Bentley is today launching a stretch version of its best-selling Bentayga model that bosses say delivers first-class airline levels of comfort.
Priced from around £180,000 – but likely to exceed £300,000 for the most highly specced versions – the new Bentayga Extended Wheelbase (EWB) is designed to improve wellness and well-being for passengers and leave them arriving at their destinations more refreshed than when they set off.
This means it gets the creature comforts of airline-style reclining seats, posture massages and enhanced interior air quality – from what is claimed as the world’s first climate sensing system – designed to enhance comfort within the cabin of what it calls its grand-touring SUV.
A stretch too far? This is the new Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheelbase, which brings limo-like comfort to the brand’s 2.5-tonned SUV
Pricing is broadly 15 per cent above the equivalent conventional-length Bentayga.
First deliveries are expected from autumn this year.
Bentley says the EWB is ‘so much more than just a stretch’ and ‘the best rear cabin experience since a Mulsanne’.
Clearly designed for well-heeled owners who will be chauffeured rather than driving themselves, it will be sold at launch with a burbling 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 under the bonnet.
Linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, it produces a massive 550 horsepower and can catapult this opulent vehicle and its deep-pocketed occupants from rest to 60mph in just 4.5 seconds and to 100mph – where legal – in 10 seconds, with a top speed of 180mph.
A more frugal 3.0-litre V6 plug-in hybrid version is likely to follow but has not yet been confirmed.
For enhanced cornering, the EWB – which tips the scales at two and a quarter tonnes – also features electronic all-wheel steering to navigate tight corners and narrow inner-city streets, which was first introduced by Bentley on the new Flying Spur.
Changes to the underfloor, side panels, doors and roof (including changing the position of the sunroof) increase the wheelbase from 2,995mm to 3,175mm and to an overall length of 5,322mm
The Bentayga EWB is stretched an extra 180mm in length over the conventional SUV, which translated to an additional seven inches in rear leg room. Bentley says its the longer than any rival by over 40mm
It will be available from launch with a burbling 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 under the bonnet that’s linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox
While the cockpit is an ultra-classy and opulent setting, most customers won’t spend a second up front. This is a car designed for those who like to be driven, not take to the controls themselves…
What’s this stretched-SUV like inside?
Changes to the underfloor, side panels, doors and roof (including changing the position of the sunroof) increase the wheelbase from 2,995mm to 3,175mm and to an overall length of 5,322mm.
With a tape measure at the ready, the new Bentayga EWB is stretched by an extra 180mm in length over the conventional SUV, which translated to an additional seven inches in rear leg room.
Bentley adds that it is longer than any other luxury SUV competitor on the market by over 40mm.
Buyers can choose either 4 or 5-seat arrangements to suit their requirements for chauffeured travel
There strictly will not be a 7-seat option, though, because Bentley customers ‘value luxury over practicality’, the brand says
In true airline fashion, the rear can be specced with tray tables and TV screens so passengers can enjoy being transported from one destination to the next
Owners can choose from three seating configurations.
The first is a standard 4+1 layout, with two outer rear seats with 16 adjustments and a massage facility, along with an occasional middle seat large enough to accommodate a third adult, and giving access to a ski-hatch.
A second option is a four-seater setup, with the rear console between the two rear seats – allowing or space for extra stowage or a Mulliner console bottle cooler for champagne, complete with two hand-crafted Cumbria Crystal flutes.
Finally, customers can choose a five-seater, if they want to fold down the rear backrests.
There’ll be no seven seater version as customers said that for the stretch model they valued greater luxury over practicality – and there’s certainly a lot evidence of this when it comes to the comforts in the back.
The new Bentley Airline Seats are claimed to be ‘the most advanced seat ever fitted to a car’ and have automatic adjustments for the climate settings and the position to ensure the passenger’s posture is perfect
The seats offer 22-ways of adjustment that can be controlled using a compact touch screen remote device (pictued)
In Relax mode, the seat can recline to 40 degrees. As the passenger seat motors forwards a leather-trimmed footrest deploys from the back of the front passenger seat
It features new Bentley Airline Seats that are claimed to be ‘the most advanced seat ever fitted to a car’, with 22-ways of adjustment controlled using a compact touch screen remote device.
Will it fit in my mansion’s underground garage? Bentley Bentayga EWB
On sale: Now
Price: From approx £180,000
Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8
Max power: 550 horsepower
Transmission: 8-speed automatic ZF
0 to 60mph: 4.5 seconds
0 to 100mph: 10 seconds
Top speed: 180mph
Seats: Choice of: four-door/ 4+1 / five seat
Turning circle: 11.8m / 38.7ft
Fuel economy: TBC
CO2 emissions: TBC
Width (inc mirrors): 2,222mm
Front legroom: 1,058mm
Rear legroom: 1,039mm
Front headroom: 976mm
Rear headroom: 972mm
Kerb weight: 2514kg
Gross vehicle weight: 3,250kg
In Relax mode, the seat can recline to 40 degrees. As the passenger seat motors forwards a leather-trimmed footrest deploys from the back of the front passenger seat.
We’ve taken a seat in the back for ourselves, though not in motion, and in full stretch mode it’s certainly a great place for a snooze.
In Business Mode the seat moves into its most upright position to make working on the move more comfortable whether from a laptop or making phone or Zoom calls in transit.
The chairs also come with a new auto climate seat technology that senses the temperature and surface humidity and then decides whether to apply heat, ventilation or both simultaneously to keep the occupant at ‘optimum thermal wellbeing’.
Posture is important too. To ensure the rear passenger remains comfortable throughout the journey, the seat’s postural adjustment system automatically measures pressure across the seat surface and makes micro adjustments to the seating position and pressure points.
Over a three hour period, the system can apply 177 individual pressure changes across six fully independent pressure zones to improve the passenger’s comfort and minimise fatigue throughout a journey.
It’s an incredible level of attention to detail to your comfort and surpasses the seats you’d find in any first-class flight.
Another handy feature are the power rear doors, which can be closed with a press of the button in the centre console, rather than having the indignity of having to reach out and pull it closed yourself.
The British motor brand says: ‘The result is a spacious, luxurious, light-filled cabin, exhibiting both Bentley’s traditional skills and the most up-to-date technology.’
Bosses predict the EWB will account for up to 45 per cent of all Bentayga sales when the car hits showrooms from the third quarter of this year.
Last year Bentley sold a record 14,659 cars of which just over a third were Bentaygas.
Chairman and chief executive Adrian Hallmark added: ‘The Bentayga Extended Wheelbase is our first car truly dedicated to the on-board wellness of its occupants.
‘Every Bentley gets you to your destination feeling more relaxed than when you started your journey, and yet with the Extended Wheelbase we’ve been able to go even further thanks to the adoption of world-first wellness technology embedded within our unrivalled interior cabin design.’
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