fbpx
Connect with us

Luxury Cars

Bentayga Review: Our Time in the Bentley Bentayga

Published

on

We were curious to know how the V8 SUV compared to its grand touring sibling in regards to driving style and performance.

If there was ever a car built for weekend road trips, it’s the Bentley Bentayga.

Our adventure with the Bentayga began the day an email landed in our inbox asking if we’d be interested in becoming better acquainted with the 2019 SUV offering from Bentley.

In short, the answer was yes.

Fast forward a few weeks later and we found ourselves at the showroom catching up with James, the head of Bentley Gold Coast.

Bentley Bentayga on the Gold Coast Australia
The 2019 V8 Bentley Bentayga seen in Silver Tempest. Photo: Billionaire Toys

Having already been given the Continental GT to drive, we were curious to know how this V8 SUV compared to its grand touring sibling in regards to driving style and performance. We were also curious to know where the Bentayga was currently sitting in the Bentley universe and who was most attracted to this particular model.

Being a SUV, it should probably come as no surprise then that the Bentayga has in fact become their highest selling model to date, selling over 10,000 cars per year and accounting for nearly 50% of all sales.

While it is possible to get your Bentayga spec’d with aftermarket armor protection and shock door handles for the ultra-elite with high security needs, it turns out the Bentayga is just as much in demand as a “family car” for those wanting in on the luxury feels of a Bentley, but with the added utility of “going off-road” (which in reality is more like riding curbs to fit into the last carpark at a hardware store on a Saturday morning or loading the trunk up with a small mound of equipment to ferry the kids around to their respective weekend sports).

V8 Bentley Bentayga front view
V8 Bentley Bentayga front view. Photo: Billionaire Toys

Originally we’d been informed we’d be picking up a black Bentayga, but there had been a couple of alterations and instead a freshly detailed Bentayga V8 in “Silver Tempest” with 22” five spoke alloy wheels awaited us on the driveway. After getting a run-through of the some of the main features (and also being handed two sparkling mineral waters to fit comfortably in the front passenger drinks holder), we left the dealership and were on our way.

You may think the first thing one looks for when taking these cars out, is how they drive, how they “feel”, what the braking is like and other such technical nuances, but I must admit, the first thing on my mind as we pulled out of the driveway was where to find the “on” button for the massage chair function.

Having previously experienced the luxury of the massage chairs in the Continental GT, I was determined to once again to experience the shiatsu-like massage from the comfort of my heated black beluga leather seat.

Fun Fact: Did you know that Beluga leather is hand-picked from herds that graze high above sea level in Northern Europe and are naturally free from insect bites so that it doesn’t leave blemishes in the leather?

V8 Bentley Bentayga
V8 Bentley Bentayga also comes in a W12 variant. Photo: Billionaire Toys

After scrolling through several screens and pressing multiple buttons on the large display panel set into the carbon fiber dashboard, I was having no luck finding the massage chair settings where they were previously located on the Continental GT.

It was at this point I resigned myself to the possible fact that maybe the wave/pulse/lumbar and shoulder massage wasn’t going to happen and that the leather interior was going to have to be enjoyed simply for its craftsmanship (#firstworldproblems).

While I’d been otherwise occupied, Brenon had been getting used to the feel of the Bentayga in city traffic (driving in Comfort mode) and had reached the highway with ease, where we were northbound to Archerfield airport and going to be taking a few photos.

Bentley Bentayga with twin exhausts and great luggage space
Bentley Bentayga with twin exhausts and great luggage space. Photo: Billionaire Toys

Brenon: My first impressions of the Bentayga were very positive. I was surprised as I initially thought the car would have less charisma than the Continental GT but after seeing it I would say it definitely has an extra magnetic appeal in person.

In comparison to the “boxy” Rolls Royce Cullinan, the Bentayga’s front is more curved and sportier looking with the sloping roof lines adding to the sports look….but I’m still not entirely sold on the lower third of the front end. I do really like the crystal cut lights of Bentley though and also think the rear of the car looks like it should, especially with the twin exhausts.

The Bentayga that we had originally been told we’d be getting was a black one but there had been some changes and the one we received was in “Silver Tempest”.

Bentley Bentayga Interior detail stitching and knurling
Just some of the examples of stitching and diamond knurling in the Bentayga’s interior. Photo: Billionaire Toys

The interior of the Bentayga that we were given was a tasteful beluga black with polished carbon fibre inlays which is great for keeping clean but plays it safe somewhat in regards to choices and it would have been nice to see something a little more adventurous. I understand though that dealer specs have to be chosen for a broad appeal and if you want to get a bit more adventurous then you’ll most likely go through the Mulliner program.

One of the features I also like with Bentley is the “gull-wing” design of the interior which extends from the centre console out to the edges of the doors and gives it a very fluid “continuous” feel throughout the interior. Other little details like the hand stitching, high gloss carbon fibre and the diamond knurling on the clock and vents are also second to none.

Bentley Bentayga with Beluga leather and polished carbon fibre interior
Bentley Bentayga with Beluga leather and polished carbon fibre interior. Photo: Billionaire Toys

In regards to the driving experience, when driving through city traffic it still feels appropriately sized and has great visibility. The acceleration is hands down fantastic and the Bentayga feels rock solid on the road. The exhaust sound hardly makes it into the cabin but when it does its because you’re under some decent acceleration and the note of the Bentayga V8 is actually wonderful.

Arriving at the airport, we pulled the Bentayga into the driveway of Elite Helicopters and were greeted by helicopter pilot Brett, who proceeded to do a walk-around of the car with an appraisal summed up as “So THIS is the Bentayga huh?”

After the sales pitch we invariably end up doing (pointing out all of the features, specifications and extra’s we’ve been told about and elaborating on the pros and cons), it was time to get the Bentayga into position for a few photos with the Airbus H125 helicopter that we’d be shooting with.

Bentley Bentayga SUV car with Airbus H125 Helicopter
Bentley Bentayga V8 Petrol version with 22 inch rims. Photo: Billionaire Toys

The Bentayga we’d been driving had the City and Touring Bentley Specifications which includes Park Assist and the top view camera feature, making the task of deftly maneuvering a two tonne SUV around a $2,000,000 helicopter a little less daunting (but also as equally useful in avoiding scraped rims on sidewalks and applying emergency braking if someone steps into the path of the car).

By the time we had finished at the airfield, the sun had set, darkness and fallen and we were ready to head home. Evening brought out a whole new side to the interior though and we couldn’t help but take a few more shots and explore the interior features, discovering the soft-touch lights (only need to lightly place a finger on the overhead lights above the dashboard and they turn on) and the head-up display system above the drivers dash that displayed the speed of the car.

Bentley Bentayga with Airbus H125 Helicopter Flyinjg
Bentley Bentayga with Airbus H125 Helicopter. Photo: Billionaire Toys

Day Two

The next day grand plans were in place for a road trip, starting with a 4:30am wake-up time to make sunrise down by the beach.

Loading the Bentayga up with all our gear (ample room for it all in the suitably spacious trunk), we jumped in and headed south along the coastal road of the Gold Coast.

It was at this point when the sun had not yet risen and a chill was still in the air, that I mentally thanked Bentley for the little luxuries like the heated seat and the massage seats (which I accidentally discovered yesterday while playing around with the seat adjustment buttons on the side panel of the chair).

As pre-dawn light began to push the night away, it became apparent that the horizon was filled with low lying cloud and we were not going to get the golden rays of sunshine we were hoping to see. Nevertheless, we figured we’d still take the Bentayga right down to the sand and find ourselves a nice spot to watch the waves.

Bentley Bentayga at a Gold Coast Beach Sunrise
Bentley Bentayga at a Gold Coast Beach. Photo: Billionaire Toys

Making our way along the coast line, we found a sandy ramp used by the surf lifesavers to get their 4WD’s onto the beach but seeing as it was so early and the lifesavers weren’t at work yet, we made use of it to get the Bentayga closer to the sand.

After the sun rose, it was time to get back on the road and the Bentayga made easy work of reversing back out of the sand and onto the road again.

Continuing our road trip, we left the beaches of the Southern Gold Coast behind in our rear-view mirror and headed inland to the lush rural landscape of Currumbin Valley. Making our way into the countryside, the roads were much quieter with barely traffic on the road, giving Brenon the chance to really open up the engine and see how it performed.

Brenon: The Bentayga twin turbo V8 has absolutely no problem with power or hills and it would be no different for the twin turbo W12 version. Driving this car is super easy, you pretty much can move the steering wheel with one finger on it, mirrors that automatically tilt down to assist your visibility when reversing and of course the top view camera feature is invaluable. There really wouldn’t be many people who couldn’t drive this car comfortably.

V8 Bentley Bentayga tested on hills
Climbing hills in the Bentayga is a lot easier than walking them. Photo: Billionaire Toys

We still had a few hours to go till we had to (unwillingly) hand the Bentayga back and decided we’d a find few open roads, maybe a hill or two to climb and definitely somewhere to get a good breakfast as we were starving at this point.

Winding our way through the valley roads, a glance upwards through the huge panoramic glass panel that engulfs 60% of the roof real-estate, revealed glimpses of sun through the canopy of trees above us.

Turning a corner, we noticed a flock of geese casually meandering along the roadside by a riverside picnic spot. The question “Shall we go back and check them out??”was barely off our lips in a double jinx by the time we’d brought the Bentayga to a stop.

After hanging out with our new found geese friends, we headed to the Eco Village for breakfast at Produce & Co (which for the record do a delicious scrambled eggs and ham & cheese croissant).

Looking at our watches we’d calculated there was still a little more time till we had to turn back so we ventured further into the Eco Village to get the last of the exterior and interior shots we needed (but not before running into a few friendly kangaroos lazing around in the mid-morning sun)!

Bentley Bentayga clock with diamond knurling
Bentley Bentayga clock with diamond knurling. Photo: Billionaire Toys

Now it was finally time to take the Bentayga back. Looking down at the fuel gauge we realized we’d only used half of a tank of fuel and were impressed at what we perceived the fuel economy to be.

It’s only after we stopped by the local fuel station to fill up on the way back that we learnt just how large the fuel tank must of been and that half a tank STILL costs $75.

But after everything, Not even disappointed at all.

As far as luxury SUV’s go, buyers are more spoilt for choice than they ever have been in this particular segment and for the most part are not looking to make choices based on the speed.

This means choices are made more on personal preference of appearance along with the styling, bespoke details and customization programs offered by the automotive houses and with the Mulliner program there are no shortages to what you can do with the Bentley Bentayga to make it really feel like your own.

Luxury Cars

Ares Design Reveals New Porsche 911 964 Turbo Restomod

Published

on

Luxury coachbuilder ARES Design Modena has revealed their latest project – a one-off restomod based on the Porsche 911 964 Turbo.
Porsche 911 964 Turbo by ARES Restomod
The one-off Porsche 911 964 Turbo by ARES restomod. Credit: ARES Design Modena

Coming off the back of a big year that saw ARES Design Modena release their first-ever wholly designed supercars (the S1 Project and S1 Project Spyder), ARES has started 2021 strong with the reveal of a new one-off restomod project based on the Porsche 911 964 Turbo.

Porsche 911 964 Turbo by ARES Side View
A new modified ducktail spoiler and Fuchs-inspired wheels offer a retro feel. Credit: ARES Design Modena

Launched in 1991, the Porsche 964 Turbo took some time to fans over (thanks in part to the 930 that bore the Turbo badge before it) but eventually found a place in the hearts of enthusiasts largely thanks to the unmissable whale-tail spoiler.

Porsche 911 964 Turbo by ARES Front View
Based on the 1991 Porsche 911 964 Turbo. Credit: ARES Design Modena

For this one-off design project, ARES Design Modena has refined the exterior of the 911 964 Turbo by modifying the ducktail spoiler and added new Fuchs-inspired alloy wheels (made famous by the 911 Carrera RS 2.7 of the 1970s) for a retro feel. Meanwhile, under the hood, the Italian luxury coachbuilder has modified the 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine with a more powerful turbine and intercooler to produce an upgraded 425Hp.

Porsche 911 964 Turbo by ARES Rear View
Featuring a modified 3.6-liter six-cylinder boxer engine. Credit ARES Design Modena

Inside, the cabin has been refitted with new leather and tartan houndstooth upholstery (inspired by historic Porsche race cars) along with new gauges and a PCCM infotainment system specially designed for classic Porsches.

As a one-off project, no price has been released for the Porsche 911 964 by ARES, but interested Porsche owners are welcome to contact ARES Design Modena for their own custom restomod quote.

Porsche 911 964 Turbo by ARES interior
Historic racing Porsche inspired Houndstooth interior. Credit: ARES Design Modena
Porsche 911 964 Turbo by ARES Fuch-inspired Wheel
Fuchs-inspired alloy wheels. Credit: ARES Design Modena

Continue Reading

Luxury Cars

First US Deliveries of the McLaren Sabre Revealed

Published

on

The first deliveries of the new US-only McLaren Sabre hypercar have begun with a papaya orange, blue and Malboro-themed model making an appearance.
MrJWW McLaren Sabre Reveal Front View
MRJWW with McLaren Global Sales Manager Neil Underwood. Credit: MRJWW

The first deliveries of the new US-only McLaren Sabre hypercar have begun, with a few already having been captured on camera recently like this one revealed by MRJWW.

With a twin-turbo V8 engine producing 824bhp and 590lt ft and a top speed of 218mph, the twin-turbo V8 McLaren Sabre is the fastest and most powerful non-hybrid two-seater production car to date and has been homologated especially for US federal standards.

Developed under the code name “BC-03”, the new bespoke hypercar is a special 1 of 15 model that was created purely for a small group of West-Coast North American McLaren clients who desired a “show car made for the road” or as Neil Underwood Global Sales Manager of McLaren Special Operations describes the client’s request “ a car that has an enormous presence on the road but also wouldn’t look out of place on the concept lawn at Pebble Beach.”

MrJWW McLaren Sabre Reveal Side Rear View
Side view of the new McLaren Sabre. Credit: MRJWW

Collaborating directly with the McLaren Special Operations (MSO) team for just under two years, the owners took an active part in developing the McLaren Sabre and were even given the opportunity to drive the test mule to ensure the owners were able to fully customize every aspect of the vehicle to their liking, before final delivery.

MrJWW McLaren Sabre Wheel
Special cut wheel blades from a single piece of metal. Credit: MRJWW

With the McLaren Sabre explicitly designed for the US market, the designers at MSO did not have to adhere to the lengthy specifications for global registration and were afforded a few more freedoms in design. Many aspects of motorsport racing have also been incorporated into the McLaren Saber design, with features like the central dorsal fin and a prominent front splitter included and, for the first time on a McLaren, a large active rear diffuser.

The first deliveries to make an appearance have included a Malboro themed McLaren Sabre at the McLaren Beverly Hills showroom, supercar collectors @sparky18888/@VTM_theking_4 bright papaya orange Sabre and @thetriplefcollection’s carbon modica blue edition as seen below.

Continue Reading

Luxury Cars

Singer Vehicle Design Collaborates With Richard Tuthill On ACS Rally Porsche 964

Published

on

Singer Vehicle Design and rally specialist Richard Tuthill have joined forces to create two exceptional ACS rally Type 964 Porsche 911’s at the request of a client.
Singer Porsche ACS Rally Front Side Driving
A collaboration between Singer Vehicle Design and Richard Tuthill. Credit: Singer Vehicle Design

Californian-based Singer Vehicle Design is known for some of the most unique and tasteful Porsche re-mods, and their latest ACS rally-style Porsche restorations created at the request of a long-term client are no different.

Singer Porsche ACS Side View Jump
The Singer ACS in motion. Credit: Singer Vehicle Design

Partnering with UK based off-road competition specialist Richard Tuthill who has been rallying for decades and most recently won the 5000km 2019 East African Safari classic, Singer looked to the golden era of the 1980’s rally racing for inspiration to create their first-ever “motorsport-specification” restoration on a client’s 1990’s Type 964 Porsche 911s.

Led by Singer’s Design Office in California, a unique “All-terrain Competition Study” was undertaken as a collaboration between Singer Vehicle Design and Tuthill Porsche to ensure the client’s modified vehicles would be able capable of competing in off-road racing as well being able to demonstrate extensive all-terrain exploration capabilities.

Singer Porsche ACS Rally Front Side Beach
The result of the All-terrain Competition Study. Credit: Singer Vehicle Design

With assembly of the vehicles occurring at Tuthill’s UK facility in Oxfordshire, the result was two different vehicles – the “Parallax White” version, which focuses on high-speed desert rallying, and the “Corsica Red” version, which has been configured for high-speed, high-grip tarmac events.

“So much of what we’ve done for the last decade has been inspired by Porsche’s competition success and the All-terrain Competition Study provides us the opportunity to showcase that idea literally and vividly,” shared Rob Dickinson, Founder and Executive Chairman of Singer Group.

Singer Porsche ACS Beach Driving 1
Singer Porsche ACS Beach Driving 2
Singer Porsche ACS Beach Driving 3

“We at Singer are motorsport nerds in our hearts and demonstrating our understanding of the discipline required our off-road vision to display deeply legitimate competition credentials from the structural engineering, to the bodywork ethos, to the mechanical package. We’ve taken particular inspiration from the iconic Rothmans-sponsored 911 SC/RSs and 959s that conquered events like the Qatar International Rally and Paris-Dakar in the mid-‘80s and, at the request of our client, have reimagined these all-terrain 911’s in their honor while utilizing fresh perspectives and state of the art know-how.

Singer Porsche ACS Beach Rear
Inspired by the Rothman sponsored 911 SC/RSs and 959’s. Credit: Singer Vehicle Design

As is our habit, we chose to tackle our subject thoroughly, and we are proud to have found the best in the world -always our ambition –to help us reach our goals. Like Williams Advanced Engineering before them with the Dynamics & Lightweighting Study, Richard Tuthill and his incredible team have allowed us to bring our vision for the All-terrain Competition Study to life in the most spectacular way. We feel confident this machine can appeal to off-roading enthusiasm of all kinds, whether it be in the pursuit of professional competition at the highest level of adventure and exploration. ACS advances Singer’s capabilities in forced-induction, all-wheel-drive, off-road ability and dynamic response -all of which will support our ongoing mission. This pursuit of focused competition studies is something you will see more of from us in the future.”

Singer Porsche ACS Interior Side
Racing interior of the Singer Porsche ACS design. Credit: Singer Vehicle Design

Both Singer Vehicle resto-mods have dramatically increased the ride height, suspension travel, and overall strength. Carbon fiber body paneling has also been incorporated to ensure quick replacement can be achieved under rallying conditions, and the addition of a long-range fuel tank, an FIA approved roll cage, and two full-sized spare wheels guarantee’s the rally-specific vehicle means serious business.

Singer Porsche ACS Rally Editions
Singer Porsche ACS Editions: Corsica Red (Tarmac) and Parallax White (Rally). Credit: Singer Vehicle Design

In terms of engine power, the Singer Vehicle ACS Porsche 911 features a twin-turbo 3.6-liter “Mezger” engine capable of producing 450hp and 420lb-ft torque and combines with a flat-shifting five-speed sequential gearbox.

Singer Porsche ACS Tarmac Rear
The tarmac edition for high-speed, high-grip tarmac events. Credit: Singer Vehicle Design

While most of Singer Vehicles restoration’s are one-off designs, the commissioning owner of the two ACS restorations has kindly agreed to share the results of the “All-terrain Competition Study” with other clients who would like a Singer off-road design of their own.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending