The Bentley Bentayga is the first sports utility vehicle put out by the British luxury motorcar manufacturer and is one of the most luxurious SUVs in the world.
This may not impress certain corners of the motor-vehicle enthusiast scene – it’s a little like claiming to make the world’s classiest Sloppy Joe – but the fact is that the Bentayga is a very impressive vehicle replete with fantastic features and a performance that will leave even the most jaded racing enthusiasts weak at the knees.
Let’s take a look at the eight most impressive things about this underrated Bentley SUV.
It Shares A Platform With The Audi Q7
The Bentayga has its roots in the Volkswagen Group MLB platform – a platform shared by many other vehicles, including the Audi Q7. This common platform pervades every aspect of the two cars, with many design features almost identical across the luxury vehicles. The driving assistance function, for instance, is exactly the same in both cars.
The Bentayga and the Audi Q7, incidentally, aren’t the only vehicles making use of Volkswagen’s solid and versatile platform – the Volkswagen Touareg and Porsche Cayenne will also be making use of it in the coming years.
It’s The Most Powerful SUV Of All Time
The Bentayga is packing a lot of power under its sleek hood – more power, in fact, than any other SUV has ever had. Its engine is a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter beast that puts out 663 foot-pounds of torque and a mammoth 600 horsepower, making it quite comfortably the most powerful SUV ever made.
The Bentayga is four-wheel drive, so the automatic 8-speed transmission distributes that awesome power evenly across all four wheels. This makes for unbelievably fast acceleration (0-62mph in 4.1 seconds – 0.6 seconds faster than the nearest competitor) and a max speed of 187mph. The closest competitor – the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S – clocks in at around 10mph slower.
Its Name Was Inspired By The Natural World
While the Bentley SUV’s name has its fair share of detractors, it’s hard to fault the inspiration for its somewhat unique moniker.
Bentley’s CEO is on record as saying the name was inspired by two places – the Roque Bentayga on the Spanish island of Gran Canaría and the taiga – the boreal forest that covers large parts of Canada and Russia.
Both evoke the primal majesty of nature in its rawest and most untouched form, and both conjure images of ruggedness and untamed wilderness.
The Roque Bentayga invokes the rocky vistas of a Spaghetti Western, while the coniferous forests of the taiga bring to mind grizzly bears and roaring streams with ice-rimed banks.
All of these come together to create a very particular image for this luxury SUV. One which doesn’t sit well with everyone, admittedly, but that certainly evokes a very specific image.
It Has The World’s Most Expensive Car Clock
The Bentayga may want to evoke images of ruggedness and raw virgin wilderness, but that doesn’t mean it completely forgoes opulence. This is most evident in its dashboard clock – the most expensive in-car clock in the world.
It’s an optional extra, so not everybody is going to opt for it – and given how expensive it is, it’s not hard to see why. The Breitling-made Mulliner Tourbillon clock costs around $234,000 – a price tag that Breitling attributes to the particularly intricate mechanisms used in the clock.
It’s Packed With Cutting-Edge Tech
Given its hefty price tag, you’d be well within your rights to expect this luxury vehicle to come equipped with all the bells and whistles. Luckily, that’s exactly the case.
The first – and perhaps most impressive – feature of the Bentayga is its Active Cruise Control. This marvel of modern tech may not offer the capabilities of a fully driverless car, but it’s pretty close.
With stop-and-go, predictive ACC, and traffic assist, it does a lot of the heavy lifting even when driving in the city, making it a thing of ease for the driver to sit back and (almost completely) relax.
There’s also plenty to keep passengers happy. With removable Android tablets that sport 10-inch screens, onboard WiFi and 4G, and Naim surround sound, there’s plenty to keep everyone else occupied while you get to wherever you’re going.
The Queen Was One Of The First Buyers
The Bentayga is such an impressive vehicle that none other than the Queen of England was the first customer in line for the new SUV.
Back in 2015, the Queen took a spin in the then-new Bentayga and was so taken with the rugged SUV that she bade her staff order one for “hunting expeditions” on the estate of Balmoral.
The English monarch apparently put the SUV through its paces in the unforgiving terrain that surrounds her famous Aberdeenshire retreat in Scotland. Finding it more than equal to the task, she ordered one – and was promptly put to the front of the queue by Bentley.
It’s The World’s Second-Most Expensive SUV
Until 2020, the Bentayga had the honor of being the world’s most expensive SUV. This accolade was poached by fellow British luxury car manufacturer Rolls Royce, who shattered the record quite thoroughly with its astronomically expensive Cullinan – a car that comes in at around $750,000. (While Rolls Royce chafe at the use of the pedestrian ‘SUV’ label, there’s no doubt that that’s what it is.)
The Bentayga is still no slouch when it comes to a high price tag, however. As of 2023, the vehicle costs around $490,000 – only around two-thirds the cost of a Cullinan. It’s quite easy to push the price up to that $750,000 mark; however – just add a dashboard clock, and you’re good to go.
There Are Several Outdoors Variations
If you’d like to use your Bentayga for more than the school run, Bentley fortunately has you covered.
The company offers a multitude of bespoke options perfect for outdoor pursuits; you could add a walnut tackle box and leather rod holders for fishing trips, for instance, or you can opt for a master flight station and bespoke hoods and gauntlets for your everyday falconry needs.
The Bentley Bentayga Is a Powerhouse of a Vehicle With a Mammoth Engine
As we’ve seen, the Bentley Bentayga is a powerhouse of a vehicle with a mammoth engine under the hood and a veritable cornucopia of gadgets and customization options that make it the perfect luxury SUV for any situation.