British luxury marque Bentley has driven in the all-new Bentayga S. Based on the standard Bentayga, the new S version boasts specific upgrades to justify its existence. As the suffix might suggest, the S is the sportier avatar of an already sporty luxury SUV. Having said that, it is still a notch below the full-fat Bentayga Speed. Since the Bentayga is one of the brand’s most popular models, there are now four different variants of it. The Bentayga is built on the same platform as the Audi Q8 and Porsche Cayenne, though there’s a lot more sound insulation here than in the other two cars. Moreover, this one wears the Bentley badge.
To come up with the new Bentayga S, Bentley has made some fine tweaks on the outside. Since the suffix “S” signifies sportiness, this particular version of the Bentayga features more sporty cues than the standard model. For starters, there’s quite a lot of black detailing on the outside, thanks to the exclusive Blackline Specification, which replaces all of the chrome. The unique black detailing can be found on the front mesh grille, lower portion of the front bumper, side sills, flying ‘B’ fender ornament, wing mirrors, window line, roof rails, rear spoiler, rear bumper, and on the signature Bentley oval tailpipes.
The upgrades don’t end there. Even the small ‘S’ badges located on the lower portion of the front doors are finished in black, while the 22-inch wheels (with their scythe-like design) are unique to the Bentayga S and can be had in one of three finishes.
This being a Bentley, attention to detail goes a long way. Where many premium automakers just attach a large set of wheels to their high-end cars and call it a day, Bentley does things differently. For example, the 22-inch alloys on the Bentayga S are first ceramic polished. This is then followed by masking off the bright areas of the wheels prior to applying a gloss black paint, and finally, the whole thing is polished by hand.
Moving on to the interior of the Bentayga S, some of the changes will be instantly noticeable. Unlike other sporty luxury SUVs, the Bentayga S is available in four, five, or even seven-seat configurations – all boasting a special fluted seat design. A unique stitching design has been used to color-match both the primary and secondary hides, whilst the backrest features an embroidered ‘S’ motif.
On top of all this, Bentley has made generous use of Alcantara all throughout this cabin. There is Alcantara on the sport seats, steering wheel, gear selector, on top of the dashboard, and the whole headliner. Meanwhile, the “colour split” layout of this interior, along with its uniquely textured inlays on the dashboard and doors, evokes a sense of sportiness and class at the same time.
Compared to the standard model, the new Bentayga S gets a few extra items as standard. One of the most significant is Bentley’s 48V active roll-control system that counteracts lateral rolling forces by applying up to 1,300Nm of torque to one side of the vehicle in just a matter of 0.3 seconds! Known as ‘Bentley Dynamic Ride,’ the system fitted to the Bentayga S uses 15 percent stiffer air suspension than in the standard model.
Furthermore, engineers have re-tuned the Bentayga’s Torque Vectoring system to make the S version more responsive to steering inputs. What has been left untouched is the SUV’s computer-controlled All-Terrain Specification package. This means that, despite its sportier edge, the new Bentayga S is still capable of wading through 500mm of water.
Similarly, Bentley has also left the 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine untouched. However, it does now get the sports exhaust system as standard with free-flowing primary and secondary pipes. In the new Bentayga S, the V8 produces a meaty 542hp and 770Nm of torque. While it is not as crazy as the 6.0-liter W12 in the Speed, this eight-cylinder motor is easily capable of pushing the Bentayga S to 100 kmph in 4.5 seconds. Meanwhile, the luxury SUV’s top whack is 290 kmph – falling just 16 kmph short of the Speed’s 306 kmph top speed. Bentley only recently launched the 2021 Bentayga V8 in India, so chances are that the new S might make it to our shores too.