Eight Is Great: Bentley Bentayga to Adopt V8 Engine

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

The other day, we brought you news of an electrified Bentayga, as the crew from Crewe decided to electrify their SUV with a 10.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. At the time, we mentioned the possibility of a gasoline-fired V8 engine showing up in the near future.

Well, that didn’t take long, with Bentley announcing today the introduction of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, set to make 542 bhp (about 550 hp, awaiting certification) and 568 lb-ft of torque. You know what else has a 4.0-liter twin turbo? That’s right, the Lamborghini Urus.

Difference is, the Lambo makes about 90 more horsepower than the fancy-pants Bentley. The Flying B is no couch potato, though, with manufacturer performance estimates of 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph. Ever keen to keep an eye on Johnny Polarbear, Bentley is quick to point out that the brute ute is rated at a combined 24.8 mpg on the generous EU cycle, helped in part by a start/stop system and cylinder deactivation.

Drivers will be able to whoa their V8 Bentayga from those illegal speeds using what Bentley creatively calls the “the largest front brake system available on any production car.” I use caution with this statement, as even though the brakes are massive (440 mm rotors up front clamped by 10 piston calipers), those dimensions are shared with another SUV. It is – you’re exactly right – the Lamborghini Urus. Carbon ceramics are optional.

Bentayga V8 customers will have more rim choices than they have bottle choices in their privately curated underground wine cellars. No fewer than 11 different sets of wheels are available, including an all-new 22-inch five-spoke wheel with black painted and polished finish. This trim will not be making an Ace of Base appearance any time soon, then.

Those finding themselves sitting behind a V8 Bentayga in L.A. traffic will be staring down the barrels of ovoid quad chrome exhaust cannons, a set of large rear haunches, and an increased ride height. Those shiny exhaust tips will emit what Bentley promises to be a “characteristic V8 burble.”

Buyers can choose their own adventure by selecting from Bentayga’s four-, five-, or seven-passenger seating configurations. In a telling move that seemingly cements the V8 as the sportiest of all Bentaygas, the traditional olde tyme wood veneers inside the cabin are replaced with high-gloss carbon fiber finishes, paired with a rich red leather dubbed Cricket Ball. Veddy British. Bentley’s done carbon fiber inside its vehicles before, but only in a matte finish.

The expected cadre of driver aids and off-road settings are offered, including Bentley’s “All-Terrain Specification,” which is similar to the Anima selector in the Lambo. The raging bull focuses mostly on performance, of course, while the B dials up settings like Gravel and Sand Dune. A four-setting air suspension is on board, too.

Bentley sold about 1,200 Bentaygas in the States last year, or about a third of the Q7s Audi puts on the road in a single month. Still, it is far and away the brand’s best-selling model, with it accounting for 5,586 of 11,817 Bentley sales worldwide in 2016.

[Images: Bentley]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Sub-600 Sub-600 on Jan 13, 2018

    Oh, that’s a Bentley. I thought it was a Chrysler 300 Wagon mule going through some testing.

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    • Sub-600 Sub-600 on Jan 13, 2018

      @JohnTaurus The rear end almost screams Malibu Maxx.

  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jan 13, 2018

    The derisive class envy tone shines through again, predictably.

  • Probert A few mega packs would probably have served as decent backup.
  • Lou_BC Lead sleds. Now-a-days GM would just use Bondo.
  • Jrhurren This is a great series. Thanks Corey
  • Tane94 Not as stylish as the Soul which it is replacing but a practical shape and bonus points for EV only.
  • Ronin What is the magical white swan event in the foreseeable future that will suddenly reverse the trend?Success tends to follow success, and likewise failure. The perception, other than among true believers, is that e-cars are a lost cause. Neither government fiat, nor government bribery, nor even the promise of superior virtue among one's peers have been enough to push past the early adapter curve. Either the bust-out is right now for e-cars, or it doesn't happen. Marketing 101.Even subtle language-manipulation, such as deeming those possessing common sense as suffering from some sort of vague anxiety (eg, "range anxiety") has not been enough to induce people to care.Twenty years from now funny AI-generated comedians will make fun of the '20s, and their obsession with theose silly half-forgotten EVs. They will point out that, yes, EVs actually ran on electricity generated by such organic fuels as coal and natural gas after all, and then they will perform synthesized laughter at us.