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Bentley Bentayga Ready For Frankfurt Reveal

By raccars Published

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After huge anticipation, this month's Frankfurt Motor Show will see the public debut of Bentley's first SUV, the Bentayga. It's going to be a tense few days for Bentley - the Bentayga's path to production has not been entirely trouble free, with the first couple of concepts failing to meet with public approval and sent back for significant revisions. However, with an SUV becoming an essential part of every major manufacturer's line up, from budget to premium brands, Bentley can't really afford to be left behind. Jaguar will also be unveiling its forthcoming F-Pace SUV at Frankfurt, Lamborghini has one in the pipeline and Rolls-Royce's Cullinan SUV project has been spotted out testing.

Bentley is campaigning the Bentayga on a number of superlatives - most powerful, fastest, most luxurious are among the descriptions used, which seems appropriate enough for a vehicle taking so many years and resources to develop. The firm claims to have exposed its SUV to the world's harshest terrains while testing, from the sand dunes of Dubai, the mud closer to home in Crewe and South Africa's gravel and dirt, via 400 spins around the Nurburgring.

Our first introduction to a Bentley SUV was in 2012, in the form of the EXP 9 F concept at the Geneva Motor Show. It wasn't a huge success and required a large amount of revision before production status was granted in July 2013. It is still something of a risk for Bentley, which is aiming very high, by positioning the Bentayga above the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S, The Audi Q7 and the mighty Range Rover.

Under the Bentayga's bonnet lies an awesome twin turbo 6.0 litre W12 with 599bhp. It's ridiculously powerful. This means the Bentayga gets from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds and gets to 187mph before running out of steam. That sort of performance is impressive even by super sports car standards, never mind for an SUV. Of course, that kind of excess is far from clean and green but actually the Bentayga's 292g/km in CO2 emissions, courtesy of cylinder displacement technology, is pretty reasonable given its huge bulk.

That W12 is set to be joined by diesel and hybrid versions later on, but neither will be able to keep up with the petrol model. Along with plenty of brute force, Bentley has packed its SUV with a huge range of dynamic driving settings, to control both on and off road performance. There are eight pre-set driving modes to select from, with information on roll, pitch, steering angle, wheel articulation, altitude and compass bearing appearing on the Driver Information Panel.

There's also a wide array of driver assistance and safety systems to make life easier in this complex machine, such as night vision, traffic sign recognition, park assist and adaptive cruise control.

While the final production version of Bentayga has grown into its distinctive looks compared to the ungainly EXP 9 F concept, it's still a head turner and is unlikely to appeal to everyone. There's a great, gaping maw of mesh fronted grille tapering off to a milder looking rear end, but the large B for Bentley shaped tail lights and badge means no-one will be confused about what you are driving.

The interior is less controversial and is unashamedly opulent. The front seats can be adjusted 22 ways and offer six different massage programmes, plus integrated heating and ventilation. Buyers can specify one of seven different dashboard veneers, 15 hides for upholstery and 15 different carpets. The passenger cabin is separated from the boot by a fixed panel, behind which you'll find 430 litres of cargo space. You can furnish your Bentayga with a Mulliner hamper including cutlery, fine china crockery, crystal glass and a fridge!

Bentley has yet to confirm prices but expect to pay upwards of £150,000. The Bentayga hits the market early next year.

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