Bentley have officially unveiled its brand new 4×4 at the Frankfurt motor show and we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to analyse whether this new car will be a game changer and ultimately where the luxury 4×4 market is going. Will there be enough demand for a near £200,000 4×4 with a Bentley badge that will rarely ever be used off-road or will the Range Rover still remain king in this segment.
Some of you might remember when Bentley first unveiled it’s initial design for a 4×4 in 2012 named as the EXP 9 F. Truth be told it went down terribly and Bentley were heavily criticised for it’s styling, mainly for being so ‘bling’. Bentley went back to the drawing board and has made a marked improvement with the styling of the Bentayga but still we have found reactions to be mixed. Having initially shown a picture of the car to our followers on social media, in particular on Linkedin and Facebook, there were several negative responses. Some people weren’t particularly fond of the name whereas some just thought it was ugly. Is it just a taller and enlarged Continental GT, is it too boxy? In fairness, we don’t think the colour Bentley decided to launch the car was particularly the best choice but overall, it was certainly interesting to hear all the responses.
What is special about the Bentayga?
Bentley describes the Bentayga as the world’s fastest, most luxurious and exclusive SUV in the world. Powered by a brand new 12 cylinder W12 engine, this mighty SUV produces 600bhp and 663lb ft. of torque. This means this 2.4 tonne car will accelerate from 0 to 62mph in just 4.0seconds and reach a top speed of 187mph which is supercar rivalling pace. All this performance is achieved via an eight speed ZF automatic paddle shift gearbox and a four wheel drive system. These performance figures are simply astonishing and we have to applaud Bentley for producing such a capable vehicle bearing in mind that this car will also go off-road.
Step inside the cabin and immediately you are greeted with lavish high quality and expensive materials. First off, you directly notice the sumptuous diamond quilted leather seats used on the top area and side bolsters. Along with a panoramic roof system, 15 pieces of hand selected veneers can be selected to be used around the interior. The fascia design is supposed to echo the wings of the Bentley badge flowing from door to door as seen in the Mulsanne and Continental GT dashboard. Various new features include a floating driver info panel with a new eight inch touchscreen used to access the infotainment system, night vision and heads up display system and self-parking. Rear passengers will also enjoy a Bentley branded 10.2inch Android tablet which will utilise the cars on board Wi-Fi. One of the more expensive options is said to be the Breitling Tourbillon clock embedded in the dashboard which will cost an astonishing £110,000 alone, perhaps the most expensive option on a car ever! This clock will spin on its own axis every so often to wind itself up, hence it won’t draw any power from the car’s electrical system and thus marginally saves fuel compared to the standard electric clock. The Bentayga will be available in four or five seat versions whilst a seven seat version will also be built. In the future the Bentayga will be available as a diesel or plug-in hybrid which will be a first for Bentley. Finally, an even quicker version which is likely to be called the Bentayga Speed has already been spotted testing around the Nurburgring which is a car we certainly can’t wait to see.
The first 500 cars in production will be uniquely named ‘First Edition’ which will come fully specced including the technologically advanced ‘Active Roll Control’ improving ride quality. Prices for one of the ‘First Edition’ cars begin at £229,000 and there are rumours that the Queen is lined up for the first car off the production line!
Should you buy one?
The 4×4 market has been a fledging market for some years now and we have witnessed how successful Porsche were with the Cayenne but Bentley are really raising the bar here in terms of both performance, luxury and of course and perhaps most importantly prices!
Rumours exist that the Bentayga’s first year of production has sold out but this could well be ‘marketing’. We don’t doubt the Bentayga could and probably should be a highly popular car it will be interesting to see how Bentley manages demand and supply. Will it be a premium car that sells for over list with long waiting lists to order a new one? We would think the first few cars on the market for sure as it will be viewed as an new exciting model and the first of it’s kind. The reality is the Bentayga sits on the VW group’s MLB platform that the next seven seat Audi Q7 and next Cayenne will use. You should also remember Bentley models in general are known for huge depreciation from when they are brand new to used and have rarely ever been an ‘over list’ car so it could work both ways. Something tells us the Bentayga should be different but I would still be careful if your ordering a new one!