Eight Is Great: Bentley Bentayga to Adopt V8 Engine

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The other day, we brought you news of an electrified Bentayga, as the crew from Crewe decided to electrify their SUV with a 10.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack. At the time, we mentioned the possibility of a gasoline-fired V8 engine showing up in the near future.

Well, that didn’t take long, with Bentley announcing today the introduction of a 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8, set to make 542 bhp (about 550 hp, awaiting certification) and 568 lb-ft of torque. You know what else has a 4.0-liter twin turbo? That’s right, the Lamborghini Urus.

Difference is, the Lambo makes about 90 more horsepower than the fancy-pants Bentley. The Flying B is no couch potato, though, with manufacturer performance estimates of 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph. Ever keen to keep an eye on Johnny Polarbear, Bentley is quick to point out that the brute ute is rated at a combined 24.8 mpg on the generous EU cycle, helped in part by a start/stop system and cylinder deactivation.

Drivers will be able to whoa their V8 Bentayga from those illegal speeds using what Bentley creatively calls the “the largest front brake system available on any production car.� I use caution with this statement, as even though the brakes are massive (440 mm rotors up front clamped by 10 piston calipers), those dimensions are shared with another SUV. It is – you’re exactly right – the Lamborghini Urus. Carbon ceramics are optional.

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Bentayga V8 customers will have more rim choices than they have bottle choices in their privately curated underground wine cellars. No fewer than 11 different sets of wheels are available, including an all-new 22-inch five-spoke wheel with black painted and polished finish. This trim will not be making an Ace of Base appearance any time soon, then.

Those finding themselves sitting behind a V8 Bentayga in L.A. traffic will be staring down the barrels of ovoid quad chrome exhaust cannons, a set of large rear haunches, and an increased ride height. Those shiny exhaust tips will emit what Bentley promises to be a “characteristic V8 burble.�

Buyers can choose their own adventure by selecting from Bentayga’s four-, five-, or seven-passenger seating configurations. In a telling move that seemingly cements the V8 as the sportiest of all Bentaygas, the traditional olde tyme wood veneers inside the cabin are replaced with high-gloss carbon fiber finishes, paired with a rich red leather dubbed Cricket Ball. Veddy British. Bentley’s done carbon fiber inside its vehicles before, but only in a matte finish.

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The expected cadre of driver aids and off-road settings are offered, including Bentley’s “All-Terrain Specification,” which is similar to the Anima selector in the Lambo. The raging bull focuses mostly on performance, of course, while the B dials up settings like Gravel and Sand Dune. A four-setting air suspension is on board, too.

Bentley sold about 1,200 Bentaygas in the States last year, or about a third of the Q7s Audi puts on the road in a single month. Still, it is far and away the brand’s best-selling model, with it accounting for 5,586 of 11,817 Bentley sales worldwide in 2016.

[Images: Bentley]