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Bentayga Review: Our Time in the Bentley Bentayga

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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.

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Rolls-Royce Reports Highest First-Quarter Sales in 116-Year History

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Rolls-Royce has revealed their first-quarter sales between 1 January and 31 March 2021 are the highest in the brand’s 116-year history.
Rolls-Royce 2021 Record Sales Ghost Torsten
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös is optimistic for 2021. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has delivered the highest-ever first-quarter sales results in the luxury auto-maker’s 116-year history, in the first three months of 2021.

Delivering 1,380 vehicles to customers between 1 January and 31 March 2021, Rolls-Royce confirmed these numbers are 62% up on the same period in 2020 thanks to sales growth in China, the USA, and Asia Pacific (although 2020 was undoubtedly affected by COVID-19 closures). The 2021 sales figures also surpassed their previous first-quarter sales record, which Rolls-Royce set in 2019.

“Rolls-Royce Motor Cars made a strong start to 2021, reflected today in our first-quarter sales figures, which are the highest in our 116-year history. With robust order books across our product range, particularly for the new Ghost and Cullinan, sales growing in key markets and Bespoke commissions running at record levels, our business is in excellent shape. We have every reason to be optimistic for the remainder of 2021,” says Torsten Müller-Ötvös, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars CEO.

Rolls-Royce 2021 Record Sales Ghost
High demand for the 2020 Rolls-Royce Ghost edition. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Rolls-Royce revealed demand for all models was extremely buoyant, with exceptionally high demand for the new Ghost launched in 2020 and the sporty SUV Cullinan, along with bespoke commissions filling the order books well into the second half of 2021.

Bespoke commissions have also remained at the record levels seen in 2020, with several outstanding individual examples already delivered this year, including the Koa Phantom and Iridescent Opulence Phantom.

All 20 of the Phantom Tempus Collection cars have been allocated to customers worldwide.

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Bugatti Delivers 300th Chiron of 500 Limited Edition Vehicles

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Bugatti has delivered the 300th Chiron hypercar built at their atelier in Molsheim, leaving only 200 of the 500 limited production to be built.
Bugatti President Stephan Winklemann and the Management Board with hte 300th Chiron. Credit: Bugatti
Bugatti President Stephan Winklemann and the Management Board with the 300th Chiron. Credit: Bugatti

Bugatti has announced the completion of the 300th Chiron model since production first started production in 2016 at the atelier in Molsheim, France. With total production limited to 500 hand-built vehicles in total, only 200 customers remain who will have the option to customize their own exactly how they like.

A Chiron Pur Sport in "Nocturne" exterior paint. Credit: Bugatti
A Chiron Pur Sport in “Nocturne” exterior paint. Credit: Bugatti

“Bugatti stands for the most extraordinary, most powerful and most elegant hyper sports cars in the world. With the now 300th vehicle produced, we are again showing our competence in quality and customization,” says Stephan Winkelmann, President of Bugatti. “The Chiron Pur Sport is guaranteed to give customers pleasure. In addition to its unbelievable driving performance, it combines highest engineering and design skill as well as superb craftsmanship.”

Only 60 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport's will be produced at €3 million each. Credit: Bugatti
Only 60 Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport’s will be produced at €3 million each. Credit: Bugatti

Of all the Bugatti Chiron’s produced to date, the 300 have been a mixture of the original Chiron models along with variants including the 110 Ans Bugatti Chiron Sport developed to celebrate 110 years of Bugatti, the Les Légendes du Ciel Chiron Sport that celebrates the aviation history of Bugatti’s historic racing drivers, the Chiron Super Sport 300+, Chiron Pur Sport and the special Chiron Noire edition.

Powered by Bugatti's iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine. Credit: Bugatti
Powered by Bugatti’s iconic 8.0-liter W16 engine. Credit: Bugatti

The 300th Chiron to leave Molsheim was a highly customized Pur Sport edition in black “Nocturne” exterior paint color for the main bodywork and “Grey Carbon” and “Gun Powder” for additional external elements, including the mirror arms, outer mirror housings, windshield wipers and Bugatti’s signature C-line.

Featuring the Pur Sport Interior Package in "Beluga Black". Credit: Bugatti
Featuring the Pur Sport Interior Package in “Beluga Black”. Credit: Bugatti

The customer also selected the Pur Sport Interior Package in “Beluga Black” for the leather and Alcantara with the seams in “Gris Rafale,” and paid special tribute to Ettore Bugatti’s brother Rembrandt, an artist with a talent for sketching animals, with a drawing of his dancing elephant featuring on the headrests.

The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport accelerates from 0-62mph in 2.3 seconds. Credit: Bugatti
The Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport accelerates from 0-62mph in 2.3 seconds. Credit: Bugatti

Bugatti has revealed only 60 Chiron Pur Sport editions will be built in total, with the majority expected to be delivered to their owners this year.

In addition, Bugatti is also planning to build the world’s most expensive and exclusive later this year – the one-off $18.7 million La Voiture Noire that was first revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019.

Bugatti Chiron 300 Produced Rear Details
Bugatti Chiron 300 Production Front Grille

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The Customized Rolls Royce Cullinan of Google Exec Ben and Christine Sloss

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Automotive and racing enthusiasts Ben and Christine Sloss have added a new bespoke Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan to their already impressive garage.
Rolls Royce Cullinan Google Ben Christine Sloss Front Side View
The new Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan created for Ben and Christine Sloss. Credit: Rolls-Royce

No strangers to the Rolls-Royce brand, Ben and Christine Sloss were first acquainted with the brand back in 2014 at Pebble Beach when looking for a suitable two-door coupe with four useable seats for adults and more recently with the delivery of a bespoke Dawn Black Badge 2018.

Rolls Royce Cullinan Google Ben Christine Sloss Side View
Eye-catching exterior in Pikes Peak Blue with Forge Yellow detailing. Credit: Rolls-Royce

This time Ben, who is the VP of engineering at Google, along with his racing enthusiast wife Christine, who competes in the Ferrari FXX program and challenges, settled on a new Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan inspired by the couple’s well-known racing livery – a blue and yellow combination that borrows from the colors of the flag of Modena in Northern Italy and is applied across all of their race cars.

Rolls Royce Cullinan Google Ben Christine Sloss Rear View
The reverse color scheme of Ben’s 2018 Black Badge Dawn. Credit: Rolls-Royce

Finished in the reverse color scheme of Ben’s 2018 Black Badge Dawn, the new Cullinan features a unique bespoke Pikes Peak Blue paint, named in homage to one of their favorite hill-climb races along with Forge Yellow detailing on the famous Rolls-Royce hand-painted coachline, wheel-center pinstripes and brake calipers.

Rolls Royce Cullinan Google Ben Christine Sloss Details
Pantheon grille

The Cullinan’s brushed metal technical clock has also been created with the same color scheme utilizing Navy Blue Anodised brushed stainless steel and Forge Yellow accents.

Rolls Royce Cullinan Google Ben Christine Sloss Details Interior
The Sloss’s Black Badge Cullinan interior carries over the race livery colors. Credit: Rolls-Royce

Other bespoke additions to the Sloss’s new Cullinan include engraved names on the front door treadplates – Benjamin on the Driver’s side and Christine on the Passenger’s side – monogrammed navy-blue leather seats in Forge Yellow and door panels featuring Christine’s personal racing logo – a stylized stiletto in embroided leather.

The new Rolls-Royce Black Badge Cullinan will now be at home amongst other vehicle’s in the Sloss’s garage like a Ford GT MKII, Christine’s Ferrari FXXK EVO, Porsche Taycan Turbo S, Ferrari 488 Pista Spider, Ferrari GTC4 Lusso and a Ferrari F12TDF to name a few.

Rolls Royce Cullinan Google Ben Christine Sloss Spirit of Ecstasy
Spirit of Ecstasy milled from a single billet of carbon fiber. Credit: Rolls-Royce
Rolls Royce Cullinan Google Ben Christine Sloss Wheels
Brake calipers and wheel pinstripe in Forge Yellow. Credit: Rolls-Royce

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