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December Car of the Month: Bentley Bentayga V8

The newest iteration of Bentley’s superlative SUV is meaner and greener.

Bentley Bentayga V8 ultra-luxury SUV

When the Bentley Bentayga hit the road in 2016—with a 600 hp W-12 motor and requiring 130 total hours from 53 craftsmen in Crewe, England, to hand-assemble—it set a new standard for ultra-premium SUVs. The new Bentley Bentayga V8 sacrifices some of that monstrous power for greater fuel efficiency (17 combined mpg) and a friendlier price point, but with aggressive style modifications and several technology upgrades, it remains a superlative SUV.

To develop the all-new V-8 engine, Bentley turned to Porsche, which has a proven record of squeezing huge power out of 6-cylinder engines. However, efficiency was a paramount development goal, so the motor employs an auto-cylinder deactivation system that shuts off four cylinders under lower power requirements, essentially turning the truck into a fuel-efficient V-4 vehicle. But that doesn’t mean the car is a slouch: It reaches 60 mph in a brisk 4.4 seconds and tops out at 180 mph. The turbocharged motor delivers 568 ft lbs of torque and 542 hp—down more than 50 hp from the W-12 Bentayga motor. Bentley engineers compensated for the slight loss by making the Bentayga V8 lighter, so the power-to-weight ratio for both models is about the same. While the engine’s architecture is essentially Porsche, Bentley modified the fuel curve to maximize midrange power, which means achieving high torque doesn’t require pushing for high RPMs.

The New Bentley Bentayga V8 Ultra-luxury SUV

And then there’s an army of electronic aids, cameras, and sensors to ensure a safe and comfortable ride. An active electric roll-control system called Bentley Dynamic Ride instantaneously reacts to cornering by countering g force with throttle and transmission adjustments. The system is incredibly exacting, with modes for grass, mud, gravel, and even sand dunes. For night driving, a forward-looking infrared system maps out surrounding terrain and displays it on the dash screen. Because parking a nearly 17-foot-long, 3.6-gross-ton vehicle can be challenging, an autonomous parking system puts the SUV squarely in perpendicular or parallel parking spaces. The Trailer Assist mode allows the Bentayga V8 to autonomously back up a trailer without any steering input from the driver.

Contrasting these clever pieces of engineering is a meaner design. A black-and-chrome grille help the front fascia stand out, while a menacing set of figure-8-shaped tailpipes barks out the V-8’s authoritative rumble. Inside, the new Bentayga gets the brand-new glossed carbon-fiber trim—an option unique to the V8 model. In addition, customers may opt for a new wood-and-leather-trimmed wheel and chestnut-colored cross-stitched leather seats. In other words, this is unmistakably a Bentley, with one of the best-appointed interiors of any SUV.

The brand’s uncompromising luxury is just as apparent on the V8 model as on the W12, and its smarter use of power and technology help make up for the reduced power. With that comes increased fuel efficiency and a lower price point that will appeal to many prospective buyers, who should contact Robb Report partner Penske Automotive Group or browse the inventory at PenskeLuxury.com to learn more.

For more information, contact:
Michael Famiglietti
Sr. Vice President, Super Premium Brands
Penske Automotive, Inc.
michael@penskeluxury.com

The New Bentley Bentayga V8 Ultra-luxury SUV

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