2023 Bentley Bentayga EWB First Drive: Living Like The Super-Rich
Beyond the longer rear doors, what you don’t see are the mechanical changes. This is, Bentley is at pains to point out, no simple stretch of the regular SUV. There’s an entirely new underbody, unique to this Bentayga, and 2,500 or so new parts compared to the existing short wheelbase car. Enough that th automaker is insisting that this is effectively a new, standalone line, rather than just a derivative.
The 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 is carried across, here tuned for 542 horsepower and 568 pound-foot of torque, along with all-wheel drive and an eight speed, dual-clutch transmission. 0-60 mph arrives in 4.5 seconds, Bentley says, just a tenth of a second slower than the standard wheelbase SUV with the same engine. Surging out of tunnels like a silicone-lubed lobster down a length of cast iron pipe, the Bentayga’s healthy torque feels like a happy precursor to the automaker’s all-electric evolution.
Right now there’s no sign of a hybrid Bentayga EWB, or one using Bentley’s mighty W12 engine. The latter propels the Bentayga Speed from 0-60 in a mere 3.8 seconds, and bests the EWB’s 180 miles per hour top speed by another 10 mph, but it’s a heavy powertrain. With the Bentayga EWB V8 already 13 pounds heftier than the Bentayga Speed W12, and a couple hundred pounds more than the regular Bentayga V8, it’s clear that pairing the longer SUV with the twelve-cylinder engine would result in a something even beefier.
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