Bentley Takes the Bentayga “Off-Road” – VIDEO
Whenever a manufacturer claims their new SUV is a bona fide off-roader, we take their words with a grain of salt. We’ve become too jaded in a world where even Honda HR-Vs have aluminum-look “skid plates” and Lexus RXs have become the SUV norm to believe that every new SUV has as many off-road talents as their manufacturers say.
So when Bentley released a video of their upcoming, $200k-plus Bentayga SUV getting dirty, our interests were somewhat piqued. Predictably, the roads the Bentayga took were mostly groomed, occasionally rutted dirt roads that wouldn’t present much of a challenge to a well-driven Chrysler PT Cruiser, but the video nevertheless shows some of the Bentayga’s abilities in rocky terrain.
First, the form-factor of the Winged B’s first SUV is getting clearer as it drops camouflage. With subtle fastback rear bodywork, the Bentley resembles a less slab-sided Range Rover, adopting the Continental GT’s sweeping front and rear fenders. While the headlights are still obscured, we hope they’re Bentley-traditional quad lamps, rather than the awkward KC HiLites-wannabe units that appeared on the EXP 9 F concept on which the Bentayga is based.
Technically, the Bentley will likely be a fine performer in most light and moderate off-road situations. The video shows the SUV in a tripod-type situation (proving that the platform has no flex; great for on-road stability, not for off-road articulation), and while the front wheel is dangling in the air, it spins for a moment before an active differential shuttles power to the other front wheel. Additionally, an underbody shot shows air springs and four-wheel independent suspension, likely helping the Bentayga preserve on-road manners while also providing some additional ground clearance on demand.
So, is the Bentayga a real off-roader or another high-riding passenger car? Well, the answer to that depends on your definition of off-road. If it includes the kinds of trails that could be traversed by a 16-year-old in his hand-me-down Mazda 4x2, then yes, the Bentayga is indeed an off-roader. It’s no Gelandewagen, but few Benzes (and likely even fewer Bentleys) are ever used for any terrain fiercer than inclement weather on city streets. The Bentayga will likely do just fine for its owners’ needs.