As always, the outfit in Crewe, England will always be proud to tout its hand-built ways which in no surprise also happens to involve the Bentayga Speed as well.
This time, the highly-anticipated W12 powertrain is back under the Bentayga's hood while being equipped with the British marque's standard inclusion of the Mulliner Driving Specification.
The 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbo engine produces 635PS (+27PS) from 5,000 to 5,750rpm and 900Nm of torque from 1,500 to 5,000rpm and with the help of an eight-speed automatic transmission, it can sprint from 0 to 100kph in 3.9 seconds (-0.2 seconds) and onwards to a top speed of 306kph (+5kph).
The 12-cylinder engine in a W-configuration comes with cylinder deactivation which means one complete bank of six cylinders gets "turned off" under low loads and instead relies on between banks A and B to realise significant fuel economy gains.
From fifth to eighth gears, when the driver releases the throttle (at freeway cruising speed, for example) this SUV will open the torque converter, dropping the engine to idle and simply allowing the car to roll or ‘sail’.
Once the throttle is reapplied, or the car starts going downhill and detects an increase in speed, the transmission is re-engaged.
To use this power appropriately the Bentayga Speed is equipped with four on-road Drive Dynamics modes of Custom, Comfort, Bentley and Sport.
Uniquely in the Speed, the Sport mode was recalibrated to enhance response from the W12 engine and the eight-speed automatic transmission, together with the air suspension system and Bentley Dynamic Ride for a more dynamic and engaging drive.
The Bentley Dynamic Ride is the world’s first electric active roll control technology that utilizes an unrivalled 48-volt system.
The system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre contact to deliver an unrivalled amount of cabin stability, ride comfort and handling.
Also recalibrated was Bentley’s Torque Vectoring by Brake system which lightly brakes the inside rear wheel at corner entry to sharpen the front axle turn-in for a more responsive driving experience.
As an added option, the Speed's brakes can be upgraded to a larger and more robust Carbon-Silicon Carbide (CSiC) ceramic brakes that have a maximum braking torque of 6,000Nm and can withstand temperatures up to 1,000-degrees Celcius while also shaving off more than 20kg in unsprung weight.
To match Bentayga Speed's performance, its exterior gets dark-tinted headlights, body-coloured side skirts, unique front and rear bumpers and a more prominent tailgate spoiler, dark tinted radiator and bumper grilles, 22-inch wheels (painted or dark tint) and "Speed" signature badging.
The rear sees oval exhaust finishers as well as dark-tinted taillights to complete the differentiation of the Speed's exterior.
For colour choices, the marque provides 17 standard colours that's further supplemented by 47 other hues within the Extended and Mulliner ranges, with an additional 24 duo-tone options.
Customers wanting to go beyond these 88 total options can have paintwork colour matched to any sample they provide and can also be complemented by a palette of 15 hide colours, six colour splits and eight veneers as well as two technical finishes.
Inside, the Bentayga Speed's cabin features a colour split that uses dark colours to enhance the primary hide as its accents runs throughout the seats and interior trim while splashes of contrasting leather are found on the door inserets, along the edges of the seat cushions, backrest bolsters and the lower console.
The Speed colour split also introduces Alcantara to the cabin which can be found across the seat cushions and backrest centre panels, gear lever, steering wheel, lower knee trim areas, upper pillar trim and headliner - but if preferred it can be replaced with leather instead.
The ‘Speed’ seat embroidery on the backrest of all of the seats has been included as standard and as a no-cost option customers can choose to replace it with the Bentley logo if preferred.
A new contrast stitching design through the diamond quilting of the Mulliner Driving Specification (included as standard) is unique to Speed, with each of the stitch lines running through the quilting being split – one to match the leather, the other in the contrast color.
To complete the fit and finish, discreet metal Speed badging have been added to the front fascia as well as "Speed" illuminated treadplates.
For entertainment, the Bentayga Speed received a large 10.9-inch touchscreen with an anti-reflection and anti-glare coating as well as an improved touch functionality with the content able to be called up via hard keys beneath the screen or from the main menu screen.
A customizable dashboard can also be set up to show three favorites, such as phone, navigation or media.
The advanced navigation system features free-text, context-specific search entry, an address or point of interest as well as a three-dimensional building display, satellite maps and content in the driver’s next-generation Heads-Up-Display (with traffic information, street names and distance to destination) among others.
As well as the usual array of media sources, wireless Apple CarPlay is now standard (in addition to the previous standard wired system), along with Android Auto and with a corresponding phone plugged into one of the car’s USB‑C sockets, the central infotainment screen is able to mirror the smartphone's display.
The new Bentayga Speed now has a fully-digital driver’s information panel similar to the Continental GT and new Flying Spur and can be customized to the driver’s requirements with the added ability to feature real-time lighting effects with animations.
The high-resolution screen can be viewed in either Classic or Expanded format.
In Classic mode, the display shows the traditional two-dial design of speedometer and tachometer while in Expanded mode, the right dial is replaced with an area for maps and media information.
The latest release of the My Bentley in-car and remote connected car services are available through the new Bentayga.
In-car services now delivered through an embedded SIM, as with the latest Continental GT, means online services no longer require a data connection from a customer’s mobile device.
Essential features including real-time traffic information and over-the-air map updates will be available to all customers in Bentley connected car markets.
New connected features such as green traffic light prediction and local hazard information will become available depending on market region.
Remote services - subject to regional availability - are accessible through the My Bentley app and are further improved, including the technology levels and range of features our customers have now come to expect – from ‘find my car’ and ‘lock my car’, through to car status and statistics – including integration with other functions such as the park heater when fitted.
Customers wishing to amplify the sporting look of their Bentayga Speed even further can select the Black Specification which replaces all exterior chrome work, bright detailing and some elements of the body with gloss black or carbon fibre parts.
The front bumper splitter and the side sills are created by hand in carbon fibre, while the rear bumper diffuser becomes gloss black.
All exterior brightware (including the roof rails) is resplendent in gloss black, as are the 22-inch Bentayga Speed wheels and exhaust tips before the standard roof spoiler is replaced with a curved carbon fibre part.
"The new Bentayga Speed remains the fastest SUV in the world, but more that, it’s also the most luxurious version of the new Bentayga – the best of both worlds, the pinnacle," said Bentley chairman and chief executive Adrian Hallmark.
With that, all that remains now is for the new Bentayga Hybrid to be launched, which has been ear-marked within the coming months - and in doing so will complete the offerings within the Bentayga's stable.