Do you have your old physics school text book tucked away somewhere collecting cobwebs? Well, you can rip it in half, as normal physics does not apply to the behemoth shown here. Welcome to the mad and wonderful Bentley Bentayga. Bentley says it is one of the fastest and most sinfully indulgent ways of covering land, so obviously, we had to fi nd that out in a drive of our own.
We drove the Bentayga on a fi ne Saturday morning, shattering the silence layered amongst Delhi’s power corridors. The Bentayga is a unique proposition and very much a need of the hour. The luxury car of choice today is no longer a sedan, but an SUV. Bentley is a leader in this space, having tapped into this segment before anyone else.
The Bentayga, then, is everything that Bentley envisions in its cars, but with an SUV body. Let us start with its sophisticated platform, which underpins all the new age SUVs from the VW group, which owns Bentley. This new platform aids sophistication and fl exibility which means Bentayga has been moulded into a performance SUV like no other. To be honest, I was shocked with the way this near 2.5 ton beast of an SUV drove. Frankly, it has no business to go down the road with such agility and enthusiasm.
The steering is small in size, but is thick and meaty to hold – giving it a beautiful sense of connection. You can hustle this SUV in a way you would a small sports car. I am not joking that it feels more compact than the Continental GT and is by far the most agile SUV. It is eerie that perched up high with this raised driving position, I am taking corners at speeds I have no business taking. All this is because the Bentayga is bursting with tech and sophistication.
There are a plethora of on- and off-road drive modes and you can set up the car in any way you like. Plus, there is this witchcraft deployed to stop the car from body roll. Traditional physics says a car so tall and heavy will not be fast or nimble, thus suffering from body roll, but that is not the case here. The super direct steering coupled to being stiffened up makes the Bentayga feel taut and hugely fun to drive, and I do not mean in SUV terms- it is fun to drive as a sports car. Full stop.
Then there is the power. You can sample a range from glorious 8 and 12 cylinder petrol engines. We had the best one with gigantic W12 and 6 cylinders on each side, forming a W shape. It makes 606 bhp and 900Nm with a 0-100 km/h time of 4.1 seconds and a top-speed of 301 km/h. This is a twin-turbo charged 6 litre engine and has a personality as big as the car it’s housed in.
First it’s the sound it produces, which I would say is music to my ears. Specced with a sports exhaust, there is a deep, loud burble at idle and in sport mode. Even in comfort mode, there is a menacing burble always lurking around. Then, the speed is just savage. Put your foot down and you will not even realize you have broken the speed limit….three times over!! There is just so much torque and power coming from that creamy W12, that regardless of what gear or what revs – a simple twitch of the accelerator will be akin to time travel.
Yet, when you want it to, you can dial it down and the Bentayga reveals its Jekyll and Hyde personality. The ride is calm and you are ensconced in this wonderful cocoon of the fi nest materials known to man. The interior is, frankly, astounding. The leather, chrome, metal and everything feels and looks wonderful. This is not some soul-less robot made car, but a handcrafted automobile. Each Bentley is lovingly handcrafted by more than 50 artisans and many hours of love is lavished on this. It’s got the tech, including rear seat entertainment, 8” touch screen infotainment system, 60GB hard drive, 18 speaker Naim Audio system, heads-up display and so on…
All this tech is covered in a cloak that is a wonderful leather lined cabin. It is, I kid you not, the best car interior in the world. However, this being Bentley, the world is your oyster and you can customize it in any way you like, including via its even more indulgent Mulliner bespoke customization program.
As you can see, the Bentayga is unlike another SUVs you have seen and it is indeed India’s most luxurious, fastest and most exclusive SUVs to buy. For Rs. 4 Cr plus, you get an SUV that makes other SUVs run for cover with its upright and brooding demeanor. It means business, and the business of being the best SUV in the world- which it is.