• ‘Effortless performance meets unrivalled craftsmanship’
• Hand-built six-litre W12 develops 462kW and 900Nm
• Top speed 306km/h (why?), 0-100km/h in 3.9sec
CREWE, England – Bentley has announced details of its new ”hand-built” top version of the Bentayga family and called the car Speed, ”the pinnacle of the Bentayga family” with a W12 engine and all the features you would expect from the brand.
The first Speed was a Continental GT way back in 2007 and one of its relatives took the production SUV record during the Pike’s Peak International Hill-climb in 2018. The latest model shows a fresh design of the model containing ”the very latest technology and an even more cosseting cabin which has been significantly”.
Adrian Hallmark, Bentley’s chairman and chief executive, told The Corner in a media release: “The new Bentayga has already raised the benchmark for luxury SUVs ahead of the launch of the Bentayga Hybrid but it’s important that we still recognise customers’ desire for performance.
”The new Bentayga Speed is still the world’s fastest SUV but is now the most luxurious version of the new Bentayga – the best of both worlds, the pinnacle.”
The six-litre W12 twin-turbo engine, Bentley says, can deliver 462kW/900Nm from 1500-5000rpm and exceptional performance, comfort and handling though an important aspect of such a powerful engine is to achieve fuel-saving cylinder deactivation in cruise of a bank of six cylinders as required.
The Bentayga Speed has four ”drive dynamics” modes from Comfort to Sport alongside a Custom mode for drivers to create their own driving set-up.
Uniquely in the Speed, the Sport mode has been recalibrated to enhance response from the W12 engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission, together with the air suspension system and Bentley Dynamic Ride. The effect is a more dynamic and engaging drive.
This Bentayga claims to have the first electric active roll control that instantly counteracts lateral lean forces through corners to ensure maximum tyre contact. The car can also brake the inside rear wheel through a curve in the road to sharpen the front-axle turn-in.
Carbon ceramic brakes – another option – are said to be the Bentley’s largest and most powerful and can handle temperatures up to 1000C. They also lop 20kg off the cars’ mass.
Dark-tint headlights, body-coloured skirts, unique front/rear bumpers and an elongated tail door spoiler are said to characterise the Speed’s performance credentials. Dark-tint radiator and bumper grilles, a unique 22” wheel design ”add to the sporting design”.
Dark-tint tail-lights sign off the cars.
Paint finish combinations can top 100 or be matched to any paint/colour sample, there are 15 shades of leather upholstery, eight veneer choices, and two ”technical finishes”. While lounging (or driving) the car can deliver to occupants an high-resolution touchscreen and various ”touch” functions on a palette that stretches across the width of the centre fascia.
The satnav display can be duplicated to a head-up display and all the expected phone comms are there. There’s also traffic-light prediction and local hazard information (such as, in South Africa, riots?).
Buyers seeking what Bentley calls ”a sporting look” can tick Black Specification which replaces all exterior chrome plating, bright detailing and some body elements with gloss black or carbon-fibre. Sills are swopped for more carbon, the rear bumper diffuser becomes gloss black.
Further, all exterior brightware becomes gloss black, as do the 22” Bentayga Speed wheel rims and exhaust tips. Finally, the standard roof spoiler becomes a curved carbon version.