Bentley says its first sport utility vehicle won’t just be the most expensive in an increasingly crowded market, it’ll also be the fastest. The Bentayga SUV’s 12-cylinder engine will propel it to a top speed of 301 kilometers per hour (187 miles per hour), the Crewe, England-based manufacturer said on Friday.
That’s about 17 km/h faster than Porsche’s Cayenne Turbo S, 21 km/h faster than the Mercedes-Benz GLE 63 S AMG and 51 km/h faster than a Range Rover.
The ultra-luxury division of Volkswagen AG has been slowly releasing information about the Bentayga to boost interest before the model’s introduction at the International Auto Show in Frankfurt this month. The top speed outlined Friday is an effort to set the Bentayga apart as luxury-car producers add SUVs, inspired by VW’s Porsche sports-car brand turning the Cayenne model into its best-selling vehicle.
Priced at about 180,000 euros ($200,000), the Bentayga will go on sale next year. It’s a key part of Volkswagen’s plan to boost Bentley’s sales to 15,000 vehicles annually by 2018. The marque’s global deliveries were a record 11,020 cars last year, and Bentley has said it expects to sell about 3,000 SUVs a year.
The Bentayga — pronounced with the long “a” sound of the taiga, the Siberian snowforest that helped give it its name — will face increasing competition from other ultra-luxury SUVs. BMW AG’s Rolls-Royce has promised an “all-terrain” vehicle by 2018, which will probably unseat the Bentayga as the world’s most expensive. Fellow Volkswagen unit Lamborghini is planning an Italian-built SUV also priced at about 180,000 euros the same year.
All three come as the makers of the world’s most expensive cars seek to boost their appeal in China and emerging markets, where rough roads make a posh SUV an appealing alternative to a sports car.
By Naomi Kresge Courtesy Bloomberg