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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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Luxury Cars

New Lamborghini Sián Roadster Hybrid: Only 19 Will Be Made

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The already sold-out Lamborghini Sián Roadster is the company’s first hybrid roadster and is powered by a supercapacitor instead of lithium-ion cells.
The Lamborghini Sián Roadster hybrid super sports car.
The Lamborghini Sián Roadster hybrid super sports car. Credit: Lamborghini

Lamborghini has officially revealed the new Lamborghini Sián Roadster – inspired by the Sián FKP 37 hybrid concept car first unveiled at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.

After a week of Lamborghini teasing their new release with ambiguous images across social media, the Italian supercar maker has come forth with the latest hybrid creation.

Limited to only 19 vehicles (which are already sold-out), the Sián Roadster is the company’s first hybrid roadster and powered by Lamborghini’s 6.5-liter V12 engine with unique hybrid technologies that can produce up to 819 horsepower (602kW) of thermal and electric power.

Lamborghini Sian Roadster Hybrid Rear Side View
The Lamborghini Sián Roadster will produce up to 819 horsepower. Credit: Lamborghini

“The Sián Roadster encapsulates the spirit of Lamborghini,” says Stefano Domenicali, Automobili Lamborghini Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “It is the expression of breathtaking design and extraordinary performance, but most importantly embodies important future technologies. The Sián’s innovative hybrid powertrain heralds the direction for Lamborghini super sports cars, and the open-top Sián Roadster affirms a desire for the ultimate lifestyle Lamborghini as we move towards a tomorrow demanding new solutions.”

Only 19 Lamborghini Sián Roadster's will be built.
Only 19 Lamborghini Sián Roadster’s will be built. Credit: Lamborghini

Unlike many other electric vehicle manufacturers, the Sián Roadster uses a supercapacitor developed in collaboration with MIT in Boston, which can store ten more times power than lithium-ion batteries and delivers optimum performance.

Located in the bulkhead between the cockpit and engine, the supercapacitor and e-motor system weighs only 34kg and works in conjunction with the V12 engine and a new powertrain.

Sian Roadster Hybrid Interior Cockpit
The Sián Roadster’s new interior cockpit design. Credit: Lamborghini

The 48-volt e-motor itself delivers an additional 34hp for a total of 819hp (602kW), allowing the Sián Roadster to reach a top speed of over 218mph/350kmh and accelerate from 0 – 60mph 100kmh in less than 2.8 seconds.

The e-motor system also provides immediate response and supports low-speed manoeuvres (like reversing and parking) with electric power.

Lamborghini interior customisation
Endless customisation opportunities available to owners. Credit: Lamborghini

Another feature of the Sián Roadster is the regenerative braking system specially developed by Lamborghini. Unlike regular lithium-ion batteries, the supercapacitor’s symmetric behavior means that they can be charged and discharged with the same power, meaning the Sián’s energy storage system charges every time the vehicle brakes.

Each time the driver brakes, energy is stored in an instantly-available power boost which the driver can draw on immediately when accelerating away (making it 10% faster than a vehicle without this system).

Lamborghini Sian Roadster Tail lights exhaust rear view
Lamborghini Sián Roadster debuts in “Blu Uranas”. Credit: Lamborghini

Design-wise, the launch model of the Sián Roadster debuted in a color known as “Blu Uranas” with “Oro Electrum” wheels and “Blu Glauco” detailing, specially selected by Lamborghini’s Centro Stile and Ad Personam departments.

Carrying the unmistakable Lamborghini hexagonal DNA throughout the entire design, the Sián Roadster shares many of the same design elements of the coupe version, although it adds new details like the engine bonnet, the roll bar integrated into the front windscreen and aerodynamic wind vanes.

Sian Roadster Hybrid Rear View
Lamborghini’s hexagonal DNA continues through with the Sián Roadster. Credit: Lamborghini

No prices have been announced yet, but with all 19 limited editions already sold, you’ll most likely have to sell a kidney to get one anyway.

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Luxury Cars

The New James Bond Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation

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Fancy yourself the next James Bond? The new Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation, complete with all its gadgets might just be your cup of tea.
Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Edition. Credit: Aston Martin
Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Edition. Credit: Aston Martin

After more than 50 years, Aston Martin has decided it is high time the gadget cars of the early James Bond make a comeback, with the first “Job 1” DB5 Goldfinger Continuation rolling off the production line (after a few extra modifications from the “Q’s” at Aston Martin).

Limited to 25 editions and built in collaboration with EON Productions, the new Goldfinger DB5 continuation model is the first new DB5 to be built in more than 50 years.

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation's rear smoke screen delivery system in action. Credit: Aston Martin
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation’s rear smoke screen delivery system in action. Credit: Aston Martin

Originally built between 1963 and 1965, only 900 saloon examples of the classic Aston Martin DB5 were originally constructed, but thanks to its iconic appearance in the 1964 James Bond film “Goldfinger,” it has since been dubbed by some as “the most famous car in the world.”

Exterior paint color "Silver Birch" just like the original. Credit: Aston Martin
Exterior paint color “Silver Birch” just like the original. Credit: Aston Martin

Marek Reichman, Chief Creative Officer of Aston Martin Lagonda, said: “The DB5 is, without question, the most famous car in the world by virtue of its 50-plus year association with James Bond. To see, the first customer car finished, and realise that this is the first new DB5 we have built in more than half a century, really is quite a moment.

“It is a genuine privilege, and significant responsibility, to have been involved in the shaping of this new DB5 and to be helping to lead the creation of new versions of this automotive icon. I’m absolutely certain that the 25 lucky owners who are beginning to take delivery of these cars will be thrilled with them.”

These days the new DB5 Goldfinger Continuation takes around 4,500 hours of construction to create a working car complete with many of the operable gadgets from the movie, created by Bond film special effects supervisor Chris Corbould OBE.

Sharing the original DB5 styled aluminum exterior body panels and an authentic DB5 mild steel chassis structure, the new DB5 Goldfinger Continuations are powered by a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder engine and are only available in one exterior color – “Silver Birch,” just like the original James Bond car.

The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation interior. Credit: Aston Martin
The Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation interior. Credit: Aston Martin

It’s important to note the Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation is not “road-legal,” (which is slightly disappointing if we’re honest and rules out about 98% of the locations you’d want to test out the gadgets). However, if its any consolation, you could still take it to a track to test out the following list of Bond-inspired gadgets.

Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Exterior Gadgets:
  • Rear smoke screen delivery system
  • Rear simulated oil slick delivery system
  • Revolving number plates front and rear (triple plates)
  • Simulated twin front machine guns
  • Bullet resistant rear shield
  • Battering rams front and rear
  • Simulated tyre slasher
  • Removable passenger seat roof panel (optional equipment)
Rear simulated oil slick delivery system. Credit: Aston Martin
Rear simulated oil slick delivery system. Credit: Aston Martin
Revolving number plates for when you need to go incognito. Credit: Aston Martin
Revolving number plates for when you need to go incognito. Credit: Aston Martin
Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger Continuation Interior Gadgets:
  • Simulated radar screen tracker map
  • Telephone in driver’s door
  • Gear knob actuator button
  • Armrest and center console-mounted switchgear
  • Under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray
  • Remote control for gadget activation
Simulated radar screen tracker map. Credit: Aston Martin
Simulated radar screen tracker map. Credit: Aston Martin
Gear knob actuator button. Credit: Aston Martin
Gear knob actuator button. Credit: Aston Martin
Telephone in drivers door. Credit: Aston Martin
Telephone in drivers door. Credit: Aston Martin
Remote control for gadget activation. Credit: Aston Martin
Remote control for gadget activation. Credit: Aston Martin

First deliveries of the 25 special DB5 Goldfinger Continuation vehicles to their owners have already commenced and will continue through the second half of 2020.

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Lifestyle

Rolls-Royce x Franck Muller “Crazy Numbers” Wraith Black Badge and Watch Collab Revealed

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Rolls-Royce Geneva and Swiss luxury watchmaker Franck Muller have recently joined forces to design two new creations: The Wraith Black Badge Inspired Crazy Hours Watch and an upcoming Wraith Black Badge “Crazy Numbers.”
Franck Muller Rolls Royce Crazy Numbers Wraith Black Badge Partnership

Sharing a passion for excellence, Rolls-Royce Geneva and Swiss luxury watchmaker Franck Muller have joined forces to design two new creations: The Wraith Black Badge “Crazy Numbers” and the Wraith Black Badge inspired “Crazy Hours” watch.

Or to put it another way – Rolls-Royce Geneva will customize a special Black Badge edition of the Wraith to reflect elements of Franck Muller’s Crazy Hours watch, and Franck Muller is creating a Wraith Black Badge inspired version of the watch.

Benefitting from the expertise of the Rolls-Royce’s “Bespoke Programme,” the Rolls-Royce Geneva “Crazy Numbers” Wraith Black Badge is an artistic demonstration of the extreme personalization that can be achieved and will see elements of Franck Muller’s iconic Crazy Hours watch intertwined throughout the vehicle design.

Featuring a special Velvet Sparkle exterior finish with a Twin-Coachline motif in Silver/Cobalto Blue mirroring the Crazy Numbers theme, the special Wraith edition will feature a deep Cobalto Blue interior and a unique dashboard fascia and embroidered “Crazy Hours” numbers on the rear console. Overhead the Starlight Headliner will also depict the “Crazy Hours” watch face.

Franck Muller Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge Crazy Hours
Rear console embroidery inspired by Franck Muller “Crazy Hours” watch. Credit: Rolls-Royce Geneva

Sharing on the customization options of the special edition Matt Danton, Bespoke Designer at Rolls-Royce, commented, “Distinction, leadership and genuine expression is at the heart of the Bespoke Programme. The car is regarded as a key element of one’s taste and personal style, so it’s only natural it’s bespoke.”

Franck Muller Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge Crazy Numbers
Custom dashboard fascia inspired by Franck Muller “Crazy Hours” watch. Credit: Rolls-Royce Geneva

As yet, Rolls-Royce has only provided teaser images of the upcoming edition; however production of Wraith Black Badge “Crazy Numbers” is set to commence shortly with the actual motor car presented in the 4th quarter of 2020.

To celebrate the partnership, Franck Muller has also created two unique versions of the Crazy Hours watch. Featuring the same Cobalto Blue color scheme as the vehicle, one watch has a black dial with a Cobalto Blue case and black leather strap, while the other is a reverse combination with a Cobalto Blue dial, black case and blue strap.

Two versions of the Franck Muller Crazy Hours Wraith Black Badge Edition. Credit: Franck Muller
Two versions of the Franck Muller Crazy Hours Wraith Black Badge Edition. Credit: Franck Muller

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the world’s finest car manufacturer to produce this bespoke car and this exclusive watch collection,” says Nicholas Rudaz, director of Franck Muller Watchland. “To see our exceptional know-how of haute-horlogerie be interpreted into such an exclusive car has been a fascinating experience.”

For the uninitiated, the Franck Muller Crazy Hour watch is a self-winding watch with a 42-hour power reserve that displays the watch numbers in a very unconventional order and, at first glance, reminds one of something the Mad Hatter would wear to his next tea party.

Using its patented Crazy Hours mechanism, the central hour hand jumps to the correct hour number (one to twelve) even though the numbers are not in the standard order. Meanwhile, the minute hand continues to follow a conventional pattern and revolves around the dial on a 60-minute cycle.

As yet, pricing has not been announced for the Franck Muller Wraith Inspired Crazy Hours watch or the Rolls-Royce Wraith Black Badge “Crazy Numbers.”

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