Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins, Photos by Garvin St. Villier
Ah yes, much love and appreciation to Bentley Motors for blessing Automotive Rhythms with a Ghost White 2021 Bentayga for the cheers of New Year. The definitive luxury performance SUV was the perfect sled for spreading peace and happiness to friends and family during this festive time to show our appreciation for their comradeship, sisterhood, and brotherhood. The majestic, hand-crafted Bentayga served dutifully with exemplary performance that shaped my impulses from the rhythmic beauty of the 4-liter V8 to its manicured interior ripe for kingship.
Representing as the Bentley family’s vanguard in my book, the 2021 Bentayga is the first vehicle to be built under the company’s Beyond100 business plan, with 100 signifying their automotive debut in 1919. More pointedly, since 2015, Bentley has commissioned 20,000 Bentaygas, which represents 45% of global sales. “With the new Bentayga, we’re repositioning the pinnacle of the luxury SUV segment to be even higher, even further away from the competition…a thoroughly modern and beautiful extension of the original car’s abilities and achievements,” stated Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors.
To Adrian’s point, the high-end SUV category includes the likes of the Aston Martin DBX, Lamborghini Urus, and the Roll-Royce Cullinan, with each offering varying degrees of extravagant symbolism. Bentley’s position affords owners the tenants of two highly desirable worlds: performance and comfort. So, there are a few critical aspects of this grand tourer you will come to love if you live in a world that appreciates the finer things in life. For starters, you have one of the most prestigious and powerful SUVs at your disposal since it’s supreme on and off-road. Two, Bentley is offering entertaining performance to highlight every driving experience behind the wheel. Lastly, defining attributes such as the $8,880 Naim for Bentley premium surround-sound audio system featuring 20 speakers and super tweeters, an all-new 10.9″ touchscreen multimedia system, and active safety systems like Night vision assure that your Bentayga is mesmerizing when pushing this bespoke chariot to the limits.
Beneath the bonnet lies a newly developed 4-liter twin-scroll turbocharged V8 pushing out 542-horsepower and 568-lb ft of torque. Mated to an 8-speed transmission with paddle shifters, the vehicle’s pulling power is enthralling, especially in Sport mode. On top of that, proprietors can expect 397 miles of fuel range since the V8 can deactivate four cylinders when fuel efficacy is the goal. With a top speed of 180 mph, the British marquee gracefully forwards itself from 0 to 60 in 4.4 seconds, partly thanks to Bentley Dynamic Ride, electric active roll control technology. I enjoyed myself during spirited outings. The vehicle’s acceleration from every gear is astounding, especially for its weight.
Furthermore, with Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Mode, you can customize the ride in various settings such a Sport, Custom, and the optional All-Terrain Specification mode that increases your choice of settings to eight: four on-road and four off-road. It rained and snowed in Maryland during my test drive, which was fine since my loaner’s AWD and massive Pirelli Scorpion Verde all-season tires performed admirably in the adverse weather conditions. Honestly, it doesn’t seem sensible that an SUV so enchanting is so amazing when it is time to pound the pavement. Above all, braking is equally proficient.
The exterior of the Bentayga is reinvigorated with new panels and an array of amenities. In the front, its steel and aluminum body is amplified with the classic Bentley matrix grille, new elliptical headlights, and matrix sparkling LED headlamps. The rear is enhanced by elliptical taillights that match the quad integrated but rather sizeable oval exhaust tips, a hands-free tailgate, and a more extended roof spoiler. Optional Mulliner 22” rims and a Pearlescent Ghost White 3-coat finished hue exalt the rest of the touring machine from Crewe, England.
Pointedly executed, the Bentayga’s cabin is more serene, charming, and dignifying than the prior model. It comprises a Saddle main hide and Damson secondary hide with Piano Black veneers, the centered Breitling clock, a lengthy moonroof, duo-tone 3-spoke steering wheel, jeweled Bentley brake pedal, illuminating treadplates, and mood lighting. Rear passengers will enjoy comfort as much as the driver with a touchscreen tablet remote that allows control over the heated seats, privacy shades, massage features, custom interior lighting, and infotainment system. Although, the rear camera becomes distorted and foggy in the rain and renders itself useless. Also, I’m not a fan of the parking gear positioned on the back of the shift knob. A few times, I had to recall where it was located before parking.
Pricing starts at $177,000 for the immaculate Bentayga, but Bentley enhanced my model with an additional $68,000 of amenities for a $248,000 total, including the destination charge. An efficient Hybrid and a dynamic Speed model featuring the stalwart 6-liter W12 TSE engine are also on the way. So, the choice is yours to step into a realm that embodies opulence from the British purveyor of luxury wheels. Welcome to the world of Bentley!