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Geneva show: Bentley Bentayga feels need for Speed

Speed variant added to Bentley Bentayga SUV line-up, bringing extra power and spec

15 Feb 2019

BENTLEY has announced a new variant for its Bentayga range, the Speed, which the English car-maker says takes the title of world’s fastest production SUV.


Set to be on display at next month’s Geneva motor show, the Bentayga Speed is motivated by the brand’s 6.0-litre W12 engine and pumps out a considerable 467kW/900Nm – a 20kW lift over the standard W12 variant.


The extra power helps the upper-large SUV sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds – down 0.2s – and on to a top speed of 306km/h – up 5km/h.


Last year, the Bentayga Speed recorded the fastest time at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb event for a production SUV.


Bentley first introduced the Speed variant on its Continental GT coupe in 2007 and then used the moniker for the Mulsanne limousine in 2014.


Four drive modes are available, with Sport mode recalibrated in the Speed to enhance response from the W12 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission, as well as from the Bentley Dynamic Ride system that uses a 48V electrical system to actively flatten the Bentayga during cornering.


Furthermore, the Speed has a firmer suspension set-up and a louder exhaust on start-up and downshifts, for a sportier driving experience.


Visually, the Speed is differentiated by body-coloured front- and rear-bumper splitters, a bodywork and screening panel underneath the front grille, dark-tinted headlights, tail-lights, bumpers and radiator grille; a roof-mounted spoiler, 10-spoke 22-inch wheels in silver, dark tint or black; and Speed signatures on the lower edges of the front doors.


Inside, the Speed uses Alcantara fabric for the first time in a Bentayga – which can be optioned back to leather for no cost – and introduces a colour-split interior.


The Bentayga Speed’s cabin also comes with stylistic ‘swooshes’ around the doors and doorhandles, the edge of the seat cushions and backrest bolsters, and the lower console.


While other Bentaygas offer the option of the Bentley wings logo embroidered on the seat headrests, the Speed comes with a ‘Speed’ logo in blind or contrast stitching.


The latter is also applied on the diamond quilting on the cushion bolsters, at the top of the backrest, on the door pads and on the backboard of any vehicle equipped with the four-seat option.


A metal Speed badge is also applied to the passenger side fascia, while illuminated ‘Speed’ treadplates welcome occupants into the car.


Carbon-ceramic brakes – the largest and most powerful fitted to a Bentley yet – are available as an option, as are 22-way adjustable front seats with massage function, carbon-fibre fascia panels, a rear-seat entertainment system and mood lighting.


Standard specification including an 8.0-inch touchscreen, LED headlights, a panoramic glass sunroof and a suite of driver assistance systems.


Pricing information has not been revealed yet for the Speed, but if it makes its way to Australia, customers can expect a pricetag in excess of the $427,300 plus on-road costs asked for the standard W12 variant.


In 2018 – its first full year on sale – Bentley sold 98 examples of the Bentayga, which trailed the Mercedes-Benz GLS (956), Lexus LX (404) and Range Rover (283) in the luxury upper-large SUV segment.

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