The exceptional model takes it up a notch

The Bentayga is currently following three roads. One is the hybrid on the way to electrification,another is the luxury SUV path lead by the EWB, and finally the road of the super SUV representedby the Speed. The Bentayga S has been added to the lineup as the younger sibling of the Speed and itis a rising star of the super SUV category that maximises the potential of the existing V8.

words: Yoshio Fujiwara

The night before the test drive, we enjoyed a welcome dinner in a winery called the Penfolds Magill Estate outside of Adelaide, Australia. It is one of the oldest wineries in Australia founded in 1844 by a British doctor who moved here, Christopher Lawson Penfolds and his wife Mary. And to this day, it has a solid reputation as one of the world’s top brands. As I was tasting a number of wines there, I was impressed by the fact that even winemaking is not just about carrying on a tradition, it continuously evolves with new technology and manufacturing processes.

For a traditional brand like Bentley, an SUV like the Bentayga plays a similar role, it is a breath of fresh air that continues to mature and evolve.

The Bentayga S is a sports version of the Bentayga V8 newly added to the lineup with imposing blacked out exterior parts and an impressive interior incorporating Alcantara for the first time on the Bentayga. But the model’s true nature shows through in the chassis.

The engine is the same 4 Litre V8 with 550ps and 770Nm but the suspension features the 48V Bentley Dynamic Ride as standard equipment, reaching maximum torque of 1300Nm in 0.3 seconds and featuring an anti-roll mechanism during cornering. With sports mode selected, the air suspension’s damping force increases by 15% and the electronic stability control, torque vectoring by braking are tuned especially for this model.

The test drive took place outside of Adelaide on the West Circuit of the Bend Motorsport Park. Unfortunately, it was raining heavily so the conditions were unusual, but the model shined.

The exceptionally high stability took me by surprise. Even when driving straight full throttle, the wheels didn’t spin and it shot forward like an arrow. During cornering, it stayed flat and traced the desired line precisely with no need for steering adjustments. The nose is light so when you turn the steering wheel, the turn ins are even sharper and the switch between corners is even faster than with the Bentayga Speed. The electronic devices working behind the scenes use a smart mechanism that not only stabilises on slippery roads but can be controlled with confidence.

Of course, the Bentayga’s specs are brilliant to begin with but understanding its potential and building a chassis that makes the most of the 550ps power is a notable feat by Bentley’s engineers.

In that sense, the Bentayga S is an exceptional model that has taken the Bentayga’s sporty character up a notch.


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.

On the spec sheet, it is not different from the standard V8 - maximum speed 290km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds, but the Bentayga S has state-of-theart handling. The exterior dress up features specially designed 22-inch wheels, a Blackline specification, a large rear spoiler, dark tinted headlamps and tail lenses, blacked out door mirrors and tail pipes, as well as a sports exhaust with improved efficiency as standard equipment. The interior features Alcantara for the first time on a Bentayga, on the seat, the steering wheel and the shift knob. The meter display uses the same graphic as the Bentayga Speed so visually, it looks different from a standard model.