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The Top Gear car review: Bentley Bentayga
For:The sheer go-any-where, do-anything while wearing a designer suit over-specificed-ness of it. Possibly the most impressive engineering exercise this side of a Bugatti
Against:Being seen in something this hideous, and this vulgar in 2019 takes a hide as thick as the dashboard’s. Bit too VW-ish inside, too.
What is it?
It’s what happens with the might of the VW Group megazords together to combine all its tech and toys in one ultimate SUV. The Bentley Bentayga is the Crewe marque’s first SUV, and if you we’re being cynical, you’d immediately point out that underneath, this car shares some of its roots with the likes of the Porsche Cayenne, the Audi Q7, the Lamborghini Urus, and indeed the VW Touareg.
But being a Bentley, it has to be faster than the Porsche, more luxurious than the Audi, more refined than the VW and better off-road than the Lambo. Excess all areas. And you know what? Bentley has succeeded. We can debate the morality of two-tonne-plus SUVs versus their popularity forever, but there’s no doubt that the Bentayga is a tour de force.
It’s been around since, so there have been several models of Bentayga so far. The original was the standard W12, powered by a 6.0-litre bi-turbo engine good for 605bhp. That’s now been superseded by the Bentayga Speed, which uses a redeveloped version of the same engine to achieve 626bhp.
Too profligate? If you were quick ,you could have got hold of the first and only diesel Bentley ever made: the Bentayga diesel, which used Audi’s 430bhp electro-turbo V8 derv. A magnificently rangey and torque-rich experience, the tide-turn against diesel saw the model killed off in Europe, effectively replaced by a V6 petrol a plug-in hybrid model instead, bolstering the Bentayga’s eco ranks. Sort of.
There’s also a V8 petrol model, which is probably the sweet spot of the range, as it is with most Bentleys, truth be told. All Bentaygas are of course four-wheel drive, all weigh north of two tonnes, and all of them seat five people. Apart from the ones optioned like a private jet to seat four instead. Prices? From £130,000, if you avoid the options. As if you would…