Bentley launches Bentayga V8, CEO confirms nine more years of ICE

THE new Bentayga V8 – the definitive luxury SUV, and the first car launched under Bentley’s Beyond100 business plan, is now available in Australia, with customer deliveries having begun in November 2020.

As part of that plan, the English car maker is destined to become an electric vehicle manufacturer within the next 10 years, and has already introduced hybrid versions of its models, with those expected to arrive in Australia next year.

At a media event held in Sydney, CEO and chairman Adrian Hallmark confirmed the company was preparing for its electric future in earnest, recognising the new markets it would open up for Bentley.

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“We fully embrace that electrified, carbon neutral future, and actually see it, as a company, as the next big strategic leap,” he said.

“We believe, if we can make Bentley environmentally and ethically transparent, it gives luxury a purpose, and gives the brand a purpose.”

In an interview with local media, Mr Hallmark said he expected the company’s W12 power plant to be phased out within five years, but would ensure nine more years of internal combustion engines, with the V8 at the forefront.

“Don’t worry, for the next nine years we will celebrate to the enth degree, everything that we do, in eight and 12 cylinders, and send this internal combustion engine era out with the maximum fireworks and product highlights as we possibly can.”

Exhaust Notes Australia was given the chance to take a quick city drive in the new V8 variant of the luxury SUV, which features a new exterior design, giving Bentley the freshest and most modern look of any luxury car company.

Introducing the very latest onboard technology and an even more cosseting cabin, the new model is significantly revised both inside and out too, with the V8 power plant under the hood offering a throaty, sporty zeal when pushed.

Combining the abilities of a performance grand tourer, a luxury limousine, a spacious family car and an off-roader, the new Bentayga follows its predecessor’s mantle of having the broadest brief of any car on sale today.

Bentley has introduced the new Bentayga V8 in Australia to reinforce its position as a market leader in the luxury SUV space, despite challenges from rivals like Rolls Royce and Lamborghini.

Close attention to feedback from original Bentayga owners, has prompted particular focus on the exterior presence, infotainment system and rear seat package, and the new model is set to raise the bar once again.

Key to the new Bentayga is its strikingly dynamic look, which draws inspiration from the marque’s new design language, introduced by the third-generation Continental GT and all-new Flying Spur.

Together, the three cars form a new family that are more visually connected than ever before. The bold styling offers an imposing road presence, with every panel at the front of the car redesigned for a cleaner, modern look.

The larger, assertive matrix grille is now more upright, while new, intelligent LED matrix headlamp technology includes the signature Bentley design inspired by cut crystal glassware.

A more aggressive front bumper emphasises the performance characteristics of the car. Heated, wet-arm windscreen wipers are introduced for the first time, with 22 washer jets in each arm.

At the rear, the new Bentayga has undergone a major transformation, with a total redesign of the rear surfaces including a new full-width tailgate with new encapsulated lamps, while the licence plate has been moved down into the bumper.

Wide, split tailpipes leave no doubt that this is a powerful performance car. A 20mm increase to the rear track width brings dynamic benefit and repositions the wheels in their arches to improve the car’s stance.

The wheels themselves are a new design, unique to Bentayga. Its highly praised interior has been significantly revised in the latest model too. Among the major changes are a new centre fascia and steering wheel, new door trims and all-new seats.

Ventilation has been added in the back of the five-seat cabin option. Passengers in the rear also enjoy significantly more space, with legroom increased by up to 100mm depending on configuration.

A next generation infotainment system is integrated seamlessly into the handcrafted, Bentley ‘wing’ dashboard design and features a 10.9-inch display screen with edge-to-edge graphics.

The all-new digital display includes super high-resolution and dynamic graphics which are configurable to suit driver preferences. The latest hardware and software bring all-new navigation with satellite maps, online search and other features.

Wireless Apple CarPlay is standard for the first time, alongside the existing wired system, along with Android Auto. Rear seat occupants benefit from the introduction of a new, larger touchscreen remote control tablet, similar to that introduced in the Flying Spur.

The luxurious interior can be further enhanced with the application of dark tint diamond brushed aluminium trim for the first time in a Bentley, as well as two straight-grained veneers new to the Bentayga: Koa and Crown Cut Walnut.

Mulliner Driving Specification adds a new quilting design, and micro piping detailing is a new option for the seats. Two levels of audio system are also offered in the new Bentayga.

The Bentley Signature Audio is now fitted as standard, offering exceptional quality by delivering 590W of power through 12 speakers. The optional Naim for Bentley system delivers 1,780W of power via no less than 20 speakers including active bass speakers.

Unmatched in the automotive sector, Naim for Bentley audio also offers eight listening modes, ranging from Digital Media to Classic. The Naim for Bentley speaker grilles are redesigned and now include an illuminated Naim badge.

Powered by Bentley’s proven 4.0-litre, 32-valve dual twin-scroll turbocharged V8 petrol engine, the new Bentayga combines immense power with impressive fuel economy.

Mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the V8 offers supercar performance, developing 404kW and 770Nm of torque, resulting in a top speed of 290km/h and 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds.

Bentley Dynamic Ride – the world’s first electric active roll control technology – has been further enhanced in new Bentayga by a 20mm track increase at the rear, reducing steering effort and improving response linearity.

The new Bentayga offers the widest range of on and off-road drive settings of any SUV courtesy of Bentley’s Drive Dynamics mode and the optional All-Terrain specification. Up to eight modes – four on and four off-road – are available at the turn of a dial.

To celebrate the new model, Bentley has also launched a Bentayga V8 First Edition, which features some of the most desirable options as standard. These include Bentley Dynamic Ride and Touring specification, which adds Night Vision and Bentley Safeguard Plus.

The First Edition also includes the exquisite Mulliner driving specification as standard, which adds 22-inch black painted and diamond turned directional wheels as well as sports pedals to complete the ultimate driving experience.

This limited edition proudly displays its First Edition badging on both the exterior and interior of the car, complemented by illuminated treadplates featuring the ‘Bentley’ lettering.

The 2021 Bentley Bentayga V8 starts from $364,800 plus on-roads, with the First Edition priced at $448,219 plus on-roads.

Mark Holgate
Mark Holgate
A journalist with more than 24 years experience, Mark Holgate has worked with a number of regional, suburban and metropolitan newspapers, as well as stints with motoring specific publications like Which Car? Motorsport News, Auto Action and Street Machine. He is also a contributor to DriveTribe.


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