Bentley is set to offer its Bentayga SUV with a choice of four- or seven-seat configurations. The luxurious 4×4 will come as standard with four seats, forsaking a central perch on the rear bench in favor of a center console with an armrest and storage space. However, standard V8 and Speed models will be offered with an optional central seat and a third row in the back, bringing the total to seven.
Bentley says the four-seat layout is designed to provide an “enhanced space for relaxation”, as well as allowing the space to be used for “entertainment” or as a mobile office. Because of the extra space, the company says the two rear seats provide passengers with most of the same seating features found in the front, including 12-way electrical adjustment, heating, ventilation and massage functions.
As an option, Bentley will offer cars in the four-seat guise a choice of Bentley Rear Entertainment, Bluetooth headphones, and fold-down picnic tables. Customers will also be able to choose the Mulliner-Console Drinks Cooler, which sits between the rear seats and essentially provides a cool box for your champagne.
In seven-seat guise, however, is described as offering “maximum versatility” and extra passenger-carrying capability. The third row of seats folds away electronically, to provide maximum luggage capacity, while the middle row folds manually so passengers can enter and exit the car. Bentley Rear Entertainment is also available as an option for those traveling in the back.
The seven-seat layout will not be offered on the Hybrid version of the Bentayga, which combines a 3-liter turbocharged V6 gasoline engine with an electric motor to create a plug-in hybrid SUV. Bentley calls that model – which will have to “make do” with a four-seat configuration – the luxury SUV sector’s first plug-in hybrid and its most efficient model ever.
However, the “base” V8 model, which uses a 4-liter, twin-turbo V8 gasoline engine with 542 horsepower will be available with seating for seven. That means the whole family can experience the 4.4-second 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) time and the 180 mph (290 km/h) top speed.
Similarly, the W12-powered “Speed” version will also come with the option of a third row. That car uses the same 6-liter W12 seen in the top-of-the-range Continental GT, complete with 626 hp, and it’s capable of hitting 190 mph (305 km/h) when it’s traveling flat out.