Bentley Claims New Bentayga Speed As 'World's Fastest SUV'

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
bentley claims new bentayga speed as 8216 worlds fastest suv

Bentley touts the 2019 Bentayga Speed as the fastest production SUV ever to grace planet Earth with its presence. However, the claim is actually a little white lie.

The performance Bentayga’s 190 mph top speed technically ties it with the Lamborghini Urus, which also uses the MLBevo platform and is slightly faster to 60 mph. Of course, there are many things in the Bentley you won’t find in the Lambo. The British SUV benefits from an almost grotesque amount of luxury and an available 6.0-liter W12 rocking 626 bhp with 664 lb-ft of torque. Meanwhile, the Urus has to make due with its little 4.0-liter V8 and superior acceleration.

Alright, so we’re giving Bentley a hard time for making a pretty bold claim. But you can’t say you’re the fastest when it’s not demonstrably true and not expect some good-natured ribbing.

By and large, the Bentley’s SUV remains an exceptional vehicle, and the addition of a Speed variant only makes it better. The Bentayga Speed adds 26 ponies to the standard Bentayga’s W12, in addition to their swifter maximum gallop of 190 mph. But buyers will also receive a more aggressive exhaust note during start-up and downshifts, a firmer suspension tune, and a remapped Sport mode with more assertive throttle and transmission responses. Sadly, Bentley’s gigantic 17.3-inch ceramic brakes, which are shared with the Urus, remain optional.

On the outside, the upgraded Bentayga receives unique 22-inch wheels (in multiple finishes), a darker grille, tinted headlamps, and a rear spoiler that feels unnecessary but was likely a mandatory addition for improving the top speed. There is also the obligatory performance badging that lets the world know this is a model they should covet.

Inside, the Speed receives diamond-quilted seating and contrasting leather just about everywhere. However, since this is the premiere performance trim, some materials have been swapped out for a racier experience. Alcantara on the steering wheel and pieces of carbon fiber (in lieu of wood) help to hit this point home. Bentley says the tiller can be converted back to soft leather at no additional cost. That’s actually pretty much the case across the board, though. Bentley truly lets owners go hog wild on cabin customization.

While the automaker suggests a 3.9-second rush to 62 mph (100 kph), we’d expect it to be slightly faster, as the standard W12 Bentayga routinely outperforms manufacturer-claimed acceleration times. Either way, it’s not bad for a car weighing 5,340 pounds. Just be sure to option those very expensive brakes to help bring its monumental mass to a halt.

The 2019 Bentayga Speed makes its debut in March at the Geneva Auto Show. While Bentley has yet to announce all details and pricing, we’d be shocked if it started below $250,000.

[Images: Bentley]

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2 of 34 comments
  • Keith Maybe my market's different. but 4.5k whack. Plus mods like his are just donations for the next owner. I'd consider driving it as a fun but practical yet disposable work/airport car if it was priced right. Some VAG's (yep, even Audis) are capable, long lasting reliable cars despite what the haters preach. I can't lie I've done the same as this guy: I had a decently clean 4 Runner V8 with about the same miles- I put it up for sale around the same price as the lower mile examples. I heard crickets chirp until I dropped the price. Folks just don't want NYC cab miles.
  • Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
  • Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
  • Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
  • William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.