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Bentayga is among the first among a new breed of super-luxury SUVs. Maserati is giving the American introduction to its new Levante SUV next week at the New York Auto Show. Rolls-Royce has its own, the Cullinan, on the way.
Bentayga is filled with little delights. Note how the seats have 16-way power adjustments — both front and back. Or how little water jets emerge from the otherwise flush front end to squirt grime off the headlights in stormy weather.
It’s a pleasure to drive. That amazing suspension, my seatmate from Bentley assures me, comes from a high-power computerized system that makes constant adjustments for any surface. Because it’s an SUV and off-road capable, Bentayga also has a system that raises and lowers the front and rear ends to provide extra wheel clearance for tearing over sand dunes or thrashing through the snow.
The process is helped along by controls on the center console that allow drivers to switch the car’s terrain mode. There’s also comfort, sport and other settings for regular driving. They not only stiffen or loosen the cushiness of the suspension but determine how hard it is to turn the steering wheel.
Bentley Bentayga 6X6, monster engine is good for 600 horsepower. It can catapult itself from zero to 60 miles per hour in four seconds. Top speed is 187 mph.
The engine, like many these days, shuts off at intersections to save fuel. And it has the ability to shut off six cylinders when they are not needed. Bentley boasts that it is 10.2% more fuel efficient than its existing 12-cylinder engine, which, in other Bentley models, averages 15 miles a gallon. Bentayga’s mileage rating is yet to be released for the U.S. A gas-electric hybrid option will follow.