Bentley revealed its facelifted Bentayga recently, and now it’s the turn of the fastest ‘Speed’ model to usher in the styling changes. The Bentayga still looks like a grand country mansion (and is a similar size), but it gets the new tail-lights borrowed from the Continental GT.
It may not be a sports car, but the Bentayga Speed lives up to its name - very much so, in fact. Officially the fastest SUV in the world, the brutish Bentayga clocks 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds on the way to a 190mph (306km/h) top speed. The Lamborghini Urus only manages a pedestrian 305km/h. The nipped and tucked Bentley continues to use the 6.0-litre W12 engine with 626bhp. Let’s be honest, it’s fine as it is.
There’s a new ‘sail’ mode, which is the Bentley land yacht’s version of coasting. When the eight-speed auto is in fifth or above, a torque converter kicks in to allow freewheeling when you take your foot off the accelerator (on a flat road). That automatic gearbox is also calibrated especially for the Speed, with the addition of a ‘Sport’ mode that doesn’t really sound right and proper in a Bentley.
But the performance on offer means it’s necessary, controlling the air suspension, engine response and exhaust note. The mountain of power also calls for huge brakes, and you can even spec carbon-ceramic ones capable of withstanding 1000 degrees. Now there’s a winning pub fact.
You can spot the Speed by its tinted light clusters, shpordy bumpers and a boot spoiler that wouldn’t look out of place on the most outlandish hot hatches. It rides on 22-inch wheels and gets a few Speed badges, just to make sure onlookers know it’s the biggest, baddest Bentley. There are over 60 paint colours (and the option of two-tone paint), or you can insist on the car being painted to match any sample.
It’ll be hard to pick your perfect interior spec, too, with so many different options and upholstery choices to consider. As standard, Alcantara (ooh, racy) is applied to the steering wheel, seats and gear lever among other areas - but you can choose leather instead, which seems more in keeping with the Bentayga’s stately image.
The Speed gets the Bentayga’s new 10.9-inch infotainment system, which now fits the whole display and is said to be better to use. There are upgrades to the head-up display, an embedded SIM for extra connectivity and wireless Apple CarPlay for the first time. In terms of connectivity, the Bentayga offers live traffic updates, predictions for when traffic lights will turn green and all the remote app-based features we’ve come to expect.
If all the chrome isn’t your sort of thing, the Black Package turns all the shiny bits to black. Some bits, like the wheels, are finished in gloss, while other aspects like the big spoiler are carbon fibre.