News : Bentley Bentayga joins the school run crowd

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

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Okay, so clearly, it’s only going to be parked up outside the most exclusive schools, but there’s no denying the oddly-named Bentayga is going to be the most usable, commodious Bentley to date. At £160,200 it takes over from the Range Rover as the most exclusive all-purpose car, combining an all-new W12 powertrain with usability and astonishing pace.

The car was designed and engineered in Crewe and is also built there. The vital stats are impressive – a twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine pushes out 600bhp and 663lb ft, and Bentley claims a 0-60mph time of 4.0 seconds, and a maximum speed of 187mph. It takes over from sister SUV the Porsche Cayenne as the world’s fastest and most powerful car of its type.

Here’s a list the technology that Bentley shared in the car’s pre-launch blurb:  Bentley Dynamic Ride, EPAS, Responsive Off-Road Setting, Adaptive Cruise Control, Predictive ACC, Traffic Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition, Rear Crossing Traffic Warning, Top View, Park Assist, Electronic Night Vision, Head-Up Display, Bentley Entertainment Tablet, Bentley Standard Audio, Bentley Signature Audio and Naim for Bentley Premium Audio. How could you live without it?

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The styling is a marked improvement over the 2012 Bentley EXP 9 F prototype, and is marked by its quartet of distinctive floating all-LED headlamps and heavily chiselled flanks. Inside, anyone who’s familiar with the Continental GT will feel at home in the Bentayga, despite its lofty driving position – there’s plenty of metal, wood and leather and the dashboard takes the iconic Bentley ‘wing’ design as its inspiration (above).

There’s obviously plenty of equipment – there are two individual rear seats, which adjust in 18 different ways and, of course, there are cup holders, generous storage areas and USB charging sockets for kids who want to game on the move. There’s also a full-length panoramic sunroof to keep things airy and a hands-free tailgate to facilitate loading the shopping.

For those who want to personalise their Bentayga, there’s a nifty integrated Mulliner Hamper Set, complete with cooler, bespoke fine Linley china cutlery, crockery and crystal glass and a storage area for dry goods (above). Sections of the hamper can then be removed and used as seats. Oh, and for the ultimate in bling additions, you can also specify a Mulliner Tourbillon clock by Breitling…

It’s a new market sector for Bentley and, although some traditionalists might sneer, it comes from the company that Ettore Bugatti called the maker of the world’s fastest lorries, so you can bet your bottom dollar it’s going to sell in droves. Perhaps not in the UK – but expect this to pop up in numbers at the most popular mountain resorts in 2016 – and the local educational emporia.

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Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created www.austin-rover.co.uk in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams

27 Comments

  1. No, no and thrice no. It looks like it’s fallen out of the ugly tree and hit all the branches on the way down. So let me get this right. Presumably the people who will buy this will say no, I’ll not buy the classy, elegant Range Rover but what I really want is a supremely ugly Bentley instead. This is akin to the Toyota IQ based Aston – totally pointless and devalues the brand. At least the Aston was launched to drive down the emissions of the range. There is no point in this car.

    • It’ll sell in droves, that’s the point!

      The styling still isn’t that good though, it looks like something that comes off the same platform as the Cayenne and Q7. Gimme a Range Rover anyday, it just looks so much better

  2. Sorry, but that’s not ‘designed and engineered in Crewe’.

    That’s an Audi Q7/Porsche Cayenne in drag with Bentley jewelry.

    As an owner of ‘proper’ Bentleys in the good old days, this really saddens me.

    • Surely it’s just the evolution of the brand?

      The “rebadged Rolls Royces” built at Crewe were looked down upon by owners of cars built at Cricklewood and Derby. The monocoque T1s and T2 were “not proper Bentleys” because they couldn’t have coachbuilt bodies. And shock and horror when VW took over.

      Sure, the style is striking but these cars have to fit into a lifestyle of Vertu mobile phones, Valentino fashions and multi million pound mansions. Just like those products the Bentayga looks out of place in a more prosaic setting.

      You can’t deny the technical excellence of the cars and the desirability is evident by the numbers being bought worldwide. Bentley are simply building cars that greater numbers of people than ever before enjoy owning and driving, which is no doubt how you feel about your own Bentley.

      • The T1 was engineered and designed completely at Crewe. The design owed nothing to outside suppliers. To put it in modern terminology, bespoke monocoque, engine gearbox.

        Naysayers should note that the GM400 gearbox came in later. American V8 practice certainly influenced the V8,but it was no copy.

        NONE of this is true for this Bentayga.

        It’s using off the shelf Audi VW parts.

        This is an insult to the intelligence of buyers, who are paying for perceived Bentley quality but receiving VAG mass-produced dross.

        Sadly I expect it will sell well, which reflects more harshly on the stupidity of the buyers than it does on the commercial integrity of Bentley.

        There is NOTHING in these vehicles to guarantee long service and quality beyond what is available at your local VW dealer.

        The same can be said of a contemporary Rolls Royce, sadly.

        • I hate to correct you, but the T1 body was engineered, designed, and built entirely at PSF Cowley – as were all post-war Rolls Royces and Bentleys up to the early 90’s. The Seraph was the first post-war car not to be! The only exceptions to this were a few one off or very low volume cars, such as the early-mid 90’s Bentley Java for example. This was styled by DRA in Warwick, and engineered and built by MGA.

          • I stand corrected – but my point remains that no part of the T1 was shared with another marque.

            At this level, cars should be entirely bespoke.

          • The T1 underframe was shared with the Rolls, as were all post-war Bentleys until the company split. The exceptions were the (very) limited runs of specials such as the 90’s Bentley Java. This was based on the BMW 5 series, with a unique cabin and skins.

  3. Is this based on the underpinnings of the Porsche Cayenne, as beyond the sweeping, flowing lines and flourishes of chrome I sense something is vaguely familiar?

  4. Well, visually speaking, it does not appeal to me in the least. There is no element of “Oh, I like that”. It does not look different enough or special.
    Lots of wood & leather inside but again it does not look that special.

    The whole thing just smacks of excess.

    I’ve enthused far, far more over Mike’s Montego !!!

  5. It looks like a Q7 that someone has tried to make into a bentley (sort of similar to this numpty in West Bridgford who tried to ‘convert’ a Cayenne into a Ferrari:

    http://s1.cdn.autoevolution.com/images/news/gallery/ferrari-suv-impersonated-by-porsche-cayenne-ferrporschini-photo-gallery_8.jpg

    I suppose Bentley have form for this, weren’t these 4×4’s they made for the Brunei Royal Family in the 1990s basically ‘boyed up’ P38As?

    http://www.germancarforum.com/attachments/353116527e60bbeb342a45a706a370da-jpg.29366/

  6. I think many are discrediting the efforts of the engineers at Crewe. The W12 is built there. There may well be elements of the Q7 and how much I do not know. However there are many engineers at Crewe and we should at least do some research first.
    As for the styling, I feel that most of the Bentley range could be better. Rolls Royce have proved to be slightly better. However Land Rover have shown ten world how to style great looking 4x4s and the F-pace looks good too.

    • With being in a large group, most of the main engineering is inherited. It’s like being a designer for Skoda or Seat. You inherit the basic chassis and proportions, and try to make something different and interesting out of it.

      The W12 may be built in Crewe, but most of the main design work will be done elsewhere in the VAG empire. Considering RR/Bentley were happy to drop their own V8 from the Arnage/Seraph for bought in BMW units, I doubt they have much of an engine development team there.

  7. No no & no thank you.

    However the realist in me knows it will sell in droves.

    People buy Porsche 4×4’s even though its not what made the maker famous & you can buy the simlar (or very close) vw/audi for less.

    Merc make a car for every segment & then some……

  8. Isn’t it odd that it looks dated before it reaches the roads or desert for that matter. Its a very clumsy design and not in the slightest elegant. A missed opportunity.
    For those with far too much money and don’t know what to do with it………a lot of people who need real help now on the border with Syria…. spend it on them. You’ll feel far better.
    Buy a Range Rover Vogue if you really want a great and stylish 4X4.

  9. Worth remembering that a lot of Rover, and Land Rover, personnel moved to Crewe. A bit of British assembled competition to Solihull’s finest can’t be bad to improve the breed. Let’s hope the site is big enough to accommodate all this and suppliers are encouraged to localise. Britain could become a centre of excellence for SUV’s, what with the Juke and Qashqai and new Jag. Shame on Honda for moving the CRV to Canada but hopefully Toyota might finally decide to bring one of its 4wd models to Burnaston.

  10. Surely a 187 mph crossover makes the Bentley the fastest car in its class and it’s in the sort of territory that belongs to Lamborghini. OK it costs the same as a four bedroomed semi where I live, but this car is impressive and brings Bentley up to date. And it’s British.

  11. I feel that the many negative comments on this (as usual) are more because the contributors dislike the concept of this car than the actual car. Okay, it’s not my choice but I bet it looks better in the flesh than in photos.

    I hope it is a huge success, generates employment and wealth in the UK and showcases our craftsmanship and design capability across the globe.

    • I’m sure it will make money for VAG.

      But surely I can’t be alone in wanting a Bentley that is actually a Bentley, rather than an Audi/VW/Porsche in drag?

      My Longine watch has a Longines movement. I would not want it if it had a Timex movement, even though it would tell better time.

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