Driving report: Bentley Bentayga Speed ​​- thick ship under steam

Bentley puts on a top variant of the Bentayga

When he hit the market four years ago, the Bentley Bentayga was the world's fastest SUV - right up until the very Lamborghini Urus scrapped that title. Now, the British set with the special series Speed ​​back to the top and refer the Italians in the second row. But the real loser is a completely different one.

SP-X / Crewe / UK. Modesty is not one of Bentley's basic virtues. If the British do something, it will not mess up, it'll dribble. No wonder then that they presented no less with their Bentayga four years ago than the fastest off-road vehicle in the world. As proud as they were of this honorary title and its 301 km / h, it must have hurt them so much that they were pushed off the throne last year by their sister brand, Lamborghini, and the Urus actually hit 305 km / h. But now they are rebuilding their world view and bring the Bentayga back to the top after the plant holidays for around 235.000 Euro as "Speed".

For this they tickle 608 PS out of their 12 PS strong W27 engine, optimize the aerodynamics and change the set-up in the sports program: So the top speed of 301 climbs to 306 km / h and the Italian bull is only second Winner.

But what counts is much more than the result, is the experience: For it is and remains a tremendous spectacle when the six-liter twelve-cylinder seems to break all laws of physics in the fight with soon three tons of paint and leather and makes the heavyweight sprinter , Because the 900 Nm are now available earlier and are available longer, the sprint succeeds on speed 100 in speed in 3,9 instead of 4,1 seconds. And because they have not only changed the software of the engine and chassis, but also the flap control in the exhaust, it sounds even better.

The whole thing is all the more impressive, because the Bentagya can compete with any top athlete, but so has nothing of a sports car. Instead of the hustle and bustle there are endless expanses, instead of crouching deep down on the asphalt, you are enthroned above the things where others squeeze into bucket seats, you loll in air-conditioned leather armchairs with massage function and instead of barren carbon, there is paint and leather and more wood as in the hut of a forester.

You hardly notice the show of strength in the battle with the laws of physics: yes, in the somewhat sharpened sport mode of Speed, a distant rumble penetrates the cotton wool in which Bentley packs its customers, with a sensitive sole of the foot you may feel a fine vibration from the depths of the engine room, and the structure stabilized by 48V servomotors lets you feel at least so much of the road that two three more pearls rise from the champagne. But where sports cars like to be rigid bone shakers, who roar loudly and let everyone participate in their struggle for top values ​​and ideal line, the Bentayga punishes the lethargy of the crowd with a quiet but no less confident smile. However, the driver should not be lulled and distracted by this inner calm: If you move a dock ship with so much steam, you better stay wide awake. Because the Bentley can stretch the boundaries of physics tremendously, but the laws of Newton & Co also apply to it in the end. And that end can come pretty suddenly.

As much impression as this elephant may hurry in a hurry - the difference to the basic model can be measured, but certainly not feel. Even without speed tuning, the Bentayga celebrates such an abundance in every respect that 27 PS, 0,2 seconds and five km / h are marginalized. Just like the Alcantara landscapes in the cockpit or the dark painted attachments or the almost discreet spoiler at the rear. The fact that the owner still feels a difference is therefore less due to the engineers than the dealer. Finally raises the speed for an express surcharge of 20.000 Euro. For normal mortals may buy a whole car. But in a brand where you can spend more on leather than some on a property, it's probably only peanuts.

In Crewe, they may cheer on their return to the top in the competition of fast SUVs and in Sant'Agata they will be a bit sad. But the real loser in this race is in Stuttgart. Even the Porsche Cayenne belongs to this fast family and if these days the new Cayenne Coupé is at the start, it could have been riding for the lead - but even the turbo is just at 286 km / h and sees the new speed Therefore, only the taillights, which will disappear at this differential speed quite quickly out of sight.

Benjamin Bessinger / SP-X

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