more powerful than the Bentayga Speed, none of them match the British hauler in terms of comfort and luxury. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is the only SUV that’s glamorous enough and even though it doesn’t look as sporty, it does have the power to compete. This British behemoth comes with a twin-turbo, 6.75-liter V-12 under the hood and 563 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque on tap. Opt for the Black Badge model and output jumps to a more appropriate 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. That’s only 26 horses below the Bentayga Speed and an identical torque figure. The Cullinan needs 4.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, so it’s notably slower, while its top speed is rated at 174 mph, 16 mph below the Bentley. But the Rolls-Royce is also notably more expensive, with the Black Badge model coming in at a whopping $382,000.

Read our full story on the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

Conclusion

Although it hasn’t changed under the skin, the Bentayga Speed looks fresh thanks to this facelift. The Continental GT-inspired cues make it look sportier than before, especially when compared to the blocky Rolls-Royce Cullinan. It’s still surprisingly fast for a vehicle that tips the scales at more than 5,000 pounds and it offers significantly more room than the Continental GT without sacrificing too much on the performance front.

  • Leave it
    • Still heavy
    • Oval taillights look funky
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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