You can now order a brand-new Bentley Bentayga in Malaysia with a W12 engine again. The six-litre engine that debuted with Crewe's first ever SUV went missing for a while after it was updated last year. But it has now made its way back into the Bentayga's imposing, chrome-grilled nose, bringing with it a bunch of emblems that spell out the word 'Speed' to denote the extra power it makes over the 'standard' four-litre V8.
Yes, the 2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed is finally here. And it's easily one of the fastest and most powerful SUVs on sale today thanks to the engine's 626bhp and a 900Nm of torque; an output capable of propelling the Bentayga's heft to 100kph from a standstill in 3.9 blistering seconds. The 12-cylinder mill will also keep the large SUV going well past the 250kph limit on most continental cruisers, and even crossing the 300kph threshold if you dare, as top speed is rated at a stratospheric 306kph. It's not exactly an improvement over the old one, but that's still 1kph more than the Lamborghini Urus's vmax.
For all its straight-line pace, the Bentayga Speed is also taught how to deactivate an entire bank of cylinders and run as a slightly quieter and more efficient six-pot SUV. There is also a 'sail' function which decouples the eight-speed transmission from the engine when cruising from fifth gear or higher; not that economy figures matter much to the super SUV's clientele. It is, however, interesting to note that this is a far more affordable way to own and run a 12-cylinder car in Malaysia as far as road tax is concerned – you'll only need to pay RM6,360 annually compared to RM15,405 for a Continental GT with the same engine on the grounds of the Bentayga being a 'utility vehicle'.
As before, the Bentayga Speed rides on the Bentley Dynamic Ride system, the world's first 48V electric active roll control technology. This system, along with the air suspension and the Bentayga's AWD drivetrain have all been configured to deliver an enhanced Sport mode that's unique to the Bentayga Speed. Owners who are really serious about maximising the SUV's potential can also opt for optional carbon ceramic brakes that are 20kg lighter than the standard fitments, but capable of withstanding temps of up to 1,000 degrees Celcius and 6,000Nm of braking torque. There's an Akrapovic exhaust in the options list too.
Aesthetically, many of the bright and shiny pieces making up the Bentayga's posh exterior have either been darkened or completely blacked out to emphasise the element of sportiness. This includes the tinted light clusters, darkened radiator grille and 22-inch wheels finished in the same shade, on the display car at least. However, customers aren't limited to a fixed look and feel at this price point (more on that later), with Bentley offering 88 paintwork options and an interior palette made up of '15 hide colours, six colour splits, eight veneers and two technical finishes'.
Before ticking on any options, the Bentayga Speed is already tagged with a base price of RM1,062,000. Duties, taxes and registration are also omitted from this figure. This marks a RM300k pre-tax premium over the Bentayga V8, which is a fair top-up considering the extra 'Speed', and the bragging rights that come with it.
So, which one would it be, fine sir?