Who would have thought that SUVs would become so popular that automakers like Bentley and Lamborghini would throw their hat in the ring? It seems like 2017 will be the year that the SUV moves up a rung on the status ladder with both Bentley and Lamborghini set to debut their own take on the sport utility vehicle. Bentley has been teasing the masses with an SUV prototype since the 2012 Geneva auto show when they debuted the EXP 9 F Concept. While the 2017 Bentley Bentayga is a much more toned down version of the chrome-out EXP 9 F Concept, it is still very impressive. The 2017 Bentley Bentayga is expected to start arriving at dealerships in early 2016, but here is a sneak peek of what you can expect from this high-end luxury SUV.
So, what is a Bentayga?
While the name Bentayga seems like the brainchild of a creative designer, Bentley actually named it for something that exists. To sum up the long explanation of the name by Bentley executives, it is named after the “challenging climb rewards with spectacular panoramic views” of the Rogue Bentayga mountains in the Canary Islands. I suppose we can just take their word for it. What we do know about the Bentayga is that Bentley wants it to be the fastest SUV in the world and when your current competition is Porsche with the Cayenne Turbo S, they are definitely stepping it up. The proposed top speed for the Bentayga is 200-mph for the top end version. While everyone wants to go fast, it is not necessarily the first selling point in an SUV. While the notion of a 200-mph luxury SUV may appeal to a small segment of buyers, the fact that it is an SUV will allow Bentley to market the Bentayga to a much larger audience. In parts of the world where people want to buy a Bentley, but poor road conditions and unsurfaced roads make owning one impractical, the Bentayga gives them a status symbol that performs.
What will power the Bentayga?
The 2017 Bentley Bentayga will be available with the same powertrain options as the current Continental GT and Flying Spur. This means buyers will have a choice of a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 500 horsepower and 487 lb.-ft. of torque or an even larger 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 with 567 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft. of torque. More than likely, the Bentayga will also feature the same ZF-built 8 speed automatic transmission that will push power to all four wheels. While the potential fuel economy of the Bentayga is really not worth mentioning, does it really make any difference when you are buying a Bentley? Bentley CEO Wolfgang Durheimer has made mention that a plug-in hybrid version will be released at some point and use the 4.0-liter V8 paired with one or dual-electric motors. There is also a chance that a diesel version may be available, but nothing has been announced as of yet.
While the 2017 Bentley Bentayga is certainly not the run of the mill SUV, it will be an impressive machine worthy of the Bentley name. With a potential top speed of 200-mph, it is already putting itself in a position to outrun all of the current and most of the upcoming competition. With more high-end luxury and exotic carmakers joining in the SUV explosion, you can expect to see a completely new level of vehicle luxury and versatility. While the price of the Bentayga has not been confirmed, it is expected to be close to the price of the current Continental GT V-8 coupe, which is around $215,000. While the 2017 Bentley Bentayga may have a limited audience, it will certainly be something to see and something even better to drive.
Useful SUV Links
Recommended SUV News & Reviews