About ten months ago, Bentley officially revealed the refreshed Bentayga SUV. Now looking a lot like the Continental GT, the flagship luxury SUV gets a redesigned exterior and an updated cabin. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 powers the 2021 Bentayga that makes an impressive 550 PS and 770 Nm of torque.
The Bentayga Speed followed a month after. This even more potent crossover packs a twin-turbo W12 which churns out an impressive 635 PS and 900 Nm of torque. Last but not least was the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6-powered Bentayga Hybrid. It serves as the cleanest and most environmentally-friendly version of Bentley's luxury palace on wheels.
With three Bentayga variants to choose from, customers can now choose to get a twin-turbo V6, V8, or W12. But Bentley wants to add another variant in the Bentayga's lineup.
This is the 2021 Bentley Bentayga S, and it's more than just an appearance package for the standard model. It still makes 550 PS and 770 Nm of torque from its twin-turbo V8. But that is where the similarities end.
With an emphasis on handling, Bentley claims the Bentayga S delivers better handling than the rest of its stablemates, thanks to exclusive upgrades. One of these is the Dynamic Ride system which acts as an active anti-roll feature. Powered by an industry-first 48-volt system, the Dynamic Ride can quickly counteract lateral rolling forces in as little as 0.3 seconds when cornering.
Then there's its Sport Driving Mode exclusive only to the S version. Bentley says the SUV gets improved steering feedback, faster throttle response, and stiffer dampers for better handling at the push of a button. The Bentayga S also benefits from a unique electronic stability control, along with a new sports exhaust system. Of course, we can't expect it to handle like a Porsche 911 since it weighs about 2.5 tonnes. At least it should stop and steer better than the standard model.
As far as exterior changes are concerned, the Bentayga S loses most of its chrome for a more aggressive appearance. It gets black door mirrors, black-painted side sills, as well as tinted headlights and taillights. It also gets a larger spoiler at the back which extends the roofline of the SUV. Perhaps serving as the most telltale sign that this is a Bentayga S is the distinct 'S' badging placed on the driver and front passenger-side doors.
With Bentley looking to become an all-electric brand by 2030, it's nice to see the Crewe-based luxury marque still offer sporty versions of internal combustion engine (ICE) models. But come 2023, every Bentley on sale will have a hybrid option. Then in 2026, only PHEV and battery-electric models will be sold by Bentley. Think of this then as one of the last hurrahs for these non-electric Bentleys.