Bentley Dallas’ first Bentaygas have arrived and been delivered to those who pre-ordered them. The Park Place Motorcars dealership initially received about 25 vehicles, billed as the world’s fastest, most luxurious, and most expensive SUV. The first went to Dallas philanthropist Ted Skokos. The second, which sported an onyx exterior and white leather interior, went to Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.
A cool quarter-of-a-million-dollars will get you the starter model. A fully loaded version, with carbon fiber enhancements, will cost you upwards of $375,000. And if you want the optional Breitling dashboard clock—in rose or white gold—tack on another $167,000. (A wide range of other optional accessories include a dog carrier, a folding tailgate “event seat,” and a Mulliner picnic hamper, complete with a mini-fridge.)
Customers began putting deposits down on the Bentaygas about four years ago, say sources at Park Place, when word of the new luxury SUV first broke. Chris Barta, a sales exec at Bentley Dallas, expects future sales to be brisk. “It’s going to do really well here, once it gets on the street and people see it,” he said.
Bentley is the first carmaker out of the gate to take luxury SUVs to another level. Lamborghini and Rolls Royce are both working on their own sport-utes for 2018.
I got to get behind the wheel of a Bentayga yesterday for a test drive, and it did not disappoint. The one I drove had a luscious “Moroccan blue” exterior, midnight blue with a little pearlescent purple mixed in.
I was immediately impressed by the vehicle’s speed. The Bentayga, the first to use Bentley’s twin-turbo, W12 engine, has get-up like nobody’s business, going from 0 to 60 m.p.h. in just 4 seconds. Its top speed, electronically limited, is 187 m.p.h.
I also loved the Bentayga’s full, panoramic sun roof, and tech features like Apple carplay. With multiple driving modes, it’s like getting several cars in one. If you want it to roar and make a statement, it will; if you want it to be quiet when you’re dropping the kids off at school, it will do that, too.
There are four driving modes: sport, comfort, Bentley (a combination of the two), and custom, which takes note of how you typically drive and adapts accordingly. You can also make adjustments for things like loose gravel, snow, or sand—what I like to call “Dubai mode.” To make sure it was off-road-legit, Bentley tested the car on all kinds of terrain, including the Big Red Dunes in the UAE desert.
So far, the Bentayga buyers at Bentley Dallas have been fairly evenly split between men and women, according to Park Place execs. They’ll typically own a Bentley and a luxury SUV like a Mercedes G-Wagen or an upper-end Range Rover, and want something that bridges the gap. By December, the dealers say, they’ll have “a decent selection in stock.”
Just in time for holiday shopping.