The Queen May Get The First Bentley Bentayga
Initially viewed with a bit of justifiable side-eye, Bentley’s first SUV is off to an extremely promising start. The production version just debuted at Frankfurt, and it’s better-looking than anticipated. The first year’s production run has already sold out. And best of all, it’s already got the approval of the highest authority in Britain: the first 2017 Bentley Bentayga is slated to be delivered to none other than Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The royal family has traditionally used Land Rovers for its rough-road needs, but Bentayga #001 will be shipped to Balmoral, Scotland for use in hunting expeditions, according to Michael Winkler, Bentley’s North American CEO, in an interview with Bloomberg.
Bentley has the capacity to produce 3,000 to 4,500 Bentaygas annually, and is currently holding deposits for 3,600 vehicles. If you’re hoping to get a 2017 model, MSRPs start at $229,100. It’s the most expensive SUV sold in North America.
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Why it matters
The Bentayga looks like it’s set to dispel any skepticism as to whether it’s a “true Bentley.” The twin-turbo W12 under the hood produces 600 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque. Bentley claims a 4.1-second 0-60 run and a top speed of 187 mph. There’s no word on if the Queen intends to drive it that fast. If she does, an active roll control system is on hand to keep the ride stately. A full suite of cutting-edge driver aids includes a traffic-sign recognition system and night vision.
It arguably looks the part of a modern Bentley as well. The front sheet metal is derived from the Mulsanne, so it’s instantly recognizable, and muscular flanks with familiar fender flaring blend well with the SUV’s shape. It’s actually rather elegant. Interior appointments are similarly lavish, with an eight-inch navigation screen, a removable 10.2-inch Android tablet for rear-seat passengers and an optional self-winding Breitling Tourbillon clock in the dash.
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