2017 Bentley Bentayga
The Bentley Bentayga is the company’s first SUV. It’s also the most luxurious and the second-most expensive hauler on the market as of 2019. It’s also one of the fastest, being second to only the Lamborghini Urus in terms of top speed. Originally offered with a W-12 engine, the Bentayga is also available with a V-8 and a diesel, while a hybrid is set to arrive by the end of the decade.
Even though it has a history spanning almost a century, and some of its earlier models were nicknamed by Ettore Bugatti as "the world’s fastest lorries," Bentley has never manufactured an SUV. Its Continental GT lineup is almost exclusively all-wheel-drive, but far from meeting the criteria for being called an SUV. Those three letters have actually given nightmares to traditional Bentley enthusiasts since 2015, when Bentley officially announced that it will launch a full-size SUV called the Bentayga by the end of the year. Based on the same platform as the new 2016 Audi Q7, the Bentayga is also the first Bentley powered by a diesel engine and a hybrid drivetrain.
Update 04/04/2019: We’ve updated this review with new drivetrain information. Check out our revisions below!
Bentley is apparently getting serious about SUVs, as its engineering boss Rolf Frech says a second, smaller SUV is “a possibility.” That would be in addition to the upcoming Bentayga SUV that’s slated for release in 2016.
Two main reasons give hope for the crossover. First, Bentley is not ignorant of the growth that market has seen in the last few years. Bentley’s own chairman and CEO, Wolfgang Dürheimer, has said the original prediction of Bentayga sales cresting at 3,000 units annually “could be conservative.” The automakers says it already has 4,000 expressions of interest in the upcoming Bentayga, despite it still being officially unseen.
Second, Bentley has use of Volkswagen’s new MSB platform, which will underpin the new Continental GT Coupe and whatever results from the 2015 EXP 10 Speed 6 Concept. The adaptable architecture will allow engineers and designers to save costs on developing a stand-alone platform for a future small crossover.
Bentley’s SUV aspirations have realized plans for a $429 million (£280m) Research and Development center near its Pyms Lane headquarters. The new facility is expected to add some 300 new jobs, with the total number of jobs totaling 1,300.
Continue reading to learn more about Bentley’s future SUVs.
The highly anticipated Bentley SUV has taken many different names during its development. The concept version of the SUV was named EXP 9 F before rumors suggested that the ‘F’ in its nomenclature stood for Falcon and that was the name Bentley was going to use on the SUV. Well, throw Falcon in the bin because according to Autovisie, the actual name of the uber luxurious SUV will be Bentayga.
The auto section of Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is reporting that Bentley has registered the Bentayga name, which is the name of a famous rock formation in the Canary Islands, the Spanish archipelago located 100 kilometers off of Morocco.
It’s unclear why Bentley chose the name Bentayga for its SUV, but it could be tied to the vehicle’s reported off-road capabilities, something Bentley global head of sales and marketing Kevin Rose alluded to when he told Automotive News Europe at the 2014 Frankfurt Motor Show that the SUV is being prepared to be "as capable in the off road as the Range Rover."
It’s also worth noting that one of Bentley’s biggest markets for its new SUV would be the Middle East, the same region where deserts roads are pretty common. That would also explain why one of Bentley’s teasers for its SUV took place in a CGI depiction of a dry desert. Food for thought.
So in addition to being the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most expensive SUV in the market, the Bentayga is also being developed to ably tackle rough and tough terrain like any true blue SUV.
However many promises Bentley throws at us, at least its SUV now has a pretty cool name.
Click past the jump to read more about Bentley’s future crossover.
The wait for the arrival of Bentley’s highly anticipated SUV, codenamed ‘Falcon’, has become an excruciating exercise in patience. Fortunately, recent spy shots of the camouflaged luxury SUV has given us a semblance of hope that the long-awaited debut of the SUV is upon us.
But now that Bentley has released a new teaser video of the SUV, that hope is slowly turning into excitement. “The still-unnamed Bentley SUV is upon us!”
The treatment of the new teaser video is a far departure from the first one. This time, we find ourselves looking at a desert before moving silhouettes of the SUV start appearing, less distinguishable at first before morphing into moving images of the hand-stitched upholstery and a quick side glance of the body.
We’ve surmised based on the spy photos that that the SUV will feature a raked rear-end and the distinctive circular Bentley headlights flanking a large front grille.
Details of the engine are still being kept under wraps, but considering that the SUV will ride on the same MLB Evo platform that underpins the next-generation Porsche Cayenne and the Audi Q7, we anticipate the luxury vehicle to be offered with a twin-turbo, V-8 engine and a 6.0-liter, W12 engine.
We’re all excited to see what the new Bentley SUV looks like, now more than ever so we can all forget about the monstrosity that was the EXP 9 F.
If you’re as excited as we are about the Bentley SUV, spare some of your time and watch the new teaser video.