It was a chilly evening for southern California at the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood where Bentley executives had come to unveil their newest creation to customers in the United States. We were honored to be invited to join them and get a look at the special “First Edition” Bentayga that will be available only to 608 customers this year.
Why 608? Because that’s the metric horsepower output of the mighty SUV from Crewe.
Every on of the 608 First Edition Bentayga models have been spoken for including the 75 allocated to the United States. According to Bentley officials the remainder of the first year’s production is also sold out. So if you want your Bentayga, get your deposit in quickly and be prepared to wait a bit.
Anticipation was high among owners who had traveled from all over the US to be in LA for the unveiling, and they were not disappointed. After the cover had been pulled back off the gleaming silvery-white Bentayga, I asked one future owner from Minneapolis why he had plunked down his deposit sight unseen years ago, he said, “I’ve owned 10 to 15 Escalades. But this is a Bentley. Look at it. It’s magnificent.”
And yes it is. While we’ve all seen pictures, I can say unequivocally that they do not do the 187 mile per hour SUV justice. As with all Bentleys the magic is in the details; the feel of the leather, the depth of the wood grain, the precision of the stitching, the gleam of the chrome ring around the shift lever. It is, in a word, stunning.
According to Bentley design chief, Stefan Sielaff the key was “to create an SUV that is recognizable as a Bentley from every angle inside and out, not just the front.”
Based on what I saw, he achieved his goal.