What is it
The Bentley Bentayga is many things: a velour smoking jacket with wheels, a rolling monument to expensive taste, the final resting place for dozens of cow-hides — bulls, sourced from "cool European climates."
Above all, the Bentayga is the most expensive SUV on the planet, for now. One question: Ben-TIGAH or Ben-TAY-GA?
Hard to say. Is it the cabin's 15-pieces of hand-finished wood veneer trim? The diamond-stitched seats meant to evoke, "the design of a finely-tailored British hunting jacket." The 18-speaker, 1,950-watt Naim Audio stereo system? Or perhaps it's the "event seats" that flip out of the trunk, in which you can enjoy the view from the mountain you just conquered? No: we think the signature feature must be the custom Mulliner Hamper Set, with its cooler, Linley cutlery, crockery and crystal glass (available at additional cost).
What else is new
At the moment, the Bentayga is in a class by itself. Not even the Range Rover SV Autobiography — the world's second most expensive SUV — can match the Bentley's oppulance. But the Bentayga will not be top dog for long. We know Rolls-Royce is working on an SUV and the Lamborghini Urus and Maserati Levante are both on their way.
Under the hood
Nothing less than a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12. It makes 600 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the W12 can haul this 2,422 kg SUV from 0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds. Fuel economy? You don't want to know: 19.2 L/100 km city, 9.1 highway (on the EU cycle.)
When can we buy it, and for how much
We can report the 2016 Bentley Bentayga will be priced at $241,900 in Canada, and will be available beginning late this year or early next.
4 stars (out of five)
You know you shouldn't, but you still want one.
Bloomberg is reporting the first Bentayga has been sold to none other than Queen Elizabeth. She test drove the prototype a few weeks ago and will be the first to take delivery of a production model. It will be sent to her estate in Scotland and be used for hunting expeditions.
In the video below we go inside the Bentayga and speak with the man responsible for designing the interior.
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