First previewed with the EXP 9F concept, the production Bentley Bentayga steered away from the concept’s controversial styling for a look that is “pure Bentley,” as the British automaker puts it. There’s plenty of accolades to go along with the announcement of the company’s first SUV, with Bentley claiming that it’s the world’s fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV available. The Bentayga backs up those claims with an all-new 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine packing 600 hp and 663 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to go zero to 60 in just four seconds flat while having a top speed of 187 mph.
Up front are four round LED headlights and a large matrix grille, while the rest of a body has a distinctive power line with muscular haunches. The automaker’s goal was to deliver a balance between sportiness and SUV presence with the headlights sitting flush within the seamless aluminum front fenders. Subtle details on the exterior include the discrete headlight washers that are contained within the outer lamp’s body-matched center while a stylish skid plate has been integrated into the lower section of the front bumper, just below the floating wing motif.
The rear of the SUV has segmented tail lights and a new “B”-shaped illuminated graphic that has been incorporated to give the Bentayga an instantly recognizable night-time signature. Standard on the Bentayga is a panoramic glass roof that makes up almost 60 percent of the total roof surface. The glass roof is split into two panes with the front panel having the ability to tilt and slide. In addition, the entire glass surface can be obscured thanks to an electric, full-length roller blind.
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According to Bentley, the new W12 sees an 11.9-percent efficiency improvement compared to the existing powertrain and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. In fifth to eighth gear, when the driver lets off the gas pedal, the Bentayga will automatically open the torque converter, dropping the engine to idle and allowing the car to coast. When the throttle is reapplied, the transmission is re-engaged. The four-wheel-drive system will be standard, and, along with the transmission, has been strengthened to handle the demands and high torque levels of off-road driving.
The Bentley Bentayga is expected to return 14 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway on the U.S. cycle, which is respectable, considering it’s an SUV with 600 hp.
Inside, the SUV sports a cutting-edge, eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a 60GB hard drive and a choice of up to 30 languages. Rear seat passengers will also benefit from the Bentley Entertainment Tablet, a removable 10.2-inch Android device with built-in 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth for connectivity.
Check back for more information on the Bentley Bentayga when AutoGuide.com checks it out up close and personal at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show next week, where it’ll make its public debut.
“The Bentayga is truly the Bentley of SUVs,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and chief executive of Bentley Motors. “It redefines luxury in the SUV sector and offers a genuine Bentley experience in any environment, thanks to a combination of unparalleled attention to detail, go-anywhere ability and cutting-edge technology. With this extraordinary car we are looking forward to an exciting period of strong growth and sales success for Bentley. The Bentayga is the next step in our brand’s bold future.”