Facelifted Bentley Bentayga Hybrid launched for 2021
Bentley reintroduces plug-in hybrid Bentayga model with fresh styling
- Radical design updates
- 31-mile quoted electric range
- One of two Bentley PHEVs to be launched in 2021
The facelifted Bentley Bentayga is now available as a plug-in hybrid that promises far lower running costs than the Bentayga V8 and Bentayga Speed models. It’s aimed at buyers who regularly encounter local zero-emission zones - the centre of London, for example - and can be charged from a home wallbox or a public fast-charger.
2021 Bentley Bentayga Hybrid
Like the Volkswagen Touareg R, the Bentley Bentayga Hybrid features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine, a 126bhp electric motor and a 17.3kWh battery. Bentley quotes an electric driving range of 31 miles and a total driving range of 536 miles, but both of these figures were achieved on the old NEDC test cycle, so are unlikely to be representative of what you’ll be able to achieve in the real world.
Three modes let you juggle how you use the petrol engine and electric motor, with a Hold Mode to save the battery charge for later in the journey. Input a destination into the sat nav and the car will automatically decide how and when to use the battery power. The accelerator pedal will also buzz a little to encourage you to stay in electric mode for as long as possible. As with many electrified cars, the Bentayga offers plenty of online connectivity features - including being able to preset the cabin temperature from a phone app.
Bentley Bentayga styling
The Bentayga’s nose has received a thorough redesign, giving one of the world's most expensive SUVs an even larger, more imposing grille. New LED Matrix headlights are inspired by crystal cut glass and have 82 individual LEDs per unit. The position of the headlights has been lifted by 30mm to give the Bentayaga more road presence.
The bumpers have also been reprofiled for a more sporting look, while the side vents on either wing have been elongated. The rear has come in for a new treatment too, with a wider tailgate and a lower position for the number plate, which is now found on the rear bumper.
Even more striking are the new oval rear lights, which are a complete change from the outgoing rectangular units. They're more similar to those on the Continental GT and are meant to look like faceted jewellery when lit.
There are also larger exhaust pipes, new 22-inch alloy wheels and two new paint colours. A Blackline package can also replace chrome trim with gloss black versions.
Interior updates and practicality
There are fewer design changes inside but the technology on offer has been updated. A new 10.9-inch touchscreen has ushered in a new centre console, and the display runs updated software with wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity for the first time, as well as Android Auto.
Traditional instrument gauges have also been replaced by a screen, and backseat passengers get a new tablet for controlling various aspects of the car. A dedicated on-board SIM card means the Bentayga is always online, and there's a wireless smartphone charging pad.
As before, the Bentayga is available as a four, five or seven-seater, with either two full-size rear seats, a three-seat rear bench or two additional seats that pop up in the boot. Go for the four-seat version and there's extra legroom and a further 100mm of tilt to recline, for a VIP experience. The rear bench will be able to lean back slightly further now too.
Engines and performance
A 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 petrol engine was the first engine to launch, producing 542bhp. This gets the heavy SUV from 0-62mph in just 4.5 seconds and on to a 180mph top speed, where permitted. Every Bentayga gets four-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.
Fuel-efficiency is rated at 21.2mpg, while CO2 emissions of 302g/km are nearly double that of the highest Benefit-in-Kind band, so it sits firmly in the 37% category for business drivers. Road tax will cost £475 in the first five renewal years.
The chassis has been kept largely the same but the rear wheels are now 20mm further apart from each other. This is said to complement the wider new tail design and improve the feel and response of the Bentayga's steering.
Price, on-sale date and rivals
While there's no official word yet from Bentley on prices, the latest Bentayga is likely to start from just over £135,000 when it arrives later this year. It will face competition from the Porsche Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid, Lamborghini Urus and Audi RS Q8, along with range-topping versions of the Range Rover.
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