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.

Advertisement
Comments

Luxury Cars

Lamborghini To Recall 26 Aventador SVJ’s Due To Faulty Door Locks

Published

on

Lamborghini set to recall 26 Aventador SVJ Coupes and Roadsters produced between December 2019 and January 2020 to replace a possible faulty door locking mechanism.

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself the owner of a 2020 Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Coupe or Roadster, then you may also be unlucky enough to have to hand it back to your local Lamborghini Dealer….but only for a short time to check if they need to replace a possible faulty door lock.

You May Have To Hand Back Your Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. Credit: Lamborghini
You May Have To Hand Back Your Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. Credit: Lamborghini

In a Safety Recall Report issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Lamborghini have identified the possibility that 26 Aventador SVJ Coupes and Roadster produced between December 2019 and January 2020 may be at risk of having a faulty door locking mechanism.

 According to the report, in January 2020 during end of line quality checks Lamborghini verified a few cases of non-operative internal door handles. An internal investigation was launched to determine the root cause and results revealed there’s a 40% chance additional vehicles produced between December 2019 and January 2020 may also present with the same issue over time.

The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster First Revealed At The Geneva Motor Show. Credit: Lamborghini
The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster First Revealed At The Geneva Motor Show. Credit: Lamborghini

The defect was caused by a “non-properly trained new operator” who may not have “correctly engaged the Bowden cable pin inside the internal door handles during the manual assembly step of the components.”

The possible risk caused from this human error is that “over time the internal door handle mechanism may fail and the door cannot be unlocked from the inside, posing an entrapment risk. This failure could lead to the inability to operate the handles from inside the vehicle with a safety risk in case of emergency.”

Lamborghini did note that the outside handles operation are guaranteed by a different component and its functionality is not affected, ensuring it is still possible to open the doors normally from the outside.

Can Still Escape The Aventador SVJ Roadster If Need Be. Credit: Lamborghini
Can Still Escape The Aventador SVJ Roadster If Need Be. Credit: Lamborghini

The Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Coupe and Roadsters of concern for recall have a VIN range of ZHWUM6ZD4LLA09411 – ZHWUN6ZD1LLA09511 (not sequential) so if you’ve taken delivery of a Lamborghini between December 2019 and now it might be worth checking your VIN.

Lamborghini plans to notify all owners of affected vehicles between May 1 2020 – June 1 2020 and will instruct them to arrange an appointment with their authorized Lamborghini dealer so that the whole internal door handle can be replaced free of charge.

Continue Reading

Luxury Cars

Stephan Winklemann Explains the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport in Detail

Published

on

Bugatti President Stephan Winklemann and colleagues explain the finer details of the new €3 million Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport revealed earlier this month.

Leading a presentation from Bugatti’s stately headquarters at the Château St. Jean and Bugatti Atelier in Molsheim earlier this month, President Stephen Winklemann was joined by Managing Director of Production and Logistics Christophe Piochon, Head of Development Stefan Ellrot and Deputy Design Director Frank Heyl as they elaborated on the aspects that make the Chiron Pur Sport what it is.

All the Bug’s lined up at Château St. Jean. Credit: Bugatti

Standing alongside the new Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport and Bugatti’s most recent offerings, the “Golden Era inspired” La Voiture Noir, the EB110 inspired Centodieci and the record breaking Chiron Super Sport 300+, Stephan Winklemann introduced the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport.

Bugatti President Stephan Winklemann at the Bugatti Atelier. Credit: Bugatti
Bugatti President Stephan Winklemann at the Bugatti Atelier. Credit: Bugatti

Speaking on the overall design, Stephan referenced the immediate visual points of difference from the original Chiron, beginning with the large rear wing and massive rear diffuser before moving onto the larger air intakes at the front of the car that help to improve aerodynamics and increase downforce.

The New Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport. Credit: Bugatti
The New Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport. Credit: Bugatti

Focusing on the wheel design, Stephan noted the wheels have “negative camber of 2.5 degrees” (meaning the bottom of the specially designed tyres sit further out than at the top), with springs 60% stiffer compared to the Chiron and gear ratio shortened by 18%, which improves the elasticity of the car by 40%. This combined with an overall weight reduction and a weight to power ratio of 1:1.8 means the Chiron Pur Sport is capable of hitting 0-62mph in 2.3 seconds.

Bugatti Head of Development Stephan Ellrot discussing technicals. Credit: Bugatti
Bugatti Head of Development Stephan Ellrot discussing technicals. Credit: Bugatti

Commenting on the technical aspects of the Chiron Pur Sport, Bugatti’s Head of Development Stefan Ellrot drew attention to the fact that “the W16 engine has been increased maximum revs 200rpm leading to 6900rpm (in total), which fits together with the gearbox with the shortened gear ratios and all 7 gears, optimizing acceleration but more importantly, increasing the elasticity up to 40-45% which you can feel immediately when driving the car.”

Frank Heyl - Bugatti Deputy Design Director. Credit: Bugatti
Frank Heyl – Bugatti Deputy Design Director. Credit: Bugatti

Reflecting on the finer aesthetic details of the Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport, Deputy Design Director Frank Heyl was quick to again emphasize “form follows performance”, noting that the front air takes of the Pur Sport have been increased and the horseshoe design enlarged significantly to make it look more aggressive while assisting aerodynamics and being careful not to detract from the overall performance.

At the rear of the car, the unmissable 1.9 meter rear wing has been designed to help counterbalance the increased downforce created by the front of the car and visually speaking, a new horizontal split has been introduced that acts to reduce the visual height of the car, making it appear lower to the ground and more streamlined.

Production of the 60 limited edition Bugatti Chiron Pur Sport’s is expected to begin second half of 2020 with prices starting at €3 million excluding VAT.

Continue Reading

Luxury Cars

New Rolls-Royce Roadster: The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection

Published

on

Rolls-Royce embodies the spirit of the roaring twenties by introducing its first Collection Car of the new decade, the Dawn Silver Bullet Collection.
Rolls Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection side profile sketch
A profile sketch of the Dawn Silver Bullet Collection. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars
  • New Rolls-Royce open-top roadster
  • Limited to 50 examples
  • An ode to the 1920’s

The 1920’s are frequently referred to as the “Roaring Twenties” while in Europe they’re sometimes referred to as the “Golden Age” because of the economic boom following World War I. In France you may hear the period referred to as the “Crazy Years”.

The Roaring Twenties were a period in history of dramatic social and political change. For the first time ever, more Americans lived in cities than on farms.Some countries saw the rise of radical political movements while others had a social, artistic, and cultural explosion.

America, for one, tried to assert some control over the unruly immigrant masses who crowded the nation’s cities with the Prohibition. This was a nationwide constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933

Rolls Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection top view sketch
Only 50 examples of the Dawn Silver Bullet Collection will be made. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

America’s total wealth more than doubled between 1920 and 1929, and this economic growth swept many Americans into an affluent “consumer society.” Americans had extra money to spend and they spent it on consumer goods, with the most important consumer product of the 1920s being the automobile, as cars gave young people the freedom to go where they pleased and do what they wanted.

With the 1920’s ending, many were left with a prosperity hangover. In September and October 1929 the London Stock Exchange and Wall Street Crash occurred, marking the beginnings of the Great Depression.

100 years on from the beginning of the crazy years, 2020 finds Rolls-Royce attempting to capture the carefree attitude of those far-off days in a bold, contemporary car designed for today’s non-conformists and pleasure-seekers. The car is the first Collection Car from Rolls-Royce for the new decade and is the Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection.

Rolls Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection aero cowling windbreak badge
The vapor blasted titanium aero cowling windbreak badge. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

This open-top roadster iteration of Rolls-Royce Dawn is designed to be like a silver bullet and features a dash in a newly commissioned ultra-metallic silver bespoke paint finish. Also greeting the driver and companion as they step in is a contemporary and unique open-pore carbon fibre fascia. Continuing to draw inspiration from the famed fashion of rebellious youth from the 1920’s, the Dawn Silver Bullet’s transmission tunnel has been quilted in a way that draws inspiration from trendy A-1 style brown leather jackets of the era while the aero cowling windbreak displays the Silver Bullet name via machined text on a vapor-blasted titanium surface.

Rolls Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection quilted leather transmission tunnel
The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection features a quilted leather transmission tunnel. Credit: Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

Contrasting the car’s silver hue, The Dawn Silver Bullet Collection features some dark exterior detailing with dark headlights and a new dark front bumper finisher which is then complimented with part-polished wheels that offer a translucent shadow finish with a single silver pinstripe.

The Rolls-Royce Dawn Silver Bullet Collection will be limited to just 50 cars worldwide.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending