The first question many had upon hearing the name of the latest Bentley model was concerned with Bentayga’s meaning. For most, it was a completely foreign word, unlike the more universal Continental, Azure, or Flying Spur.
The name Bentayga takes its inspiration from the Taiga forest, the world’s largest snow forest. The sweeping stretches of this Scandinavian forest include stunning views of clear blue lakes, soaring mountain peaks, and evergreen coniferous trees. The forest reaches all the way across Russia, and even into Alaska and northern Canada. Specifically, the name comes from the first four letters of Bentley partnered with a modified spelling of the forest name, Taiga.
While the name of the latest Bentley also shares its origin with the Swahili word bentayga, meaning “carried interest,” there is no evidence that the East African country had anything to do with the vehicle’s inception.
Bentayga Concept Origin
The Bentley Bentayga line of SUVs was unleashed on the world in 2016, but its beginnings were originally seen in the 2012 Bentley EXP 9 F concept car. This concept car was first shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012, and it served as Bentley’s first production SUV. With a 6.0-liter W12 engine, which produced 600 horsepower, the Bentayga definitely made an impression and the initial responses were mixed.
Reception of the Latest Bentley
The latest Bentley didn’t come without its detractors when it was first seen at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. There were some in the auto press who were critical of the initial design of the Bentley EXP 9 F. There was even a source within Bentley that called the design of the EXP 9 F “heavy handed,” a critique that reflected the more critical attitudes at the time.
This negative reaction lead to an extensive redesign of the EXP 9 F within Bentley, and despite Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer’s statement about the Bentayga initial release for 2015, the redesign and production process continued until the official release of the car in 2016.
Specifications and Features
After reviewing the Bentayga meaning and inspiration, as well as its development, it’s important to note that this latest Bentley has a number of specialty elements.
The first Bentayga model’s specs are similar to the initial design featured at the 2012 Geneva Motor show, with a twin turbo 6.0-liter W12 engine. However, some powertrain variants have been released or previewed. These variants include:
- AV8 derived from the Continental GT
- A diesel V8 derived from the Audi diesel V8
- A plug-in hybrid that was released in 2017
This most recent variant uses the same V8 as the Continental GT, along with a lithium ion battery that has 31 miles of all-electric range.
The redesign of the Bentayga reflects the concerns voiced at its initial unveiling. It still maintains that classic Bentley aura — with sharp edges, curves, and creases along its exterior, as well as the definitive wood veneers, leather seats, and panoramic sunroof of the interior — but the push to create an iconic SUV has driven Bentley designers to new heights.
Bentley has always been known for premium technological features. This latest Bentley’s remarkable technology is no different and includes new innovations and customized redesigns from previous vehicles.
It has over ten driver assistance features that blend seamlessly with vehicle performance including:
- City Braking & Pedestrian Warning
- Head-up Display
- Night Vision
- Blind Spot Assist
- Exit Warning
- Traffic Sign Recognition
In addition to these features, Bentley also chose to provide premium entertainment features with:
- Two 10.2” Entertainment Tablets Located on the Back of the Front Seat Headrests
- Bluetooth™ Headphones
- Internal Memory, Micro SD, and USB Slots
- Apple CarPlay Integration
- Built in 4G WiFi Hotspot for Google Earth and Google Streetview
- You can access all the car’s entertainment features through touchscreen, rotary dials, gestures, or voice. There are also up to seven-seat options in the Bentayga, with all configurations designed to provide maximum comfort.
It’s arguable that the Bentayga claim to fame is that it’s the fastest SUV in the entire world. It has a maximum speed of 187 miles per hour and can accelerate from 0-60 in 4.0 seconds. While you might suppose that this makes for a bumpy ride, the Bentayga offers smooth driving and precision control.
The latest Bentley’s performance was tested in extreme conditions, including the Arctic and the deserts of Dubai, as well as mountainous regions in Spain and dry areas of South America. These rounds of testing proved that the Bentayga was ready and able to handle any terrain Earth can throw at it.
Bentayga performance is handled effectively with a feature known as Drive Dynamics Control. It allows drivers to switch between four settings: Comfort, Sport, Custom, and Bentley. The mode selected depends solely on the driver and the type of ride they prefer.
For the smoothest ride, Comfort is the optimal setting, while powerful performance is the essence of the Sport setting. Find balance with the Bentley setting, or customize the experience with Custom settings that match your driving style.
Regardless of which mode a driver chooses, the 48 volt electrical system managing its active anti-roll bar, along with the body redesign, ensures the Bentayga doesn’t flip while making sharp turns and minimizes vibrations that result from bumpy terrain.
The latest Bentley, entered mass production in 2015-2016, and was originally slated to be produced at the Volkswagen Bratislava Plant in Slovakia, which is the main platform for Bentley productions. However, due to a high demand of around 3,000-4,000 SUVs every year, Bentley invested 800 million British pounds into their new Crewes plant, and hired 1,000 employees to meet the demand.
The production of the Bentayga has actually increased since that initial period, with the 2016 production rising to 5,000 cars due to the high demand. Despite a relatively small recall in 2016 due to seat malfunctions, the Bentayga has become Bentley’s most popular model — selling extraordinarily well across the world.
Future Bentayga Variants
While there already exist several Bentayga variants, Bentley has announced a further number of variants slated to be released in the coming years. One possibility that Bentley has confirmed is a Supersports version of the latest Bentley with better horsepower and torque.
A Second SUV
Bentley has also announced that it plans release its second SUV, which will be modeled after the Bentayga, sometime between 2017 and 2018. It’s said to be a coupe version of the Bentayga with a sharper design and a W12 engine for city roads instead of off-road terrain.
Like other vehicles in the Bentley fleet, the Bentayga can be customized by Bentley’s internal customization company, Mulliner. Using the Mulliner Driving Specification, purchasers of the latest Bentley can order a bespoke or limited edition version of the Bentayga interior made just for them. Customization under the Mulliner banner can include drilled sports pedals, embroidered Bentley emblems, different seat hide options, and even diamond-quilted seats.
Black or Blackline
The Bentayga can also be outfitted with both the Blackline and Black Specifications (although the Black Specification isn’t available for purchase in North America). The Blackline Specification uses black paint trim throughout the vehicle’s outer body, instead of the usual brightware trim, to give the Bentayga a sleek, new-finish look.
The Black Specification takes things a bit further. It uses the same black-painted trim as the Blackline Specification, but it also features carbon fiber front bumper splitters, side sills, rear bumper diffusers, and spoiler. The exhaust pipes and steering wheel also come in a fine black finish to complement the rest of the Black Specification customization.
The latest Bentley can also be outfitted with an optional Styling Specification that offers several carbon or different carbon fiber improvements. These improvements include air blades, Biplane tailgate spoilers, door mirrors, exhaust pipe finish, front splitters for the bumper grills, and rear diffusers. A sill step is even available to make getting in and out of the Bentayga easier.
Bentley offers a wide array of leathers, paints, and veneers that can be outfitted for the Bentayga. They provide over 100 separate colors, both special and standard, including 11 varieties of black. There are also 15 different interior leather colors of choice and eight separate veneers, including newer ones like Piano Black and Liquid Amber. Twelve exterior Duo-Tone Paint options are also available.
Not everyone lives in similar regions, so Bentley created additional design specifications to meet drivers’ needs across the globe. These include the All-Terrain Specifications, the City Specifications, and the Touring Specifications.
The All-Terrain Specification offers four different off-road settings for different types of surfaces. Choose from options that alter performance of your Bentayga including:
- Low Friction Terrain in Snow or Grass
- Low Traction Terrain in Dirt or Gravel
- Uneven Terrain on Mud and Trails
- Sandy Terrains in Beaches and Deserts
The City Specification offers the most driver assistance programs, while the Touring Specification was built for long trips that require adaptive cruise control and other features.
Driving the Latest Bentley
After exploring the history, features, and specifications of the latest Bentley, you may be driven to experience how it can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. When you visit Los Angeles, you can now find the Bentley Bentayga among the curated collection of vehicles at Falcon Luxury and Exotic Car Rental. Whether you’re here for a short trip or an extended stay, consider choosing a Bentayga for your transit needs.