Bentley's 447kW W12 SUV will be fastest ever
CAN any brand resist the urge to bring an SUV to its line up? Bentley certainly can't, revealing its challengingly named Bentayga SUV to join a growing list of unlikelies, which include incoming efforts from Rolls-Royce, Maserati and Lamborghini.
As you'd expect, the big boy Bentley has some serious guts under its polarising looks, courtesy of an all-new twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12. The result is 447kW and a mighty 900Nm of torque, slinging it to 100kmh in 4.1-seconds and on to over 300kmh.
Those were supercar figures not long ago, yet this is a two-and-a-half-tonne SUV, and unsurprisingly it will be the most powerful and fastest SUV ever. Rule Britannia.
Even the economy figures don't look that painful, with a combined 12.8-litres/100km. Nearly 20-litres/100km around town won't help save the planet though.
The cabin is as salubriously and exclusively Bentley as you'd imagine, with details in handcrafted metal, wood and leather joining 22-way adjustable seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, 10.2-inch Android device for rear passengers and the option of a 1950 watts sound system.
The joy can be shared by up to five occupants - although a four-seat arrangement can be specified - and as well as the obligatory Nurburgring testing to ensure it can corner as well as be a straight line weapon, it also has some off-road nous.
There's an impressive wading depth of 500mm, and a Drive Dynamics menu with settings for sand, mud, gravel and snow should encourage some dirty play. But with no low range or diff locks you'll need to take your Range Rover for serious mud plugging.
Think Bentley's making a mistake? Seems not. The luxury manufacturer says more than 4000 people have pre-ordered Bentaygas before pricing is even announced, and it reckons the SUV will make up between 25% and 50% of its global sales in the future.
Customer deliveries start early next year, so get your orders in now.