Bentley Bentayga Speed reportedly due in 2019

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2018 Bentley Bentayga

2018 Bentley Bentayga

Bentley is cooking up a quicker version of its Bentayga, and according to the latest reports we'll see the speedy luxury SUV this year.

Autocar reported Thursday that Bentley's highly anticipated Bentayga Speed will be unveiled in the first half of 2019. It means we'll likely it land in showrooms as a 2020 model.

Naturally, it will come with the Bentayga's range-topping 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W-12, with output dialed up to around 650 horsepower. That will make the Bentayga Speed more powerful than the related Lamborghini Urus, which has 641 hp, though Jeep's Grand Cherokee Trackhawk still has the performance bragging rights thanks to its 707-hp Hellcat.

2018 Bentley Bentayga

2018 Bentley Bentayga

We're sure Bentley won't be bothered, as the Bentayga Speed will be targeted at buyers seeking a combination of performance, luxury and off-road capability. In fact, there will be little in the way of direct combination when the Bentayga Speed arrives. Potential buyers may also want to consider the Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR, Maserati Levante Trofeo, Mercedes-AMG GLE63 and upcoming Aston Martin DBX.

Beyond the powertrain, Bentley's Bentayga Speed should benefit from unique calibrations to its aerodynamics and chassis to deliver sharper handling over the standard Bentley SUV. The former will especially be vital considering the top speed will likely approach 190 mph. The standard Bentayga already reaches 187 mph with its 600-hp W-12.

The arrival of the Bentayga Speed together with the recently launched Continental GT Convertible should provide a sales boost for Bentley after what was a challenging past 12 months. Final numbers for 2018 are yet to be released but Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday reported that sales were down for the first nine months of 2018 compared to the previous year. Financial statements show that Bentley also lost $157 million over the same period.

 
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