By on March 19, 2020

2017 Bentley Bentayga:

Bentley Motors’ initial attempt at an SUV did wonders for its volume. While its status as an automaker catering exclusively to the rich keeps annual production totals exceptionally low, the Bentayga now accounts for almost half of its total output. After the model’s introduction in 2016, the Bentley’s annual deliveries shot up 33 percent in Europe.

That wasn’t a coincidence.

Ever since Porsche’s massive success with the Cayenne (introduced in 2002, if you can believe it), super-premium marques have been hunting for a way to make expensive crossovers work equally well for them. If you’re seeking supportive evidence, look no further than the Lamborghini Urus, Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Aston Martin DBX, or Ferrari Purosangue. Bentley’s Bentayga also qualifies, though the company has a slight lead over the field, giving it the opportunity continue capitalizing on the segment by introducing another model — just like Porsche did with the Macan. 

While Porsche scaled its second utility vehicle down in size from the Cayenne, Bentley (which is likewise owned by Volkswagen Group) has every reason to go bigger. The brand is already synonymous with excess and the Bentayga is borderline dainty when compared to mainstream giants like the Chevrolet Suburban. Bentley just has to decide whether or not there’s actually a market for something so sizable. At 202 inches in length, the Bentayga is pretty big in relation to most other vehicles. But there are still vehicles in its own segment that are technically larger.

“I could imagine a bigger one, I could imagine a smaller one, I could imagine a coupe-type one and I could definitely imagine battery electric, but only battery electric when you get past that ’25 to ’30 period,” Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark told Automotive News this week. However, the brand has still committed itself to electrification, promising smaller, hybridized powertrains on all future models.

The CEO went on to say that battery technology has reached a level where the company feels comfortable using it on SUVs, adding that the general preference was to build a vehicle offering more of the brand was famous for — opulence. “We’d love to make an even more luxurious, even bigger Bentayga,” he explained. “Watch this space.”

Hallmark also expressed to Car & Driver that something would need to be developed to replace the Mulsanne. “Our ambition is to fill that price space for sure,” he said. “It will not be a sports car; we will not build sports cars. SUVs were 47 percent of our sales last year. If you look at the segment below us, it’s about 50 percent … the clear indication is that both premium-car buyers and luxury-car buyers now see SUVs as being far more attractive.”

2017 Bentley Bentayga rear

[Images: Bentley]

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18 Comments on “Bentley Believes Bigger Bentayga Could Benefit Brand...”

  • avatar

    Nice if you have the cash.
    Saw a lot of these in London last summer.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    I have seen exactly one on the road. Doing a ‘cool’ 60kmh, on a clear day on the inside lane of Highway 407 (speed limit 100 but average speed closer to 120) being driven by a youngish female, holding onto the steering wheel for dear life with both hands.

    I have also seen one in the parking lot of the local university (may have been the same one?) along with the Maseratis, McLarens, Aston-Martins, and other exotics found in the student parking area.

  • avatar

    Now I know what to buy with my $1000 government check, thanks TTAC

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    I care nothing about this car, or Bentley as a brand for that matter, however it must be said that the choice of green used on this vehicle is stunning!

    I’ve been comparing various shades of green as the color of choice to re-spray the ’51 Fleetline and this has officially entered the short list.

    Thankfully there are only 9 different shades of green you can choose for this ugly SUV out of the total color pallet of 85 colors. Oh to be that wealthy and have to choose from “only” 85 colors!

  • avatar
    Turbo Is Black Magic

    They should build the next one on an MRAP chassis, spec an up armor package for the coming Depression…. they are going to need it.

  • avatar

    Tell you what, I wouldn’t notice it on the road, too generic it looks like. I live in the most expensive area in America and do not remember seeing one.

    • 0 avatar

      I thought that too but then I’ve only seen a couple in the wild and they really stood out. But maybe it’s because I don’t find them attractive at all.

  • avatar

    I’ve seen just a couple of these on the road in Seattle. We’ve certainly got the money for them, but most of our rich people tend to put on more casual affectations. Many of them drive Subarus or battered older Land Cruisers, but if they are going to drive luxury SUVs it is going to be Mercedes GLS/BMW X7/Audi Q7, even the hectomillionaires.

    • 0 avatar
      Rick Astley

      Also a Seattlite here, has it gone unnoticed that the “official tech transition” of the city means that the only socially acceptable way to ditch your old Subie, Volvo, Land Cruiser, or more accurately the Prius you replaced those cars with, is of course a Tesla!

      Be original, be unique, buy Tesla. White, red, red, white, blue or white, get creative expressing yourself! Let the world know that while the turn signals in your Prius crapped out before you left the dealership and you were legally only allowed to drive in the leftmost lane, now you have a Tesla. You’re better than others. Your Tesla didn’t even COME with turn signals and you’re the only one on the road with one, aside from the 17 other Tesla’s around you on every commute and the stack 30-deep at every repair center waiting on parts after something was stupid enough to get in your way. You own the road!

  • avatar

    Lots of these on the road in SoCal. They look too short in length. The brand and styling would fit well on a large SUV

  • avatar

    Lots of these on the road in SoCal. They look too short in length. The brand and styling would fit well on a large SUV

  • avatar

    My guess is they are popular in LA because of that notorious celebrity syndrome.

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