It might not feel like it, but Bentley has been building an SUV for four years now. The Bentayga was introduced in 2015 and entered production at the beginning of 2016. Since then, the model's lineup has expanded to a range of six variants and numerous powertrain options. In total, Bentley has built more than 20,000 examples of the Bentayga, and demand does not appear to be dropping.
Like Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, and Aston Martin, Bentley turned to the crossover and SUV market for a bump in sales, and the Bentayga has been a brand MVP ever since. Buyers have the choice between the Bentayga, Bentayga V8, Bentayga V8 Design Series, Bentayga Speed, Bentayga Diesel, and Bentayga Hybrid, as to ensure there's something for every type of buyer.
The launch powertrain in the Bentayga was a twin-turbocharged W12. It made a claimed 599 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. At full blast, it is capable of running 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds and tops out at 187 mph. Bentley topped those impressive numbers with the release of the Bentayga Speed. It too used a twin-turbocharged W12, but on those models, it made 623 horsepower. With a top speed of 190 mph, Bentley claims the Speed is the fastest SUV in the world.
Downgrading in engine size and power, the Bentayga V8 was unveiled in 2018 with a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter eight-cylinder engine. It makes 542 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque, and with the foot to the ground, it can do the 0-60-mph scoot in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is capped at 180 mph. Bentley offers a Bentayga V8 Design Series for those searching for a more specialized look.
The other two options are the hybrid model or the diesel model. The diesel, which is not available in the U.S., has a triple-charged 4.0-liter V8 that produces 429 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. The plug-in hybrid, Bentley's first foray into brand electrification, combines a 17.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, an electric motor, and a V6 engine. Together, the system makes a claimed 443 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque.
If those versions of the Bentayga were too bland, Bentley has also offered several special-editions of the questionably designed luxury off-roader. There was the Pikes Peak edition that commemorated the Bentley setting the Pikes Peak SUV record. There was a Stetson edition with Texas flair. And we can't forget our personal favorite: the Bentley Bentayga Falconry by Mulliner.