Bentley will be a fully-electric car company by the end of the decade. But for now, it’s doing what it’s traditionally done best: mighty, petrol-powered luxury cars, the latest of which is the Bentley Bentayga S.
It’s a new badge for the firm’s SUV range, joining a lineup that increasingly echoes that of the Continental GT coupe. It’s not the fastest nor most powerful Bentayga—those honors remain with the W12-engined, 306kph Bentayga Speed—but it may be the sportiest.
That’s because it uses the lighter 4.0-liter turbo V8 engine familiar from a wealth of really quite quick VW Group stuff—Audi RS6 included—here producing 542hp and 769Nm peaks, good for a 290kph top speed and 0-100kph in 4.5sec. That’s half a second behind the Speed, but we frankly doubt you’ll notice or especially care in the real world.
Not least because the S gets a brand-new sports exhaust, a unique Sport tune for the suspension, and a more easygoing ESP setting. Whether big luxo-SUV buyers strictly need malleable cornering attitude we’re not sure, but nor are they likely to be craving the wealth of off-road modes that remain intact for the S.
Informing other road users of your Bentayga’s extra muscle is much black detailing, a new 22-inch alloy wheel design, and a lot of S badges. Inside, Bentley appears to have utilized most of the alcantra that Audi’s cast aside from the e-tron GT production line. How many rolls get used depends on whether you go for four, five, or seven seats in your Bentyaga S.
Yep, this is one of the world’s very fastest family cars, going some way to justify its £179,600 (P12.2 million) price tag before you’ve started color sampling your pocket square or Googling rare wood grains you want lining the glove box.
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.