With 542hp, the Bentley Bentayga S might be one of the world’s fastest family cars

Top speed? Just 290kph
by Stephen Dobie | May 26, 2021
PHOTO: Bentley
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.

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PHOTO: Bentley
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