SUV-8: Bentley Bentayga Gets a 542-HP Twin-Turbo Eight-Cylinder

Bentayga V8 - 1

Since the Bentley Bentayga mega-luxury SUV debuted for the 2017 model year, Bentley has added a diesel model, introduced an even fancier Mulliner model, and managed to make its SUV even more incomprehensibly ostentatious by creating a special edition just for falconry. Bentley is further expanding the Bentayga’s lineup for the new year by introducing a twin-turbo V-8, just in case the W-12 isn’t hitting the spot.

Although the W-12 engine that debuted with the Bentayga remains king with 600 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, this twin-turbo V-8 still is monumentally powerful. The 4.0-liter 32-valve powerplant, which tucks its twin-scroll turbochargers between the cylinder banks, makes a claimed 542 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 568 lb-ft of torque at 1960 rpm. It is paired with a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and permanent all-wheel drive with a 60 percent rear torque bias.

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Bentley says it has a top speed of 180 mph, 7 mph lower than the W-12, and can do the zero-to-60-mph sprint in 4.4 seconds. Bentley’s claim for the W-12 is 4.0 seconds flat, but we’ve recorded as quick as 3.5 seconds during our testing, so don’t be surprised if the V-8 model also is quicker than advertised. The eight-pot also includes cylinder deactivation and stop/start technology, which will help efficiency, although EPA mileage estimates have yet to be released. Of course, buyers are likely to care about its miles-per-gallon figures about as much as they do the cost of feeding their falcons.

The V-8 is being touted as the sportiest version of the Bentayga. To that end, it has a dual twin-tip exhaust system for a throaty soundtrack and offers optional carbon-ceramic brakes that, Bentley claims, feature the largest front brake discs on any production vehicle. They measure 17.3 inches up front, where they’re clamped by with 10-piston calipers, and 14.6 inches in the rear. Standard Tornado Red calipers signal to the 99.999999 percent that this is indeed the V-8 trim. A new 22-inch, five-spoke polished black wheel design brings the wheel options up to 11 choices, with sizes starting at 20 inches.

Front Wheel Carbon Disc

Like other Bentaygas, the V-8 features tons of chassis technology, including the body-roll-resistant Bentley Dynamic Ride setup—our full explanation of how it works is here—a four-height, multimode air suspension, and an optional All-Terrain Specification with eight different driving modes to cover various types of surfaces.

Inside, buyers can opt for four-, five-, or seven-seat setups. Bentley is introducing three new features for the V-8: high-gloss carbon-fiber trim (only matte carbon was offered before), a wood-and-leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a new red leather color called Cricket Ball. An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system remains standard up front, while rear passengers have the pleasure of fiddling with a 10.2-inch removable Android-based tablet.

Pricing for the twin-turbo V-8 Bentayga has not been announced, but given that the W-12 starts at $230,000 or so, it’ll cost a few truckloads of pretty pennies.

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