2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed review: Absolute power

The redesigned Bentayga nonetheless is not fairly, however seems rather a lot higher than earlier than.

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With its 3.8-second 0-to-60-mph time, 190-mph prime velocity and $247,725 price ticket, the Bentayga Speed is the quickest and most costly model of Bentley’s best-seller. Because of this, Bentley calls the Speed the “pinnacle” of its Bentayga lineup. Me? I’m not so positive.


  • Extremely fast and quick
  • Supple trip high quality
  • Vastly improved cabin tech

Don’t Like

  • More options needs to be commonplace
  • W12 engine is thirsty
  • Super costly

Make no mistake, the Speed’s specs are dynamite: Its 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine cranks out 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, and everything of that low-range shove is on the market from 1,500rpm. The rear finish hunkers down, the prow gracefully lifts and earlier than you recognize it, increase, warp velocity. There’s no rear-ended-by-a-freight-train brutality to the Bentayga Speed’s launch. It’s all in a day’s work for this super-SUV. And as a result of the Bentayga W12 is now not a part of the lineup, the Speed is the one technique to get 12-cylinder power in a Bentley SUV.

This easy acceleration is extraordinarily on model for a Bentley, however I actually want there was extra visceral drama. Stomp on the fuel in a V8-powered Bentayga and also you get a bellowing roar because the SUV rapidly will get in control. The W12, however, appears like what it’s: two snoozy V6 engines smooshed collectively. The Bentayga Speed wants some aural punch to again up these crazy-quick launches.

On the street, the Bentayga’s dealing with is greatest described as swish. The steering is on the lighter facet and the physique gently leans whereas turning. The eight-speed automated transmission imperceptibly goes about its enterprise within the background, although a pair of unsatisfying-to-use paddle shifters are a finger’s attain away. Large 15.7-inch entrance and 15.0-inch metal brakes adequately carry the 5,529-pound Bentayga to a halt with completely no drama. And if these one way or the other aren’t sufficient, Bentley presents huge 17.3-inch entrance and 14.6-inch rear carbon-ceramic brakes if whoa-nelly stopping drive is one thing you envision needing on the common.

All instructed, the Speed by no means forgets its core mission is to comfortably coddle. Its commonplace self-leveling air suspension and adaptive dampers continually make changes to quell undesirable harshness, the 22-inch wheels gliding over various street surfaces. The huge Bentayga is a reasonably agile factor, regardless of its dimension and weight, although if winding roads are a part of your common route, positively get the Bentley Dynamic Ride 48-volt antiroll bars, which maintain this huge boy flat as a pancake via corners.

There aren’t many 12-cylinder vehicles left as of late.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Yet regardless of its go-fast nomenclature, the Speed is not probably the most athletic Bentayga. Yeah, there’s a substantial amount of pleasure that comes from laying into the throttle and rocketing ahead, however there is not a single time the place I would not moderately be driving the lighter, extra nimble Bentayga V8. In reality, the just lately introduced Bentayga S completely looks like the most suitable choice, because it has 15% stiffer dampers and the aforementioned 48-volt antiroll tech comes commonplace. The S additionally has an ordinary free-flowing sport exhaust which, mixed with the burly V8, ought to make for a hell of a soundtrack.

Besides, no matter what’s below the hood, the Bentayga presents excellent lodging. From the bottom V8 to the plug-in hybrid to the top-dog Speed, all Bentaygas could be optioned to your coronary heart’s content material, with flawless consideration to element and a normal aroma of opulence — hallmark Bentley traits. For 2021, the Bentayga is on the market with just a few new thrives, together with a 3D leather-based design on the doorways and a brand new diamond quilting sample on the seats. There are one million and one methods to spec the Bentayga of your goals, and please, promise me you may do one thing extra fascinating than the painfully uninteresting and predictable red-and-black shade scheme pictured right here.

Rear seat passengers have an additional 4 inches of legroom in comparison with older Bentaygas and there is a detachable pill on the again of the middle console with local weather and infotainment controls. Behind the rear bench you may discover 17.1 cubic ft of cargo house, which is not a ton, however fortunately the load-in aperture is broad and low, largely due to a brand new clamshell hatch design that appears nice, particularly with the 2021 Bentayga’s fancy new oval taillights.

Better cabin tech makes the Bentayga imminently extra livable.

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Speaking of fancy, try the Bentayga’s new cabin tech. The 10.9-inch touchscreen runs a reskinned model of Audi’s MIB3 software program, full with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto. This infotainment interface is tremendous easy to make use of, with colourful graphics and fast responses to inputs. The Bentayga has a very digital gauge cluster, too, although it isn’t fairly as flashy as Audi’s Virtual Cockpit.

Bentley presents a variety of driver-assistance applied sciences, although it continues to baffle me that a lot of those options aren’t commonplace. You have so as to add the $8,555 Touring Specification to get issues like adaptive cruise management, a head-up show and lane-keeping help. Never thoughts that some of these things comes commonplace on a Honda Civic.

On that word, it is alarming what number of niceties price further on a virtually $250,000 SUV. The firm’s superior Naim stereo — a defining a part of the Bentley expertise — is elective. So, too, are issues like tinted rear glass, a hands-free liftgate and ambient inside lighting. Bentley ought to simply make all these items commonplace and cost an additional $15,000 on the underside finish: I promise $15K is a drop within the bucket for anybody who’s cool with paying $250K for a automobile.

The bigger rear spoiler is a telltale Speed trait.

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I’d even be remiss to not point out that, whereas the Bentayga Speed is a complete powerhouse, it is not the one recreation on the town. The Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid is faster and extra highly effective, and presents some usable electrical vary due to its plug-in powertrain. The Cayenne can be about $80,000 inexpensive. Of course, a Porsche is not a Bentley; that Flying B badge is value its weight in gold.

The Bentayga Speed is an beautiful machine, and few different SUVs can contact its stage of luxurious. But whereas it sits atop the hierarchy by way of power, worth and status, it is hardly the perfect Bentayga. Make mine an S with the Naim stereo, please.

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