Want a Bentley Bentayga Speed, but find it’s a bit too, uh, speedy for you? Well, has Bentley got the mega-luxe SUV for you. Place your moneyed peepers on the 2022 Bentley Bentayga S, a tensed-up, hunkered-down variant of the popular “entry-level” Bentayga V8 that adds a helping of handling know-how previously only available on the aforementioned twelve-cylinder, top-dog Speed model.
So, if you break down the Bentayga model lineup, the new S is third from the bottom out of four total trims, making it one of the most expensive and well-equipped in the range, sitting just below the Speed—though there’s no word yet if a Bentayga “Peed” that might slot between the S and the Speed is forthcoming. We digress.
S Sure Is Powerful, Even With “Only” a V-8
Power from the familiar twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 found in the lower Bentayga is an unchanged 542 hp and 568 lb-ft, but as there’s not much of a power gulf between the standard V8 and the 626-hp, 664-lb-ft W-12 Speed, the new S is all about handling. Still, expect to blow the plastidip off the local hot-hatch population with a zero-to-60-mph sprint in just 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph.
Compared to the standard Bentayga, the new S stiffens the air suspension by 15 percent and garners a new S-specific tune for the SUV’s Sport mode stability control settings and fancily-named Bentley Dynamic Ride adaptive suspension (the latter of which is standard on the S). The torque vectoring system is similarly recalibrated to vector that torque more efficiently than ever.
S Sure Is Spicy to Look At
The S likely is the loudest Bentayga, both aurally and visually. A standard sport exhaust ensures you sound like a hero on the entrance ramp and a right jerk in the valet lane, while the S’s extensive suite of aesthetic fiddling lends a level of aggression previously unseen in the Bentayga family. All exterior chrome is smoked, with corresponding black-painted mirror caps and door sills. Both headlights and taillights are tinted, complemented by gloss black appliques in the front grille and a smoked finish on the new oval tailpipes. Those massive 22-inch wheels feature a rather aggressive “scythe” spoke design, and the rear roof spoiler is longer than the standard SUV.
The interior appointments are requisitely aggro. Acres of Alcantara microsuede cover a number of surfaces, including the new sport-ish seat designs that aren’t quite the McLaren Senna’s carbon buckets, but are reasonably tighter than the standard Bentayga’s chairs to offset the S’ cornering aspirations. Of course, special S-specific badging and trim sits prominently on the center dash and sill plates.
If this sounds like your next bit of four-wheeled flex, rummage around your offshore couch cushions for the 2022 Bentley Bentayga S’ starting price of $222,525.