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As I pondered the notion of the Bentley Bentayga EWB, the first mental image that materialized was a scene from the gripping TV series ‘Peaky Blinders.’ Imagining the streets of Birmingham in the 1880s, it became apparent that a Bentayga, especially one spec’d in sleek black, would seamlessly embody the essence of the lead character if he were navigating the roads of the modern era. The Bentley Bentayga EWB strikes a distinctive balance between menace and elegance, akin to a perfectly cast character making a cameo in the show. It exudes an aura of sophistication as if concealing a wild side beneath its refined exterior, a blend impeccably suited for the high street. Bentley’s venture into the
luxury segment holds historical echoes.

Casting our gaze back to the early 2000s reveals Bentley’s bespoke creations, the Dominator SUVs, crafted for the Sultan of Brunei. A quick online search unveils the origins of the Bentayga, tracing its lineage to those customized SUVs. This historical connection adds a layer of richness to the Bentayga’s story, highlighting Bentley’s enduring legacy in delivering opulent and exclusive automotive experiences. Although you are ready to spend a lot of money, you are at the high-end of the market and want the feel of an SUV in addition to complete comfort. The Bentley Bentayga might then be able to provide you with all the information you need. The British automaker released the new extended wheelbase version of the SUV earlier this year, and we had the opportunity to drive the more feature-rich Azure variant, which has been available in India for some time.

Wood trim everywhere takes you back in time to a golden era

Entering the Bentley Bentayga EWB, one immediately discerns the brand’s penchant for distinctive elegance. The interior ambience radiates opulence, boldly diverging from the more restrained aesthetics often associated with German luxury cars. While the cabin may appear bustling with buttons, reminiscent of certain VW Group elements, the integration has been executed seamlessly, with shared parts discreetly woven into the design. Despite the familiar sight of buttons on the steering wheel and the layout of menus on the digital driver’s display, the First Edition of the Bentayga impresses with an exceptional level of craftsmanship. The quilted seats exude luxury, complemented by mood lighting, while audiophiles are treated to a ‘Naim’ sound system delivering an immersive audio experience, spanning from classical compositions like Pavarotti’s to the bold beats of 50 Cent.

The signature Bentley air vent knobs to stop airflow

Setting the Bentayga apart are meticulous details, including diamond illumination casting light through perforations in the soft-touch door trim. The veneer showcases metal overlays, intricately hand-bonded before lacquering and polishing, adding a unique touch. The rear door’s electrically closing feature is noteworthy, but the true highlight lies in the extended wheelbase version’s ‘Bentley Airline Seat’ specification. With a reclining capability of up to 40 degrees, a forward-motoring passenger seat, and a leather-trimmed footrest, the rear seating transforms into a luxurious haven. The abundance of legroom and the plush comfort of the seat create an experience reminiscent of high-end lounge chairs, evoking a sense of authority akin to a mafia or gang boss, or even royalty.

Getting to the exterior of the Bentayga EWB, The new grille on this EWB variant is inspired by the Flying Spur, but otherwise, it doesn’t look all that different from the regular SUV. This has a lot of polished chrome with vertical slats taking centre stage, but the mesh pattern on the bumper grille is more noticeable. Bentley is known for its unique dual lamp arrangement, which includes cut crystal Matrix LED headlamps. The twin exhausts and oval-shaped tail lamps are equally iconic.

Evoking a sense of authority akin to a mafia or gang boss, or even royalty

Since this is where the SUV has undergone major alteration, the profile of a vehicle such as the Bentayga extended wheelbase is where the real change lies. The 22-inch alloys, which are specifically designed for it and have a 10-spoke design, enhance its regal appearance. Chrome is used liberally, notably on the roof rails, window lines, and doors—a feature that Indian consumers, particularly those in this high-end market typically find appealing. More room and comfort for the second row have been substantially guaranteed by the 180 mm increase in wheelbase, which now stands at 3,175 mm.

A 4.0-litre, turbocharged V8 wafts you with 542 bhp

A 4.0-litre, turbocharged V8 petrol engine producing 542 bhp and 78.51 kgm of torque powers this Bentley and you have to open the hood to check out this mechanical masterpiece the engine bay looks as good as a back of a ‘Breitling’ watch. With hard acceleration from almost any speed, it does so with grace. On the other hand, when you are driving slowly, the eight-speed automatic is traditionally proficient and does a superb job of hiding the gear changes. There’s no lack of excitement here as the vehicle hits 100 kph in roughly 4.5 seconds, which is a decent time for such a large and massive SUV.

Says a lot, doesn’t it?

As I navigated the Bentley Bentayga EWB through the roads, the driving experience triggered a reminiscent connection with an iconic painting depicting the legendary scene of The Bentley Boys achieving victory at Le Mans in 1929. While acknowledging the contemporary nature of this Bentley SUV, the ethos embodied in the brand’s logo on the steering wheel evoked a sense of that rich heritage. Bentley, after all, is a marque meant to be driven, and that sentiment becomes palpable behind the wheel.

Now, turning to ride quality and handling, the Bentayga EWB effortlessly marries opulence with dynamism. The suspension system adeptly absorbs road imperfections, delivering a smooth and serene ride reminiscent of gliding on air. The Bentayga EWB has a variety of driving modes, which is to be anticipated for a vehicle in this class. Aside from a unique Bentley mode that provides you with a balance between the Sport and Comfort modes, guaranteeing a decent combination of drivability and comfort, there are three more settings: Sport, Comfort, and Custom. Additionally, you have paddle shifters with you, allowing you to take more control of the vehicle and provide even more excitement to your trip.

Experience a serene journey behind the wheel of the Bentley Bentayga EWB – a sensation akin to gliding through clouds rather than cruising on asphalt. Thanks to the adaptive air suspension, the Bentley anticipates road undulations, ensuring a smooth ride with minimal disturbances to your serenity. Despite its substantial size, the Bentayga EWB surprises with its agility, courtesy of all-wheel
steering and active anti-roll bars. The steering feels light at lower speeds, gradually tightening for a more spirited drive. Yet, the true allure lies in the Bentley’s luxurious plushness. Picture sinking into a cashmere cloud sculpted into the form of a car, enveloped in a silence broken only by the gentle whoosh of passing air. It’s a refined, first-class experience on wheels, transforming every journey into a decadent escape.

There’s no mistaking the Bentayga for anything other than a Bentley

In the realm of luxury SUVs, the Bentley Bentayga EWB emerges as a masterful creation, effortlessly blending opulence with dynamic prowess. Its extended wheelbase offers a cocoon of comfort, floating over road imperfections with the grace of a magic carpet. The steering’s responsiveness and the refined interior, complete with heated steering wheel and intricate craftsmanship, underscore its commitment to a superior driving experience. In comparing it to competitors, such as the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, the Bentayga EWB holds its own, providing a unique blend of performance, comfort, and craftsmanship. While the Rolls Royce offers unparalleled luxury, and the Mercedes-Maybach exudes grandeur, the Bentley excels in marrying driving pleasure with lavishness. In the words of ‘Peaky Blinders,’ this new Bentley Bentayga EWB is undeniably a masterpiece, by order of the Peaky Blinders, making a bold statement.