The End of an Era and the Opening of the Second Act

Since its debut in 2020, the Bentayga has been a steady seller with an increasing number of variations and a 5th model added to the lineup - the Bentayga EWB. At a glance, it looks like a stretched version of the original but it seems to open a new path in the competitive luxury SUV category, making the most of the Bentayga’s charm.

words: Yoshio Fujiwara

During the presentation, the Bentayga EWB’s positioning was described as ‘the rise of the luxury SUV and the fall of the luxury sedan’ - a rather sensational statement. It happened to be the day before the state funeral of the late Queen Elizabeth II who loved her State Limousine and that might be why the sentence seemed to signify the end of one era and the beginning of another one in the UK.

 The international test drive event took place in Vancouver on the Canadian west coast. Vancouver is the third biggest city in Canada where a clean and bustling city coexists with the natural sceneries of the ocean, mountains and lakes.

The Bentayga EWB, as the name Extended Wheelbase suggests, is a stretched version with the wheel base extended 180mm.

But when you see it in person, it does not feel empty like a stretch limousine. When I asked the designer Crispin Marshfield what the secret was, he explained that to avoid the body looking empty, the rear window is slanted to match the front window, which prevents the roof from looking too long. The power line on the rear fender was brought forward and slanted toward the middle of the door to so the door doesn’t look too big. Also, the size and silhouette of the quarter window were altered to achieve an overall balance.

The highlight of the Bentayga EWB is the broad and comfortable rear seat. The standard version has 16 ways of adjustment and features a heater, a ventilator and a massage mode, which in itself is extraordinary, with the Bentley Airline Seat Specification option including 22 ways of adjustment and up to 40-degree recline angle. It also features Seat Auto Climate, which measures the passenger’s temperature and humidity and automatically adjusts the heater and ventilator; a Postural Adjustment that makes continuous small changes to the seat’s shape to disperse pressure applied to the body; and if you select the VIP mode, the front passenger seat can be slid forward and reclined to the max to create space that feels like flying first class.

The test drive course was splendid, consisting of a motorway and a winding road surrounded by majestic mountains. What surprised me as I clutched the steering wheel was the improved straight travelling stability at high speed thanks to the long wheel base and the electronic all-wheel steering, the 48V electronic anti-roll bar and Bentley’s dynamic ride, resulting in natural handling and a sense of unity with the chassis during cornering at high-speed and in tight corners that doesn’t lose to the standard. There were no setbacks because of the increased weight and length. To be honest, this might be the best Bentayga yet.

As I was driving thinking about that, I arrived to a serene lakeside in the depth of the mountains. This is where my short trip with the Bentayga EWB ended and a hydroplane was waiting to take me back. To be honest, even after driving more than 300km in one day, I felt like it wasn’t enough.

As they say, the Bentayga EWB could take over after the Mulsanne EWB. And the Bentayga EWB will undoubtedly have a great influence on luxury SUVs worldwide, which tend to lean toward speed and impact.

As the hydroplane took off from the smooth water surface, I was convinced that this car would begin the second chapter of the Bentayga. 

This is a revised version of an article that appeared in Flying B 1 (2022). The information provided here was accurate at the time of publication.


The Bentayga EWB has three seat layouts - the standard 4+1 seats, 4 seats and 5 seats. Pictured is a car with a 4-seat layout featuring the Bentley Airline Seat Specification and a rear centre console. The seat reclines up to 40 degrees and features everything your heart desires - a seat heater and cooler automatically adjusted based on the passenger’s body temperature and humidity and a mechanism that makes slight changes to the seat’s shape to alleviate fatigue during long rides. The luxuriously crafted interior features loft quilting, the new standard metal overlay, diamond illumination and more. One car takes master craftsmen 132 hours to make. For reference, more than 50% of customers order the Airline Seat Specialisation or the diamond illumination and about 30% order an optional paint or metal overlay.