Bentley has unveiled its first ever SUV - the Bentayga.
The Bentayga combines 'unparalleled' luxury with performance and everyday usability, acording to Bentley. Designed, engineered and built in Crewe, the SUV's styling follows Bentley design cues; from the four round LED headlamps and large matrix grille, to the 'power line' and muscular haunches, all hinting at the car's off-road capabilities. Bentley designers further emphasised the go-anywhere nature of the Bentayga by integrating the skid plate into the lower section of the front bumper, just below the floating wing motif. The SUV runs on new, bespoke Bentayga alloy wheels ranging in size from 20-inch to 22-inch.
The use of lightweight aluminium in the body has enabled a total weight saving of 236kg compared to a traditional body construction. As standard, the Bentayga comes with a panoramic glass roof, split into two panes, making up almost 60 per cent of the total roof surface. The front panel tilts and slides, and the whole glass surface can be obscured via an electric, full-length roller blind. Either side of the glass roof are aluminium roof rails that combine two different finishes - a high-gloss black base and bright anodised top section.
Powered by an all-new W12 powertrain, the SUV is described by Bentley as the 'fastest, most powerful, most luxurious and most exclusive SUV in the world'. The twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre engine combines 'efficiency and refinement' with high levels of power and torque. With 600 bhp and 900 Nm of torque, 0-62 mph takes 4.1 seconds and top speed comes in at 187 mph. Efficiency figures of 292 g/km CO2 is made possible in part thanks to Bentley's Variable Displacement system, which shuts down half of the engine under defined conditions. Intake and exhaust valves, fuel injection and ignition are all shut down on defined cylinders, with the engine running as a six-cylinder for improved efficiency.
The engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The transmission and four-wheel-drive system has been strengthened to handle the demands and high torque levels of off-road driving. The development programme for the new car has been the most exhaustive in the brand's history, across five continents from the dirt and gravel of South Africa and the dunes of Dubai, to the muddy fields of Cheshire, from -30 degrees in the frozen North Cape to searing +50 degrees desert heat.
Bentley's Drive Dynamics Mode, and optional Responsive Off-Road Setting, offers the 'widest range of on- and off-road drive settings of any vehicle' with up to eight modes available. This versatility is joined by Bentley Dynamic Ride (electrically activated active roll control) and Electric Power-Assisted Steering (EPAS).
Responsive Off-Road Setting allows the driver to select the appropriate vehicle settings for a wide range of off-road surfaces, while the Driver Information Panel displays information on pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing and altitude. Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) including Stop & Go, Predictive ACC and Traffic Assist enables the driver to maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. Predictive ACC uses the navigation data, sensors and cameras to predict upcoming corners, city boundaries and speed-limit changes and can then modify the vehicle speed accordingly.
In urban environments, there are a number of driver aids available. These systems - such as Traffic Sign Recognition, which detects a wide variety of traffic signs and displays information to the driver; Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, which uses radar technology to detect crossing traffic when reversing out of a parking space; and Top View, a system which uses four cameras to display an overall picture of the vehicle's surroundings - combine to enhance everyday usability.
Other new systems available on the Bentayga includes Electronic Night Vision, which uses infra-red technology to identify potential obstacles ahead, and a Head-Up Display, which reduces driver distraction and increases safety.
On the inside, the Bentayga is finished in handcrafted wood and leather throughout. The dashboard takes the Bentley 'wing' design as its inspiration, with 'beautifully finished' surfaces flowing from door to door over the top of the instrument binnacles, down under the centre console and back up around the passenger side fascia and foot well. The handcrafted front seats, finished in fine bull hide, features 22-way adjustment including adjustable cushion and backrest bolsters, provide superb support and comfort for all conditions.
An all-new 8" touch screen infotainment system includes class-leading navigation technology, a 60GB hard drive, and a choice of up to 30 languages. Rear seat passengers benefit from the introduction of the Bentley Entertainment Tablet - a removable 10.2" Android device with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth for high-speed on-board connectivity.
The hands-free tailgate reveals a large, practical storage space but also another of the Bentayga's unique features - the optional folding event seat. Ideal for those wishing to stop and enjoy an outdoor moment, the leather-trimmed folding seat matches exactly the style of the cabin seats and integrates into the rear of the car.
The launch model will be joined later by a high performance, clean technology diesel and plug-in hybrid, as well as a seven seat option. The Bentley Bentayga will make its full public debut at the IAA Frankfurt Show from 15 to 27 September with customer deliveries expected in early 2016.