The Bentley Bentayga W-12 has paved the highway to opulent utilitarianism for soon-to-arrive mega-luxury SUVs from Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Rolls-Royce. But the massive B’s early transfer implies that it has already began churning out by-product fashions, together with a diesel, a plug-in hybrid, and our topic right here, the 2019 Bentayga V-Eight, a gilded eight-cylinder grapple designed to extra successfully snag aspiring buyers out of lesser high-end SUVs and place them into Bentley’s hedonistic orbit.
The pondering behind this entry-level variant for the U.S. market is easy: Decrease the admission price by supplanting the top-spec mannequin’s 600-hp, 664-lb-ft twin-turbocharged 6.Zero-liter W-12 engine with a twin-turbo Four.Zero-liter V-Eight shared with different high-powered Volkswagen Group merchandise. On this occasion, the “hot-vee” boosted eight pumps out a still-heady 542 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at simply 1960 revs. Little else adjustments in regards to the car, together with the usual eight-speed computerized transmission, rear-biased all-wheel-drive system, and VW’s MLB chassis structure.
Bentley says the V-Eight is the sportiest model of the Bentayga regardless of its energy deficit, and we now have to agree after sampling it each on the German autobahn and the tight Alpine roads of Austria. Curb weights ought to drop round 100 kilos versus the W-12, most of it coming off the nostril, and certainly the brand new rig feels a contact extra keen to chunk into corners and alter course, even when sliding round a makeshift ice rink that Bentley had arrange for the event. Though Pirelli Scorpion winter tires dulled the steering responses of the examples we drove—that’s the tradeoff for the wonderful ice and snow grip of such tires’ softer rubber compound—Bentley’s non-obligatory 48-volt Dynamic Journey energetic anti-roll bar system returns stately experience consolation and spectacular physique management. And as much as eight driving modes, 4 every for on- and off-road setups, enable the Bentayga’s engine, drivetrain, and chassis methods to be honed for various circumstances and driver attitudes.
Whereas that is nonetheless a heavy car (the final W-12 mannequin we examined weighed 5781 kilos), the Four.Zero-liter has little bother transferring the Bentayga’s bulk with gusto. The silky V-Eight is keen to spin to its 6800-rpm redline, which makes it the highest-revving powerplant Bentley has ever fitted to a highway automobile. Thrust builds with linear authority simply off idle, and burying the accelerator into the Bentayga’s plush footwell is greeted with close to quick response and ample shove effectively into triple-digit speeds. The V-Eight buyer will sacrifice little for his or her buy except for bragging rights. Contemplating that we’ve overwhelmed the W-12’s Four.Zero-second zero-to-60-mph estimate by half a second, we anticipate that the V-Eight’s quoted Four.Four-second determine to be equally conservative. The V-Eight’s ungoverned high pace of 180 mph is however 7 mph decrease than the W-12’s terminal velocity.
The loudest argument for the V-Eight mannequin is made by the engine itself by way of a extra characterful exhaust word from the twin twin-tip tailpipes which can be the one visible distinction from the W-12 past a blacked-out grille. Whereas the W-12 emits a distant, turbine-like thrum, the V-Eight exhales deeper, extra guttural tones and revs with the muffled snarl of a swaddled wolverine when prodded. We don’t anticipate the Bentayga V-Eight to be significantly better when it comes to gas economic system than its W-12 counterpart, which has averaged 14 to 16 mpg in our fingers, however it’s rated barely higher within the European cycle: a mixed 25 mpg versus the W-12’s 22-mpg determine. EPA estimates shall be launched earlier than U.S. deliveries start this summer time.
To downplay the V-Eight’s entry-level standing, Bentley is utilizing its introduction to replace the whole thing of the 2019 Bentayga lineup with new out there tools, most notably a carbon-ceramic brake improve that includes monstrous 17.Three-inch entrance rotors with 10-piston calipers—the biggest ever fitted to a manufacturing car, says Crewe’s crew. (There are 14.6 inchers in again with four-piston clampers.) That the carbon brakes felt no totally different in common driving than the usual and nonetheless large iron stoppers (15.Eight-inch entrance rotors with six-piston calipers and a single piston grabbing 15.Zero inchers out again) means our verdict must wait till we will get them to the check monitor to quantify their advantages. Extra apparent to observers is the non-obligatory Blackline Specification bundle, which considerably cools the Bentayga’s ostentatious exterior presence by changing most of its chrome-plated bits with gloss-black items. Different new gadgets added to the choices record embody an up to date 22-inch wheel design, a wood-and-leather wrapped steering wheel, shiny carbon-fiber inside trim, and complicated cross-threaded leather-based stitching that Bentley says takes 30 hours alone to finish.
Whereas the examples we drove had been loaded with further equipment, price-conscious patrons needs to be conscious that the V-Eight mannequin’s estimated $168,000 beginning value (about $34Ok lower than a base W-12) doesn’t embody most of the Bentayga’s spotlight options, together with the 48-volt suspension, the All Terrain Specification with off-road driving modes, and Bentley’s appropriately extreme inside personalization remedies.
This being Bentley, modesty is nowhere to be discovered on the order sheet, and the higher crust might look straight previous the V-Eight for the numerically larger W-12. But the most recent Bentayga variant is a traditional instance of creating a discount to supply extra—on this case, larger driving verve from an already extravagant luxurious sled.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, Four- or 5-passenger, Four-door hatchback
ESTIMATED BASE PRICE: $168,000
ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-Eight, aluminum block and heads, direct gas injection
Displacement: 244 cu in, 3996 cc
Energy: 542 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 568 lb-ft @ 1960 rpm
TRANSMISSION: Eight-speed computerized with guide shifting mode
Wheelbase: 117.9 in
Size: 202.Four in
Width: 78.7 in Peak: 68.6 in
Passenger quantity: 109 cu ft
Cargo quantity: 15–17 cu ft
Curb weight (C/D est): 5400 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST):
Zero to 60 mph: Three.Eight sec
Zero to 100 mph: 9.1 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 12.2 sec
High pace: 180 mph
FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST):
Mixed/metropolis/freeway: 16/14/21 mpg