2019 Bentley Bentayga V8: First Drive Review

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBentley Bentayga V8
As the latest addition to Bentley’s premium luxury sport-utility model line, the Bentayga V8 is powered by a new 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine — immediately recognizable by a distinctive V8 burble emanating from twin exhaust outlets. The Bentayga V8 is designed and engineered as a sporty, dynamic new choice alongside the W12-powered Bentayga that went on sale in the fall of 2016.

© Bentley MotorsDynamic Performance
In this new variant, the V8 engine gets located lower and farther back in the chassis than the W12 powerplant, which contributes to a sportier sensation during spirited driving. The Bentayga V8 achieves near-supercar performance numbers, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in a mere 4.4 seconds with a top speed of 180 mph, according to Bentley specs. By comparison, when equipped with the W12 engine the Bentayga will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds with a top speed of 187 mph.

© Bentley MotorsModel Lineup
The Bentayga V8 is distinguished by a black and chrome grille at the front and “twin-quad” exhaust outlets at the rear. The standard brake calipers are painted Tornado red front and rear, and 11 different wheel choices are offered, including 22-inch 5-spoke wheels with black paint and a polished finish. Starting MSRP for the Bentayga V8 is $165,000 (not including destination charge). Again for comparison, the MSRP of Bentayga with the W12 is $229,100 (not including destination charge).

© Bentley MotorsUnder the Hood
At the heart of Bentayga V8 is a new 4.0-liter V8 engine with dual twin-scroll turbochargers located within the V of the engine between the cylinder heads. The V8 produces 542 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque, combined with a ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox and permanent all-wheel drive with a 40:60 front-to-rear torque split. The new engine also features start-stop technology and cylinder deactivation to improve efficiency. For comparison, the 6.0-liter W12 in the Bentayga produces 600 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque.

© Bentley MotorsInner Space
The Bentayga V8 delivers everything one would expect from a Bentley on the inside, with exquisitely crafted materials, a traditional but finely detailed design and an overall feeling of quality and exclusivity. The new high-gloss carbon fiber trim creates a more performance-oriented ambience, and other new options include a wood and hide steering wheel and Cricket Ball red leather. As with any Bentley, Bentayga V8 offers a complete range of wood veneers, leathers and metals so buyers can tailor the interior to their specific tastes. Fifteen interior colors are offered with five 2-tone options. Interior elements such as carpet, deep-pile mats and seat belts are matched to the leather color choice.

© Bentley MotorsBentley Drive Dynamics
The driver can choose the driving experience with Bentley Drive Dynamics, offering four drive modes: Bentley (automatic), Sport, Comfort and Custom. The optional All-Terrain Specification adds four additional off-road modes: Snow & Grass, Dirt & Gravel, Mud & Trail and Sand Dunes. All-Terrain also displays additional information on the Driver Information Panel including pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing and altitude.

© Bentley MotorsBentley Dynamic Ride
The Bentayga V8 offers the world’s first electric active anti-roll system that uses a 48-volt system to counteract lateral forces while cornering. Bentley Dynamic Ride will adapt and react to road conditions, with the system balancing dynamic capability with road comfort to provide the best performance in varying conditions. Bentayga V8 features self-leveling air suspension with continuous damping control. The electric power provides driver feedback and uses variable ratios for quicker steering at low speeds and more subtle response for stability at higher speeds.

© Bentley MotorsCarbon Ceramic Brakes
For the first time, carbon ceramic brakes are offered on Bentayga — the largest and most powerful brakes ever for a Bentley and the largest front brakes offered on a production car. The carbon-silicon-carbide brake discs are 440 mm in diameter at the front and 370 mm in the rear, with 10-piston front calipers. The standard steel brakes are 400 mm at the front and 380 mm at the rear.

© Bentley MotorsDriver Assistance
Bentley driver-assistance technologies includes Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Predictive ACC and Traffic Assist to maintain a set distance to the vehicle in front. Other technologies for urban settings includes Traffic Sign Recognition, Rear Crossing Traffic Warning and Top View, which uses four cameras for an overall view around the vehicle. Available Park Assist detects available parking spaces — both parallel and perpendicular — and autonomous steering supports parking. Available Night Vision uses infra-red technology to identify potential obstacles.

© Bentley MotorsInfotainment
Bentayga V8 features an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and a 60GB hard drive. The Bentley Entertainment Tablet is a removable 10.2-inch Android device for rear-seat passengers with 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for high-speed connectivity. Three audio systems are offered for Bentayga V8: Bentley Standard Audio, Bentley Signature Audio and Naim for Bentley Premium Audio with 1,950 watts, 18 speakers and super-tweeters.

© Bentley MotorsIn the Driver’s Seat
From the moment drivers slip behind the wheel of the Bentayga V8 they know they are in a Bentley, surrounded by quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship. The new high-gloss carbon-fiber trim adds a sporty vibe but retains Bentayga’s luxury flavor as well, along with quilted leather on the seats bolsters and door panels. Pushing the start button brings to life a perfectly-tuned V8 engine exhaust note that gets even better when accelerating away from a stop.

© Bentley MotorsOn the Road
The new 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 feels extremely strong from a standstill with power delivered to all four wheels. Plenty of torque is always on tap with maximum torque delivered from 1960 to 4500 rpm. Shifts are quick and smooth with virtually no interruptions in power delivery when accelerating. The flexibility of the drivetrain and the great V8 sound from the exhaust create a dynamic driving experience. Sport mode delivers quicker shifts at higher rpm, retaining the lower gear longer for more responsiveness, while Comfort offers a smoother ride on rough roads but is not as responsive as Sport or Bentley modes.

© Bentley MotorsDriving Dynamics
During a press drive in Oregon on winding mountain roads near Mt. Hood, the 48-volt active anti-roll system really kept the Bentayga V8 flat through corners, with the twin-turbo V8 delivering plenty of power for spirited driving. But the one thing the active anti-roll system cannot do is mask more than 5,000 pounds of weight. In corners the Bentayga V8 turns in well and stays flat, but drivers feel the weight at turn-in. It’s probably a fair tradeoff for the luxury, comfort and power, but on twisting mountain roads drivers are constantly reminded the Bentayga V8 is no sports car.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceGrand-Touring Prowess
Even after nearly two years on the market, on some level it remains difficult to conceive of a Bentley SUV. But as crossover SUVs become the norm for American drivers, the segment continues to gain viability as the grand touring car of our time. For a cross-country road trip, the Bentayga V8 would be an excellent choice with a comfortable ride, luxurious cabin and ample room for luggage, combined with performance and driving dynamics to keep drivers engaged for days at a time.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRight for You?
The new Bentley Bentayga V8 offers a more dynamic, performance-oriented experience with comparable performance numbers to the Bentayga W12 that continues as the flagship of the model line. With a starting price more than $60,000 less than the W12, the Bentayga V8 will attract new Bentley owners to the Bentayga, which has already become the top-selling model in the automaker’s lineup. At $165,00 plus whatever options and personalization a new owner chooses to add, the Bentayga V8 is still in rarefied SUV air that will only be experienced by a select few buyers. As a new variation to Bentley’s luxury SUV line, the Bentayga V8 offers dynamic performance and top-shelf luxury with SUV capability when needed.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceRating: 8.5
Pros: Great twin-turbo V8 engine; $60K less than W12; sporty luxury grand-tourer.
Cons: Still very expensive; dynamic performance, but a heavy vehicle.
Bottom Line: New Bentayga V8 offers twin-turbo V8 performance, a dynamic drive and a lower price point for those interested in the Bentayga line.

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

© Bentley Motors2019 Bentley Bentayga V8

Luxury

2019 Roll-Royce Cullinan: First Drive Review

Rolls-Royce of SUVs When people refer t…

Read more

SUV

2020 Mercedes-Benz EQC: First Look

New EQ Brand Mercedes-Benz introduced t…

Read more

Enthusiast

200 MPH on the Highway . . . and No…

Speed Without Limits It doesn’t matter …

Read more