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Bentley promised to steal the show when it released early teaser images of the updated Bentayga Speed, and it appears that the British luxury vehicle maker has indeed delivered the goods with the unveiling of the 2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed.

With the standard Bentayga bringing a whole new styling language to showrooms, it should come as no surprise that the Speed is the next one to adopt it, with the model gaining the quad elliptical headlights, and the decidedly more upright front grille that has become a defining trademark for Bentley’s current model lineup. However, the Bentayga Speed brings a more aggressive tone to the packaging with dark tinted headlamps, body colored rocker panel extensions, and an all new flow through roof mounted rear spoiler. The front and rear fascias bumpers have been tweaked to promote a sportier demeanor, and the Speed comes with a sweet set of 22-inch wheels. The fore-mentioned rollers can be finished in either a standard painted setup, or an up-level darker tint.

The fun doesn’t stop there though, with buyers having the option to add an all new Bentley Speed Black package to the SUV. This particular package replaces the roof rails, rear diffuser, exterior bright work, and the 22-inch wheels with gloss black versions, while carbon fiber is used on the front splitter, side skirts, and the rear spoiler.

The interior was already a very posh place to spend time in to begin with, but the Speed ups the ante a bit, and manages to add a more exotic flavor to the space. Darker interior colors rule the land, with contrasting leather “swooshes” being used to accent around the doors, the edges of the seats, and the lower part of the console. Alcantara trim is also available for the first time ever on the model, with the material being used on the headliner, the seat backs, the shift knob, steering wheel rim, and a few other places. Discrete Speed badging is scattered throughout the cabin, while a Mulliner Driving Specification adds specially colored leather and quilting for an exotic look. Along with the posher interior, the Speed also gets the all new 10.9 inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes standard with Apple CarPlay (Android Auto is still not available,) while a fully digital instrument cluster offers a full size map and media view to go along with the traditional gauge setup. Navigation is also along for the ride, and has been improved with satellite mapping, as well as a full three dimensional view.


But all of this wouldn’t matter much if the model did not deliver exceptional amounts of performance, and Bentley engineers endowed the model with plenty of it. Power still comes from the familiar 6.0 liter W12 engine which still makes 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. The torque rich engine delivers the bulk of its power across a wide swath of the rev band, and that’s enough to deliver snappy responses especially in an SUV this large. Bentley claims that the model can make the spring to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, before hitting its 190 mph top speed. Like the engine, the eight speed automatic transmission is also carried over, and is fitted with an electronically operated decoupling torque converter that allows the Bentayga to smoothly sail down the road when the driver is moving at a consistent speed. A sophisticated cylinder deactivation system can shut down an entire VR6 arraignment (the engine is made from a fusion of two VR6 engines) with the system actually switching which bank is turned off to ensure that the optimal amount of emissions reduction is achieved.

The suspension benefits from four driving modes (Comfort, Sport, Custom,) and a special Bentley mode that was programmed by Bentley engineers to deliver an ideal blend of performance and luxury. Bentley’s Dynamic Ride system is standard, and it features a re-calibrated brake based torque vectoring system, and 48-volt active roll stabilizers. The model will continue to offer optional carbon ceramic brakes which help shed 44 lbs of flab from the model, and also deliver greater amounts of clamping force and improved resistance.

When the 2021 Bentayga Speed arrives in showrooms look for it to have a noticeable price premium over the standard V8 model, with this iteration possibly not straying too far from the outgoing model’s $250,000 plus base sticker. When combined with the fore-mentioned V8 model and the upcoming Bentayga Hybrid variant, Bentley’s SUV lineup looks fresher than ever, and that should resonate nicely with Bentley’s well heeled clientele.


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