The Bentley Bentayga Speed has a powerful 6.0-liter engine.
Luxury appointments include a unique Alcantara interior trim.
The carbon ceramic braking system is nothing short of impressive.
The new Bentley Bentayga Speed is now the fastest production SUV in the world. Yes, I know, that’s kind of like setting a record for steam trains or something, but there you are. Just how fast, anyway? The top speed is 190 mph, and it can hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds. Which is impressive in its own right, and even more so when you realize the new Bentayga Speed weighs (checks notes) . . . huh, Bentley doesn’t say.
We’ll just go with really fat until we hear otherwise.
Okay, let’s get this name out of the way: It’s annoyingly bad. Sure, it’s got a “bent” in there, like Bentley, but the rest of it just seems like it’s made up using the same algorithm pharmaceutical companies use to come up with drug names. It’s either that, or an obscure disease threatening the life of that cute love interest in this season’s third-best romcom. “I’m sorry, but Justin Bieber has a serious case of Bentayga.” Bentley could have named it the Bentley Ben Nevis or something, but no. Bentayga.
Get used to it, cause they’re selling a lot of these things.
And sure, I can see why. It’s as comfy as a leather arm chair in The Hunt Club and those speed figures aren’t anything to sneeze at. The organization from Crewe gets there thanks to a 6.0-liter, W12 engine that delivers 626 horsepower. The Speed moniker tacked on here was lifted from the 2007 Continental GT. So it’s not really that much of a stretch. The Bentayga Speed sets itself apart from the more plebeian Bentaygas with dark-tint headlights, body-colored side skirts, and a tailgate spoiler.
There’s also a dark-tint radiator and bumper grilles, unique 22-inch wheels, and Speed signature badging.
Drive Modes & Braking Technology
The Bentley Bentayga Speed is outfitted with four drive modes: Comfort, Bentley, Sport, and Custom. Obviously, custom allows you to create your own driving setup, but I have no idea what on earth “Bentley” would mean as a mode. The rubber at the corners is controlled by the Bentley Dynamic Ride system, the world’s first electric active roll control technology, according to the automaker. Bentley says it can instantly counteract lateral rolling forces while cornering to ensures maximum tire contact.
The exhaust is tweaked to “further enhance the driver experience,” i.e. it sounds sportier. The whole humongous shebang comes to a halt with the largest and most powerful carbon ceramic brakes ever fitted to a Bentley. The braking system clamps on 6,000 Nm of braking toque (4,425 lb-ft. of torque) and can survive temps in excess of 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit.
Oh, and they also save more than 44 lbs. over iron brakes.
Interior Treatments: Swooshes & Speed
Yes, yes dear boy, all that is well and good, but what’s it like on the inside? What do you expect it to be like? It is the “epitome of modern British design,” according to Bentley. Which is what, exactly? I’ll tell you what that is. It’s superior to anything you chaps can come up with, that’s what it is. It is a new color split interior that uses Alcantara trim. And style lines highlighted by elegant “swooshes.” It is contrast stitching and diamond quilting on the cushion bolsters, backrest, and door pads. It is the word “Speed” embroidered at the top of the seats in either blind or contrast stitching.
Available options include 22-way adjustable front seats with massage function, carbon fiber fascia panels, a rear-seat entertainment system, and mood lighting. Finally, a Speed badge adorns the passenger side fascia, with an illuminated tread plate to welcome passengers into the luxurious cabin.
Pricing & Availability
Any other questions? No, no I thought not. Other than how much and when? You’re from the colonies, aren’t you? The answer to the first one is “very much.” Since this is a Bentley, it’ll likely run you the down payment on a Manhattan condo. So figure that into your budget. As to when, the Bentley Bentayga Speed will debut at the Geneva Motor Show at the beginning of March and go on sale later this year.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.