The Apocalypse-Dominating Bentley Bentayga Bengala is Just Downright Mean
You’re going to want to own one of these when Armageddon goes downby Kirby Garlitos, on
The Bentley Bentayga is supposed to be a luxury SUV, unlike any other. It’s still that for the most part, but the Bentayga apparently has a dark and sinister side that’s waiting to be unlocked. Turns out, Spanish design house Bengala Automotive Design SL, with the help of an unidentified Spanish off-road rally champion and his team, has a key to that lock, and it did more than just unlock the Bentayga’s mean mug. It unleashed a tank-like monstrosity known as the Bentley Bentayga Bengala. Only 15 units of the Bentley Bentayga Bengala will be made. Each model will be made to the exact specification of the owner, so it’s unlikely that we’ll see two exact-spec Bengala units. There is no word on how much a unit will cost. Given the limited and custom-centric nature of the Bengala, we can at least expect a unit to cost a hell of a lot more than the Bentayga’s $195,000 base price.
When the apocalypse strikes, would you want to have a Bentley Bentayga to get you through the times? As fancy as Bentley’s new crossover is, it’s not exactly suited for the end of the world. Sure, you can pour yourself a glass of champagne from the comforts of the back seat when once you’re resigned to your fate, but other than that, you might as well step outside and let your surroundings swallow up. There are worse ways to say goodbye to the world.
But suppose you were presented with an alternative. What if there was a way to survive the apocalypse from the confines of a Bentley Bentayga? The only catch is that the Bentayga you’re in isn’t really a Bentayga anymore. Instead, you’re inside something called the Bentley Bentayga Bengala. At its core, it’s still Bentley’s luxury SUV. But on the surface? Well, let’s just say it looks like the Bentayga’s evil alter-ego.
This, in a nutshell, is what the Bentley Bentayga Bengala looks like. To be clear, most of the Bentayga’s original body panels are still there. Traces of Bentley’s work remains in the vehicle.
Look closely, and you’ll see the area where the Bentayga’s headlamps are supposed to have been sealed off completely.
It’s hard to see it because of the massive bull bar in the front that I can only assume is made from exotic sturdy material. A separate steel horizontal bar is also present, running across the width of the vehicle’s nose, presumably for extra protection. There is an LED light strip that’s integrated into the bull bar. That and the other LED strip located on top of the windshield appear to be the only light sources coming out of the Bentayga Bengala. Not that it matters — probably — because everything’s likely burning by the time Armageddon strikes.
The other striking feature of the Bentayga Bengala is the massive set of Dillinger forged wheels that Bengala Automotive Design SL fitted into this monstrosity. The wheels are wrapped in a massive set of tires that I can only imagine measures 37 inches, exactly the same size as another four-wheeled, end-of-the-world companion, the Rezvani Tank. Speaking of which, I can’t help but wonder what a garage featuring the Bentayga Bengala and the Rezvani Tank would look like. Will anyone even bother to steal these two rides? In any case, Bengala Automotive also added extended wheel arches and side skirts to accommodate the bigger wheels.
The Bentayga Bengala’s exterior modifications also extend to the rear section where another steel bar extends across the rear bumper. A bit north of that are rear window louvers covering the rear glass. Extra protection, perhaps? Maybe an extra touch of privacy? The SUV’s exhausts are nowhere to be found in the back. Instead, the tips now exit from the side, just in front of the two rear tires. Why? I honestly don’t know why, though most of what we see here extends beyond rationality.
We don’t get to see the interior of the Bentayga Bengala, and that might be a good thing. I can’t begin to imagine what the Spanish design house to the Bentayga’s opulent and luxurious cabin. Perhaps not knowing is the better alternative.
Details on what powers this massive marauder are also left to speculation. Fortunately, there are likely two powertrain options to choose from: a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine or a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 engine.
The former produces 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque while the latter uncorks a menacing 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.
Given the extra weight the Bentayga Bengala is packing, it’s unrealistic to assume that this Bentayga on steroids still weighs the same — 5,379 pounds — as the standard luxury SUV. At best, we could be looking at an extra 500 pounds of equipment installed in the Bentayga, putting its weight close to an astounding three tons (6,000 pounds). That means that the Bentayga’s 0-to-60-mph times of 4.0 seconds (V-12) and 4.4 seconds (V-8) could be closer to 5.0 seconds (V-12) and 5.4 seconds (V-8). It’s the same story in terms of top speed. The V-12 Bentayga can hit up to 187 mph while the Bentayga V-8 can peak at 180 mph. Throw in the extra weight, and you can bet the top speed of both versions will be compromised. Perhaps a 170-mph top speed for the V-12 and a 164-mph top speed for the V-8 are within reason?
Power and performance numbers aside, the Bentayga Bengala does benefit from a tricked out suspension setup that should provide it with enhanced off-road chops to suit its new look. The Spanish design house and tuning firm didn’t dive into the specifics, but considering the Bentayga Bengala’s new-fangled purpose and identity, adjustments to the SUV’s sway bars, ride height, and spring rates are all but certain. The goal, as is often the case with suspension modifications, is to help keep the SUV’s massive tires firmly planted on the surface of the road. None of this was done to improve the Bentayga Bengala’s speed abilities, but these upgrades are still included in keeping with the model’s identity. You don’t need to outrun anything during the apocalypse, but you might need to run over a few things — big difference.
Overall, the Bentley Bentayga Bengala is a classic example of “what you see is what you get.” It doesn’t make any bones about what it isn’t, only what it is and promises to be. I’m not a big fan of turning what’s supposed to be a luxury SUV into a ride lifted directly out of the Mad Max universe, but I do find a bit of charm in the transformation. That’s it — a little bit of charm. No more, no less.
In the event that you’re a bigger fan of this creation than I am, you’ll be happy to know that Bengala Automotive Design has plans to build 15 units of the Bentayga Bengala.
It didn’t reveal the actual price of each unit, but don’t expect it to fetch anything less than $300,000. Is that price fair justification for turning the Bentley Bentayga into this creation? I don’t think it is, but I’m sure there are people out there who are willing to pay that kind of money for the chance to own one of the 15 units that will hit the market. I’m not going to be one of them, though. That’s for damn sure.
|Bentley Bentayga V-8||Bentley Bentayga W-12||Bentley Bentayga Diesel|
|Type||4.0-litre, 32-valve, twin-turbocharged V8||6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI||triple-charged 4.0-litre V-8|
|Max Power||542 HP @ 6,000 RPM||600 HP @ 5,250-6,000 RPM||429 HP @ 3,750-5,000 RPM|
|Max Torque||568 LB-FT @ 1,960-4,500 RPM||664 LB-FT @ 1,250-4,500 RPM||664 LB-FT @ 1,000-3,250 RPM|
|Transmission||ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox, permanent all-wheel drive with 40:60 front to rear torque split||ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox||ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox|
|Top speed||180 mph / 290 km/h||187 mph / 301 km/h||168 mph / 270 km/h|
|0-60 mph||4.4 secs||4.0 secs||4.6 secs|
|0-100 km/h||4.5 secs||4.1 secs||11.5 secs|
Read our full review on the 2019 Bentley Bentayga Speed.
Read our full review on the 2017 Bentley Bentayga.