What is it?
Change comes fast down Bentley way. At the beginning of last year, those interested in a superbly engineered but excruciatingly entitled Bentayga could choose either the W12 standard car or a V8 diesel version. Neither now exists, the diesel swept into the gutter by the broom employed by the Volkswagen Group across all its brands to clean up its post-Dieselgate act, and the W12 now replaced by this, the Bentayga Speed. There’s a Bentayga Hybrid, too, featuring the first V6 in Bentley history and its first six-cylinder motor in 60 years, of which more in a few weeks' time.
Confusing, isn’t it? Nowhere in the press blurb that accompanied the Speed’s launch at the Geneva motor show can I see where it says it’s an ‘instead of’ rather than an ‘as well as’ but, as it turns out, the old W12 Bentayga slipped quietly out of production a year ago. To me, a Bentley Speed model is an addition to an existing range rather than a replacement, but apparently no longer.
Even so, all the hallmarks of a modern Bentley Speed model are there, such as increased power (from 603bhp to 626bhp) and a honed chassis tune, including firmer suspension and new settings in Sport mode that sharpen up the mapping for the engine, transmission and innovative 48V active roll control system. Carbon-ceramic brakes are available, too, but only as an option.