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Bentley rolls out the Bentayga S for the sporty SUV crowd

Because luxury barges must also corner like they’re on rails

Yes, Bentley customers definitely need an SUV for the track. PHOTO FROM BENTLEY

Saudi princes, multinational CEOs, and NBA superstars may now have a hard time deciding which Bentley Bentayga variant to go for as the new “S” trim level is dripping with seriously sporty touches.

The Bentayga S will probably find its way to a shady rapper's music video. PHOTOS FROM BENTLEY

Featuring a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 that punches out 542hp and 770Nm, the Bentayga S rips the 100km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds and tops out at 290km/h—not bad for a big guy. It also has active anti-roll control and an enhanced Sports chassis mode, with a 15% increase in damping stiffness for a more dynamic ride so it can corner like a sports car.

Spoilers make everything look fast. The Bentayga S is no exception. PHOTOS FROM BENTLEY

An exclusive, free-flowing sports exhaust provides a great soundtrack as well, in case the premium audio system doesn’t interest the driver. Blacked-out treatment on the exterior—including the side mirrors and the side sills—and the dark tinted headlamps and taillamps give the Bentayga S that cool, movie bad-boy look.

That speedometer needle will likely never breach the Los Angeles freeway speed limit. PHOTOS FROM BENTLEY

A large rear spoiler sits on the roof to improve high-speed stability, and the go-faster bits include painted, split oval tailpipes (also black), and uniquely styled 22-inch wheels. You can even order the rims in silver, full-gloss black, or a “black and bright polished” finish. The latter is said to be highly labor-intensive as the rim is ceramic polished first, then the bright areas are masked off to allow for the gloss black paint, and then the whole thing is hand-polished.

Can't be bothered to reach for the climate control knobs? There's a remote tablet. PHOTOS FROM BENTLEY

Inside, the Bentayga S interior uses Alcantara with a color-split theme for the seat cushions, the backrest center panel, the gear lever, the steering wheel, the upper trim, and the headliner for a performance-focused ambience. The seats have a new design with clean and simple stitch lines through the shoulder areas. And speaking of seating, the Bentayga S can accommodate four, five or seven occupants.

Can you find anyone who would willingly push this car on mountain roads? PHOTO FROM BENTLEY

The stitch line defines the fluting, which can match either the primary or the secondary hide color to complement the Alcantara elements. The “S” badging is used on the seat backrests, on the dashboard fascia, and on the door sills. The Bentayga S uses a fully digital driver’s information panel, featuring pronounced dial graphics inspired by chronographs. The display is customizable and can even show real-time lighting effects and animations.

What a time to be alive and have the luxury of owning such a beast.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.