Every panel at the front end of the Bentayga has been altered. It receives a larger, more upright grille with new dual LED Matrix headlights inspired not just by the Continental and Flying Spur, but also crystal cut glassware. The new lights sit 30mm higher than before, raising the nose to give the front end a more imposing look.
Beneath sits a new front bumper intended to exude a sportier character, while small changes down the sides include a longer side vent on either front wing and tweaked door sills.
Changes around the back are more dramatic and mark out the Bentayga’s evolution towards the brand’s latest design language. The tailgate grows in width and changes in shape, with the licence plate repositioned onto the rear bumper. The taillights change completely from the rectangular set on the pre-facelift car to adopt the oval shape used on the latest Continental GT. The lattice style signature evokes the headlights, intended to give the rear lights a “jewellery-like appearance” when they are lit.
Smaller changes at the rear include larger exhaust pipes and a new rear spoiler. Elsewhere, a new set of 22-inch wheels are available alongside the existing quartet of designs, two new paint colours have been added to the options list, and a new Blackline exterior package can replace all the chrome elements with gloss black trim.
Design changes inside mainly centre around new cabin technology, though the door trim design has been changed too. The centre console has been redesigned and now accommodates a new 10.9-inch touchscreen display. The system is running new software, and features wireless Apple CarPlay for the first time. Android Auto is also included. Elsewhere in tech, the instrument panel is now wholly digital, while in the back, passengers are treated to a larger touchscreen remote tablet for controlling various rear seat functions.
The connectivity ports move to the USB-C standard, the Bentayga gains its own integrated SIM card, providing a standalone data connection, and a wireless smartphone charging pad has been added.
The interior is still available in three configurations. The Bentayga is offered as a four seater with two full size rear seats, a five seater with a bench second row, and as a seven seater with a pair of folding seats in the boot. Four seater versions benefit from a bit of additional kneeroom compared with before, and the ability to recline the seats 100mm further. A newly redesigned second row bench means the five seat Bentayga’s rear passengers can recline a little further too.
From launch, the only version of the Bentayga will be the V8, which uses a turbocharged 4.0-litre petrol engine developing 542bhp. Benltey says 0-62mph takes 4.5 seconds, while top speed is quoted as 180mph. Drive is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Chassis changes are limited to a 20mm wider rear track. Bentley says this change works not only alongside the new, wider look to the rear end, but also reduces steering effort and improves steering response, too. In total, the Bentayga fields eight selectable driving modes if customers opt for the optional All-Terrain pack.
Bentley has also confirmed that a facelifted version of the 6.0-litre W12 Bentayga Speed is coming, while a six-cylinder petrol plug-in hybrid model is also in the works. Diesel remains absent from the line-up.
Q&A with Stefan Sielaff – Director of Design, Bentley
Q: How does the new Bentayga unite the family from a design point of view?
A: I think it’s mainly about the front with the matrix grille and headlights, and the crystal cut theme. This is now one genetic code of the portfolio for these years, but obviously we will carry on – we have shown already in the XP100 GT and the Bacalar how things will develop.
I think it is also around the details, like how the wheels look like. It’s always this balance between sport and elegance that makes a Bentley a Bentley. This is something we do rather similar on the Continental or Bentayga, it’s the family feeling we try to generate.
Q: Do new releases beyond this car come with a new design language?
A: I think we will do. When we talk about new models we will do some bigger steps. I think this is rounding up one statement which I think will be quite prominent for the coming years. And then what’s next we will have to discuss. It’s a little too early now, we have to experiment.
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