The Bentayga was Bentley’s first foray into the SUV space, and in context of the larger Volkswagen Group of which it is apart, but the ultra-luxury permutation of the a shared platform and other technologies. Of course, none of Bentayga’s rival cousins compete with it directly, but the British automaker might be itching to pick a fight.
And with the Lamborghini Urus of all things.
While the super-SUV from Sant’Agata is a vehicle much more focused on replicating the sensations of owning a supercar in a more practical package, the Bentayga’s set of goals - luxury, refinement, a large cabin - are significantly more aligned with the SUV in general, and not just other Bentleys.
To its credit, it fills those criteria quite well, and has only been matched in terms of sheer luxury and opulence by the more recently introduced Rolls Royce Cullinan. However, according to Autocar, the Crewe-based automaker has plans for a faster, more driver-attuned version in the works.
It will be called the Bentayga Speed and, like other recent models to carry that designation, few compromises will be made to have it conform to our usual notions of how to achiever higher performance, but brute-force engineering their way around it instead.
First of all, the 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 petrol engine will be operating on a modified engine map and some component changes to generate around 485kW, or 37kW more than standard. New suspension and recalibration drive modes will make it a tad more responsive and flat through corners. At least, as much as a 2.45-tonne Bentley SUV possibly can while still governed by the physics of our universe.
Furthermore, revisions to the Bentayga’s 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive system will aid it in improving acceleration times, with the 100km/h dash estimated to be under 4 seconds. For reference, the Urus, powered by a 4.0-litre V8, manages this in 3.6 seconds.
The Speed will also be the quickest SUV to emerge from the Volkswagen Group with a top speed exceeding the 304km/h top speed the Lamborghini is capable of. Actually, it quite possible will be the fastest SUV ever made upon launch. But who knows, the Urus might spawn a more extreme SV variant with the specific intent to steal that title away from Crewe.
The joys of sibling rivalry.