Pure luxury SUVs are relatively rare today, but a real battle of the net-worth stars is shaping up over the next few years. Leading the charge is this machine.
At the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, Bentley gave the world its first look at the Bentayga, a new SUV it says is the fastest sport-ute of them all.
The 2017 Bentayga is unmistakably a Bentley, from just one look at the massive mesh grille and LED headlights. It wears big flying-B logos in its fender vents, and B-shaped LED lighting in its taillamps.
Inside the Bentayga is a symphony of chrome, wood, and leather. It’s not quite over the top until you order the custom Breitling timepiece for the dash—it’s faced in ebony or mother of pearl, and wears gold and diamond touches.
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Under the hood, the Bentayga will launch with a tremendously powerful 6.0-liter W-12 engine. With twin turbos and direct injection, it punches out 600 horsepower, 663 pound-feet of torque, and according to Bentley, a top speed of 187 miles per hour. Zero to 60 mph times are pegged at 4.0 seconds.
Despite all this, fuel economy hits 16 miles per gallon combined—and Bentley is promising diesel and plug-in hybrid versions in the years to come.
For ride and handling, the Bentayga gets an adaptive air suspension, driver-selectable modes for ride control, steering and transmission feel, and standard all-wheel drive. The gauges show off-road data like altitude and vehicle pitch—in case you find yourself steeply descending from a Matterhorn-size pile of cash.
MORE: See all our 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show coverage
And in case you take it tailgating, the Bentayga’s tailgate is power-operated. The big cargo area has thoughtful touches like a flip-out bench seat for special events—we’re thinking equestrian, not the local corn hole tournament. You can even order a custom-made picnic hamper—with its own china pattern.
The Bentayga, she's a big one, at more than 202 inches long and more than 5000 pounds. It’s a four- or a five-seater at first, with a three-row version coming soon. As a four-seater, it’s a regal mode of transportation, with power rear bucket seats separated by their own infotainment system—all controlled by a tablet.
Standard features will include adaptive cruise control, a touchscreen interface, in-car data services, and a premium audio. The top sound system will be a 1,950-watt Naim for Bentley setup with 18 speakers.
Pricing starts at just about $230,000, and the Bentayga goes on sale early in 2016—just ahead of new SUVs wearing the Maybach, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini badges.