Here it is, the new Bentley Bentayga Speed, which still manages to retain its title of being the fastest SUV in the world. The performance-focused model comes following the debut of the facelifted Bentayga back in July this year, adopting many of the styling updates that were revealed then.
These include restyled headlamps and taillights, along with new body panels like the bumpers, tailgate and sides. However, the Speed further distinguishes itself thanks to dark-tinted lighting units, body coloured side skirts, unique 22-inch wheels, oval-shaped exhaust finishers, a more prominent tailgate spoiler as well as unique front and rear aprons.
Of course, the star of the show is the 6.0 litre twin-turbo W12 engine under the bonnet, which serves up 635 PS (626 hp) and 900 Nm of torque. The figures are pretty much unchanged from before, and allow the Speed to get from zero to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds and hit a top speed of 306 km/h.
Once again, these performance numbers are identical to the pre-facelift Speed, but they are more than enough for it to fend off the Lamborghini Urus that tops out at “just” 305 km/h, although the Italian SUV is quicker when it comes to the century sprint at 3.6 seconds. Keep in mind that the Lamborghini has a smaller 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8 and is lighter at around 2.2 tonnes, while the Speed creeps in close to 2.5 tonnes.
As before, an eight-speed automatic transmission is the standard pairing for the engine, as is an all-wheel drive system. The Speed also benefits from an air suspension system and Bentley Dynamic Ride, the latter being the company’s electric active roll control technology that operates on a 48-volt architecture.
To further keep things in check, the SUV’s torque vectoring by brake system has also been recalibrated and carbon ceramic brakes are available as an option. Bentley says the more advanced braking system is 20 kg lighter than the default iron brakes and is capable of providing a maximum braking torque of 6,000 Nm, while withstanding temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees Celsius – useful when bringing such a heavy vehicle to a stop from high speeds.
Life inside is rather similar to a standard Bentayga, so a larger 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with plenty of media inputs, a digital instrument cluster and various connected services all come as standard.
On top of that, you do get plenty of reminders of the Speed’s potential. For starters, there’s Alcantara on various areas like the steering wheel, headliner, seat cushions and others to contrast the heaps of leather applied to the cabin. If you’re not a big fan of the material, the company offers the Leather Specification to instead have these areas trimmed in hide.
Elsewhere, you’ll find the “Speed” script embroidered onto the backrest of all seats, which can be replaced with the Bentley logo for no additional costs. The Mulliner Driving Specification is also standard for the Speed, whereby you get a new contrast stitching design through the diamond quilting. Other items are dedicated “Speed” badges and illuminated treadplates.
This being a Bentley, customers will have plenty of avenues to personalise their purchase, including 17 standard paint colours, with a further 47 hues from the Extended and Mulliner ranges as well as 24 duo-tone options. If you can’t find something that pleases your eye from the 88 options, you can bring your own sample and the company will have one colour matched specifically for you.
The expansive catalogue also includes 15 hide colours, six colour themes, eight veneers and two technical finishes for the interior. If that isn’t enough, the company also offers the Black Specification, which replaces all the chrome on the exterior with gloss black or carbon-fibre versions, including the roof and wheels.