Test drive Bentley Bentayga SpeedFebruary 15, 2020
The only crossover of the British brand tried on the most extreme version, and at the same time the status of the fastest crossover on the planet. However, this is the case when the numbers do not matter
306 km / h – a characteristic from the world of supercars that can be found today in the data sheet of a luxury crossover. Let it be necessary to lay out at least $300 000 for this. That is, each kilometer per hour will cost almost $1000. Meanwhile, the owner of the Bentley Bentayga Speed is sure to have a question that is much more important financial: where to find the road where, in principle, you can develop such speed, while not being behind bars?
I did not succeed even on unlimited autobahns in Germany. No, they didn’t put me in jail, but the task of accelerating to maximum values was completely impossible. Largely due to heavy traffic and wet snow. Although, judging by the reserve under the right pedal at speeds even for 200 km / h, the declared maximum speed is quite true.
To achieve superiority in a symbolic 1 km / h over the Lamborghini Urus – and this is how many Bentley Bentayga Speed wins back from the platform “Italian” – it was possible with relatively little blood. True, the increase in power is not significant. Additional 27 hp. removed a 6.0-liter W12 from a familiar Bentley with a new control program. Torque (all the same 900 Nm) is transmitted to the wheels through an 8-speed “automatic”, and the special setting of the electronic differential adds thrills to the sensations.
This may seem surprising, but the Bentayga is one of those cars that is interesting to drive not only in a straight line. You will be convinced of this as soon as you find yourself on the narrow serpentines of Tyrol. Despite its impressive size and weight, the Bentayga is incredibly simple and clear to operate. The chassis allows much more than you expect from a large crossover. Of course, the solid mass makes it slow before the turn a little earlier than usual, but on the arc the car demonstrates fantastic stability: no steering and corrections.
Ideal trajectories and minimal rolls (by the standards of the class, of course) are true primarily for the sports mode, which is also thoroughly reconfigured. In it, the steering wheel becomes even sharper, the suspension clamps harder, and the engine instantly responds to any touch on the gas pedal. True, the desire to go with such settings ends with good asphalt. For driving on broken roads, it is better to choose one of the other two mechatronics programs that, together with all the suspension elements, have moved from the base Bentagi (this is how the model name should be pronounced) without changes.
The “B” mode (that is, simply “Bentley”), which is traditional for all models from Cru, is turned on by default when the engine is started, and in its usual manner, it balances to the point of decent controllability and acceptable smoothness. Comfort mode is designed to smooth out flaws in the roadway even more efficiently, and, admittedly, it does it very well. Even with 22-inch low-profile tires, the suspension delivers surprisingly smooth ride.
However, you can also be impressed with the dynamics and outstanding driving characteristics while driving a regular Bentagi. The latter is inferior to the Speed version only 0.2 seconds in acceleration from standstill to 100 km / h and 5 km / h “maximum speed”. Outside of the racetrack, where the owner of any of the currently produced Bentley can only happen by chance, the difference can hardly be called significant.
But outside the differences are visible to the naked eye. For the Speed version, Bentley designers developed a whole package of exterior improvements. From the basic model it is distinguished by darkened optics, lining for the front and rear bumpers, side sills, as well as a larger spoiler on the fifth door. At the request of the client, new decorative elements will be made of polished carbon fiber or painted in body color. In addition, the world’s fastest crossover relies on 22-inch wheels of the original design with three types of cover to choose from and chrome logos with the name of the version on the front doors.
The revolution did not happen in the interior, but a couple of significant touches were added here. For example, for the first time for a Bentayga model, customers are offered Alcantara trim combined with genuine leather. The classic diamond-shaped pattern on suede looks even more advantageous than the usual leather upholstery, and it is more interesting in tactile sensations. And as an alternative to varnished veneers, customers are offered carbon fiber trim. The decision is very bold and ambiguous, but as a continuation of the theme with carbon fiber in the exterior, it may work.
Together with the original appearance, such attention to detail for a potential buyer of the Bentayga Speed may be almost more important than acceleration and maximum speed. Indeed, in order to see the cherished figure on the speedometer, you must at least rent a test site, take along several cans of high-octane fuel and stock up on a fair amount of patience. And the beautiful curves of the carbon finish and the sparkling Breitling chronograph on the front panel can be watched without leaving your own garage.
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