Bentayga plug-in hybrid will arrive in 2018 and Coupe could launch in 2019; extended-wheelbase and high-performance Bentayga Speed also expected
Jim Holder
6 December 2016

A family of Bentley Bentaygas is being evaluated as the Crewe-based firm bids to capitalise on the runaway sales success of the luxury SUV.

Plans include launching a coupé-styled version of the car, a long-wheelbase version and possibly a limited-edition high-performance model in a similar vein to the Bentley Continental GT3-R.

Despite being one of the most controversial Bentleys ever launched, both as the firm’s first SUV and now its first diesel model, the Bentayga has been critically acclaimed and has exceeded sales expectations. The firm anticipated making 3600 Bentaygas in 2016 but will end the year having delivered around 5600 as a result of demand.

Read our review of the Bentley Bentayga diesel

A plug-in hybrid Bentayga is due in 2018, while a coupé is expected to launch around 2019 if it gets Volkswagen Group board approval, coinciding with the facelift of the standard car and drawing fresh interest at a time many competitors will be launching in the sector. It will be broadly styled on the standard car and retain four doors but have a sloping roofline and be tuned to offer sharper dynamic and performance characteristics.

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“I’m confident that it will happen and our team is working on the case for this car, but it is not yet approved for production,” said Bentley CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer. “We are the first in the luxury SUV space and at the moment unopposed, but there are lots of rivals coming to the sector. The question we need to answer is if there is space for all these different bodystyles.”

An extended-wheelbase Bentayga is believed already to be in development, following the sales success of the Mulsanne EWB model. “In the Middle East and China it is almost exclusively what we sell,” said Dürheimer. “Those markets have shown what is possible and it makes business sense; the engineering is not rocket science, but it is expensive because when you change components like the side panels and roof you add a lot of cost.”

Bentley’s head of engineering, Rolf Frech, revealed that a highly tuned Bentayga Speed was under consideration, but stressed that it would only be a limited-edition model. Potential rivals would include the high-performance Range Rover Sport SVR.

“If we have enough people who want the car, and they are new to the brand rather than people who will choose this Bentley rather than another one, then we will consider it,” said Frech. “The Continental GT3-R was limited to 300 cars and looked really extreme and performed well, and already it is a collectors’ car, so there is interest,” he said.

However, Frech also stressed that such a car could not impinge on Bentley’s traditional values of luxury. “We can make dynamically focused cars that are extreme, but only for very special occasions,” he said. “They cannot impinge on Bentley’s core DNA.”

The standard, W12-powered Bentayga does 0-62mph in 4.1sec and has a top speed of 187mph.

Dürheimer also said plans to launch an SUV smaller than the Bentayga - sized between the Porsche Macan and Porsche Cayenne - were on hold. “For now we will go bigger, not smaller,” he said. “That is the more interesting direction."

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13

6 December 2016
Sᴛᴀʀᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴋɪɴɢ ғʀᴏᴍ ʜᴏᴍᴇ! Gʀᴇᴀᴛ ᴊᴏʙ ғᴏʀ sᴛᴜᴅᴇɴᴛs, sᴛᴀʏ-ᴀᴛ-ʜᴏᴍᴇ ᴍᴏᴍs ᴏʀ ᴀɴʏᴏɴᴇ ɴᴇᴇᴅɪɴɢ ᴀɴ ᴇxᴛʀᴀ ɪɴᴄᴏᴍᴇ... Yᴏᴜ ᴏɴʟʏ ɴᴇᴇᴅ ᴀ ᴄᴏᴍᴘᴜᴛᴇʀ ᴀɴᴅ ᴀ ʀᴇʟɪᴀʙʟᴇ ɪɴᴛᴇʀɴᴇᴛ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴ... Mᴀᴋᴇ $90 ʜᴏᴜʀʟʏ ᴀɴᴅ ᴜᴘ ᴛᴏ $12000 ᴀ ᴍᴏɴᴛʜ ʙʏ ғᴏʟʟᴏᴡɪɴɢ ʟɪɴᴋ ᴀᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ʙᴏᴛᴛᴏᴍ ᴀɴᴅ sɪɢɴɪɴɢ ᴜᴘ... Yᴏᴜ ᴄᴀɴ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜʀ ғɪʀsᴛ ᴄʜᴇᴄᴋ ʙʏ ᴛʜᴇ ᴇɴᴅ ᴏғ ᴛʜɪs ᴡᴇᴇᴋ...

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fgg

6 December 2016
Not.

6 December 2016
Bentley and Rolls Royce have in my opinion partly built their success in avoiding vulgarity. The big Rolls Royce grill could have looked totally out of place on so many cars yet the company always trod a fine line between tacky and luxury. Look at how many 'luxury' chinese cars get this wrong as an example.

Sadly I fear both Bentley and Rolls Royce are heading for the tacky door. It may work for now but in 20 years time we could look back on this with dismay. Then again maybe this is what the new Yuppies want.

Looking at the direction both Bentley and Rolls are heading in I can't help but hope that someone at JLR decides to launch a new Daimler luxury car. JLR seem to have trod the line between pure luxury and tacky really well so maybe they could relaunch Daimler to fill the void both companies are leaving behind?

6 December 2016
“We are the first in the luxury SUV space and at the moment unopposed, but there are lots of rivals coming to the sector." Ah, you mean the sector that the Range Rover created and still very much inhabits? Thought so.

6 December 2016
Maybe they could expand the range with a pick-up and a shooting brake. .... ..oh....also a convertible....

6 December 2016
Is what will destroy the Bentley brand. I mean the Mulsanne is willfully ugly, and now all these vulgar SUVs.

The Continental saloon is great looking. But these SUVs...I think Rolls will not make the same mistake with the Cullinan.

And the Range Rover LWB looks superb. Bentley exhibits no heritage with these trucks.

6 December 2016
manicm wrote:

Is what will destroy the Bentley brand. I mean the Mulsanne is willfully ugly, and now all these vulgar SUVs.

The Continental saloon is great looking. But these SUVs...I think Rolls will not make the same mistake with the Cullinan.

And the Range Rover LWB looks superb. Bentley exhibits no heritage with these trucks.

What one needs to be mindful of is that this is very much a case of giving "New Money" types what they want and that wealth is not a reliable indicator of good taste. At the end of the day, Bentley is just another car brand; like it or not, the "chav" transgresses many social echelons and tasteless products like these simply cater for those with deeper pockets who can afford the finance.

6 December 2016
Simply grotesque.

6 December 2016
The name is ridiculous! What a winning combination.

6 December 2016
Please stop promoting this rubbish. This is supposed to be a site for car enthusiasts, not a VAG mouthpiece.

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Our Verdict

Bentley Bentayga

The big-in-every-way Bentley SUV lands. We assess the impact of this most luxurious of luxury SUVs, which has few direct rivals with which to compare

Find an Autocar car review

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