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2016 Bentley Betayga Goes Official, Promises Lots of Superlatives

It's been coming for a while, but nothing can prepare you for the reality of an official launch: Bentley is going to present, build and sell an SUV. And not just any SUV: "the fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world." That's a very unambitious start...
2016 Bentley Bentayga 34 photos
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Like any other company out there, Bentley too guides its business based on something similar to Maslow's Pyramid: at the bottom, there's the need for brand survival; one level higher, there's the need to be profitable; next is the need to ensure the company's long-term future; finally, all the way at the top sits the need to make beautiful cars that will win you beauty contests.

All these layers are somewhat interweaved, it's true, but taking care of the top level doesn't necessarily guarantee the other three. Have you not seen what happened to other companies who thought good design was enough to get them through?

Building an SUV, on the other hand, now that's the way for a very solid pyramid foundation these days. People want big cars, and people with big money want them even more. Despite the Volkswagen ownership, Bentley is perceived as a true luxury brand that doesn't do compromise, so a new model - even if it's a completely new segment for them - will be well received.

And, frankly, it will be well received regardless of its exterior design. Not that Bentley have gone so horribly wrong with the Bentayga: it looks just as anyone would expect a Bentley SUV to look like.

Bentley written all over it


The front is instantly recognizable as a Bentley, even though it's more of a mix between the Mulsanne and the Continental family. Double, asymmetrical rounded headlights flank the large Bentley grille and float above a set of wide air intakes. The Bentayga also comes with a front skidplate and even though that will most certainly make a lot of people smile, remember the posh SUV has already gone off-road in a presentation video.

Like any self-respecting SUV, the 2016 Bentley Bentayga comes with aluminum roof rails for that added adventurous look. It also gets wheels sized 20" to 22" for that less adventurous look.

Wrapping up the exterior design talk, the new Bentayga certainly has class, and that's the most important attribute in this rarefied segment. We're not so sure about the rear end, which to us looks a bit too generic, but it will most definitely grow on the car's future owners, as everything else looks just right.

Especially the interior, where Bentley can do no wrong. Well, they certainly tried with the awkward color combination chosen for the presentation vehicle, but that cabin still exudes style and quality. The light-tone interior is also enhanced by the standard panoramic glass roof split into two areas.

There's plenty of tech too, with an eight-inch display governing the infotainment system, Bentley Entertainment Tablets (basically 10.2-inch Android tablets with full connectivity), and a 1950 watt Naim for Bentley Premium Audio system.

Where to, sir?


Comfort isn't left out of the loop with Bentley announcing a four-seater version in the future with luxurious accommodation for those in the two back seats, massage functions included. This version should prove familiar among those who prefer to be chauffeured around.

Powering the new 2016 Bentley Bentayga is the well-known 6.0-liter W12 engine with 608 hp and 663 lb-ft (900 Nm) all channeled through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Obviously, the Bentayga will come with a four-wheel drive system that ensures that huge chunk of power is put on the asphalt the best way possible. That means a 0-60 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration time of four seconds flat and a top speed of 187 mph (300 km/h).

Bentley also released some fuel efficiency figures, but we'll take those as an example of the famous British sense of humor and move on. They're not terrible for an engine and a car this size, but who cares, really?

With Aston Martin pulling out of the SUV race and not many others offering to join in, Bentayga is pretty much a singular offer at the moment. Like it or not, we think good things will happen to this Bentley SUV in the future.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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