RE: Bentley Bentayga V8: Driven

RE: Bentley Bentayga V8: Driven

Wednesday 8th August

Bentley Bentayga V8: Driven

There will be four flavours of Bentayga soon, including a new hybrid model. But probably the best version is already upon us



The last Bentayga PH put to the test was the diesel variant, a car we wrote about almost a year ago. Despite sharing its cutting-edge V8 with the Audi SQ7 and being pretty much everything you'd expect, it's probably safe to assume that Bentley hasn't shifted the £135,800 oil burner by the bucketload in the current climate - certainly not with a Hybrid model due before the end of the year. In the meantime, Crewe has launched another V8 version for good measure: a petrol-powered iteration with 550hp and 568lb ft of torque, and virtually the same price tag. 

The twin-turbocharged unit is the same one defying the normal conventions of time and space in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, where its output is equal, albeit with less weight to carry. For its sins, the 2,388kg V8 is lighter than the original W12, although only by 52kg when measured the EU's way. Its starting price makes it around £30k cheaper on paper, too - although, as ever, £136,200 is really the jumping off point; our test car, embellished with the Mulliner Driving Specification and much else besides, clocked in at £201,590. 


If that thought doesn't automatically endear you to the smaller-engined Bentayga, then rest assured you're not alone. Even in the avowedly Marmite fast SUV segment, the Bentley occupies a remarkably unsubtle, guilty-pleasure niche. Granted, the winged B has never really been about blending in - but the upscaling of the firm's forthright design language never did the car any real favours. Nor did its final dimensions, which resulted in an SUV both longer and wider than a full-size Range Rover. 

Driving this over-inflated ego in the UK takes its toll. Including mirrors, there's 2.24m of it to squeeze through gaps and it doesn't afford quite the same confidence-inspiring level of visibility that tends to come as standard with Land Rover's larger products. You fret about those 22-inch Mulliner spec wheels in town. Then you wonder aloud who on earth would spec a Bentayga with 22-inch wheels, which are on the Palm Jumeirah scale of bling. We'd venture the same opinion of the Breitling clock with dark mother of pearl face (£3,020), too. And of the less than brilliantly reconciled rear seat entertainment (£5,690).


What you won't wonder about - not ever, not even a little bit - is the logic of installing that 4.0-litre V8. Lingering doubts about a Bentley of any stripe sharing an engine with the splashiest Cayenne are nixed by the noiselessness, elasticity and outright velvety shove of the new powertrain. Compared to the W12, the V8 gives up 96lb ft of torque, but the deficit accounts for zilch in the real world because the smaller unit is hardly any less assured at filling out the principle job of a Bentley engine. Which is to dawdle and crawl and waft with the effortlessness of a pond skater, while leaving its driver in no doubt whatsoever about the reservoir of pent-up energy being held in reserve.

Dip your toe and on you crisply go, apparently without regard for turbo lag or the limitations of a 2.5-ton payload. The forcefulness of the delivery, expertly marshalled by the default eight-speed ZF automatic, is ideally matched with the molasses-like flow of the chassis. There's a price to pay for those oversized rims, of course, but it's a small one. For the most part the wheel control is in the large SUV sweet spot: ostensibly soft, yet irrefutably planted. Factor in the knowing heft of the steering and the uncanny control of body roll enabled by the (optional) electric anti-roll bars, and it makes the big Bentley exceptionally easy to rub along with. 


Or it does on the motorway, anyway, and against the backdrop of a long abandoned Welsh quarry. Both afford the Bentayga the space it needs to really shine, and no-one with three hours of M4 ahead of them could argue with the smell of the leather, the pillowiness of the seats or the hand-polished gloss of the wood veneers. One might conceivably pick holes in the gearbox's default insistence on going into 'coast' mode off throttle (and thereby taking half a second each time to re-engage) but otherwise Bentley's SUV works like a large, silent and very well appointed decompression chamber on long journeys. 

It's not too shabby when the tarmac finally runs out either. Despite being limited by Pirelli P-Zero tyres (a slightly bewildering choice, given the presence of something called All Terrain Specification on the option list) nothing on an admittedly rather tame wet hillside troubled it. Prodigious peak twist helps, of course, as does the caution one naturally extends to an SUV wearing a McLaren 720S's price tag. Unlike a Cayenne or Range Rover Sport SVR, the Bentayga doesn't feel like it would give an unsuspecting Super Series owner a run for his money on the surrounding B roads - although in its S mode, a wonderfully baritone, gear-holding, neck-testing, semi-rabid affair, the new V8 does enough to convince you that it possesses the right stuff in just about equal measure. Elsewhere, Bentley's SUV remains unapologetically big and brash. But that comes with the territory.


SPECIFICATION - BENTLEY BENTAYGA V8

Engine: 3,996cc, V8 twin-turbo
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 550@6,000rpm 
Torque (lb ft): 568@1,960-4,500rpm  
0-62mph: 4.4sec 
Top speed: 171mph 
Weight: 2,388kg (EU, with driver) 
MPG: 24.8
CO2: 260g/km
Price: £136,200 












Author
Discussion

aston addict

Original Poster:

177 posts

92 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
God, that’s one ugly mother******. Only a top VW exec or a Kardashian could call it beautiful.

chappardababbar

252 posts

77 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
I know hating this car is the standard thing to do on PH, but I bloody love it. Would make a fantastic family GT.

Gameface

5,028 posts

11 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
One of these pulled in next to me at a petrol station earlier this week. I honestly didn't give it a second glance until after I paid and was walking back to my car and saw its grille from front on. Only then did I realise what it was. And I was one of those kids who used to name every passing car from his pushchair as a toddler.

It's so uttely bland and non descript.

I'll save a £125K and have a Stelvio Quadrifoglio thanks.

DBSnappa

68 posts

165 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Part of me likes the whole idea and engineering execution, but I still don't like the way the thing looks. this thing makes the 1st gen Cayenne look good. The proportions are all wrong to my eyes and it definitely has a committee feel to the design, like 20 different people all wanted one feature on it and they got what they wanted. The astonishing thing is that the original concept looks better than this when you go and have a look.

Gameface

5,028 posts

11 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
DBSnappa said:
The astonishing thing is that the original concept looks better than this when you go and have a look.
Dunno about that. They are both bloody awful.
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TwigtheWonderkid

26,913 posts

84 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
I don't get it. If you want a quick SUV, there's stuff like the Merc GLC43, Audi SQ5 and no doubt many others that are £80K cheaper and look far nicer.

RedWhiteMonkey

5,029 posts

116 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Had one behind me a few months ago when I was coming back across the border from France into Germany, they look massive in your rear view mirror. We were in a steady but slow moving queue right until we hit the autobahn. The road opened up and traffic lightened, I blinked and all I saw was his rear lights rapidly disappearing into the distance. The acceleration of something so large was impressive to see. One part of me thinks it is a horrid, vulgar thing but another part thinks it would be an amazing thing to own.

2 GKC

429 posts

39 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
"less than brilliantly reconciled rear seat entertainment"

What on earth does that mean?

Ninja59

1,842 posts

46 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Seen about 4 or 5 now. Every time I just want to vomit.

Apparently from what I heard elsewhere even internally a few people questioned the design of the thing....

Lozw86

526 posts

66 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
TwigtheWonderkid said:
I don't get it. If you want a quick SUV, there's stuff like the Merc GLC43, Audi SQ5 and no doubt many others that are £80K cheaper and look far nicer.
Different levels of refinement, craftsmanship and luxury

Also different levels of image and apparent status.

Leonardo101

28 posts

8 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
As they say money can't buy taste!

TwigtheWonderkid

26,913 posts

84 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Lozw86 said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
I don't get it. If you want a quick SUV, there's stuff like the Merc GLC43, Audi SQ5 and no doubt many others that are £80K cheaper and look far nicer.
Different levels of refinement, craftsmanship and luxury

Also different levels of image and apparent status.
That's where I've gone wrong in life. I make an effort to give the impression that I'm much less affluent than I am. It seems the trend with most people is the exact opposite.

timsturbo

4 posts

8 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Getting a bit bland putting same engine in everything in group

Bentayga = Audi 4.0V8
Cayenne Turbo = Audi 4.0 V8
Lamborghini Urus = Audi 4.0 V8
Audi RS6 = Audi 4.0 V8

A great engine no doubt but each brand needs its own identity ?

Gameface

5,028 posts

11 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Those days are long gone.

ZOLLAR

19,473 posts

107 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
They look better in pink! hehe



the husband of this one just took delivery of this wonderfully coloured Senna as well..


Watchman

5,065 posts

179 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Lozw86 said:
TwigtheWonderkid said:
I don't get it. If you want a quick SUV, there's stuff like the Merc GLC43, Audi SQ5 and no doubt many others that are £80K cheaper and look far nicer.
Different levels of refinement, craftsmanship and luxury

Also different levels of image and apparent status.
They're also a different size. The Bentley is Q7-sized albeit with seating for 4 (not sure if you can even sit in the middle of the rear seats, can you?).

I am happy that cars like this exist in this world but when so much of the engineering and capability of the car is shared with Audi and Porsche, both of whom make fabulous versions, you are only buying this for the status really. And whilst I'm in no way decrying that - why shouldn't someone have that option? - when the new Rolls hits the market, aren't these Bentleys going to look a little second-class?

I imagine they will depreciate spectacularly. I'm looking forward to reading about one in Reader's Cars in 10 years time.

Ninja59

1,842 posts

46 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Hate is a strong word, but Zollar my eyes! My f*cking eyes!

That Senna I want to like, but it just looks equally wrong. At least clearly those 2 are related in stupidity.

BRR

1,437 posts

106 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
65k of options is crazy money, it does look like a nice place to spend a journey though and once you're in it at least you don't have to look at the exterior of it

Ninja59

1,842 posts

46 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
Watchman said:
They're also a different size. The Bentley is Q7-sized albeit with seating for 4 (not sure if you can even sit in the middle of the rear seats, can you?).

I am happy that cars like this exist in this world but when so much of the engineering and capability of the car is shared with Audi and Porsche, both of whom make fabulous versions, you are only buying this for the status really. And whilst I'm in no way decrying that - why shouldn't someone have that option? - when the new Rolls hits the market, aren't these Bentleys going to look a little second-class?

I imagine they will depreciate spectacularly. I'm looking forward to reading about one in Reader's Cars in 10 years time.
They already are, although they still are "expensive", but most W12 cars from 2016 seem to have lost £30-40k off list (excluding options), which based on the above means they have probably lost a shedload more!

Mr Roper

11,480 posts

128 months

Thursday 9th August
quotequote all
ZOLLAR said:
They look better in pink! hehe]
I've only ever seen one as it slowly squeezed past me down road....The one thing that caught my eye was the Sparco drivers bucket seat.





I was thinking 'wtf' too.