I have contemplated the $241,900 Bentley Bentayga from every angle. My conclusion: it is an overwrought hunk of tasteless Trump-like excess.
Sadly, more like it are coming. The Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan are next, joining the already established Range Rover Autobiography to service bejeweled off-roaders like Elizabeth Windsor. The Queen is reportedly the first Bentayga owner.
The Bentayga is sad news for anyone with an appreciation of the great Bentleys of the past, the Speed Six and the Continental fastback coupe among them. This SUV tarnishes the winged “B” badge.
Sure, the engine is a new W12 (600 horsepower) that delivers a 0-100 km/hour time of 4.1 seconds. It’s loaded with luxury features and technological achievements, too — from extensive use of aluminum to the removable “Bentley Entertainment Tablet.”
But just look at this confusing, disjointed collection of massive wheel arches, awkward looking fenders, odd looking bonnet creases and side scoops, not to mention the exaggerated power line and that toothy grille. In fairness, the Bentayga’s backside is tame, more Audi Q7 or Porsche Cayenne. That’s to be expected. All three are VW Group SUVs with shared underpinnings.
Bentley, however, says the Bentayga’s design is “sculptural, with an elegant, timeless execution.” It is a balance of “athleticism” and “confidence.”
No. It is the automotive equivalent of Donald Trump’s hair.
In any case, Bentley is embracing SUV excess for the obvious reason, the money. The Bentayga will bring “the Bentley brand to a new set of customers and we will continue to do this with new products in new sectors,” sales and marketing chief Kevin Rose told just-auto.com.
What could sink the Bentayga? Tanking oil prices might stagger many of Bentley’s best customers, the oil-dependent Saudis. They “could run out of money” in a world drowning in cheap oil, said Rose.
We can only hope.