Bentley CEO Says We “Might Expect” a Bentayga Speed

Superfast SUV could precede a Bentayga coupe and a production version of the Speed 6 Concept.

byJonathon Ramsey|
Bentley CEO Says We “Might Expect” a Bentayga Speed

Bentley is enjoying a purple patch at the moment, the English carmaker’s Bentayga occupying the super-luxury SUV market by itself for a couple of years and selling so fast you wonder why no one thought of a $230,000 SUV sooner. The automotive press has been asking about Bentley’s next product and the next Bentayga derivative for more than a year now, and it looks like brand CEO Wolfgang Dürheimer finally addressed one of those queries. He told UK outlet Auto Express at the Beijing Motor Show, “[If] you’re asking whether there would be Speed versions of the Bentayga eventually, then yes, you might expect that.”

The arrival of a Bentayga Speed would add clarity to spy shots captured last August, a couple of months before the standard car’s unveiling. The spy shots show a beefed-up crossover sporting larger air intakes, a front lip spoiler, more aerodynamic side skirts, a big rear wing and revised rear bumper, and huge alloy wheels hide high-performance brakes.

The Speed formula is currently applied to W12-powered versions of the Continental GT coupe and Mulsanne sedan. The Continental Speed gets an extra 51 horsepower compared to the standard offering, the Mulsanne Speed ‘makes do’ with 21 additional ponies. The 6.0-liter, twin-turbo 12-cylinder in the Bentayga puts out 600 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque, so we can probably expect at least 625 hp from a Bentayga Speed, maybe even 650. It’s not as if the most luxurious public school pram needs it, though – Motor Trend timed the basic beast at 3.5 seconds from zero to 60 miles per hour. That’s faster than the new Porsche 911 R. If the engineers in Cheshire County really have been working up a hot-rod Bentayga since last year, we shouldn’t be surprised to see it unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September.

We shouldn’t be surprised at more questions about what comes next, either. A two-door Bentayga – or a so-called four-door coupe version – has been teased repeatedly, something that would make sense with the world’s SUV bloodlust. Enthusiasts, however, are waiting for some hard intel on the fate of the magnificent EXP 10 Speed 6 sports car concept unveiled at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. The intensity of anticipation makes it hard to believe the concept is only a year old, but Car and Driver predicts we’ll get a production version that will form the fifth Bentley model line. Until then we'll urge the automaker to hurry up and get all this SUV business taken care of and get to the Speed 6 already. Donning our finest British understatement, we think it’s just what the folks in Crewe need to make Bentley great again. Ahem.