In a bid to appeal to a wider clientele, Bentley has introduced two new seating layouts for the Bentayga. The British carmaker is now offering its flagship SUV with either a four-seat or a seven-seat layout, replacing the sole five-seat configuration sold previously.
The Crewe-based car maker says the addition of a seven-seat option reinforces the SUV's status as “the world’s most versatile luxury vehicle.”
The V8 and Speed variants can be optioned with either seating configurations, while the Bentayga Hybrid is available only with four seats, due to packaging limitations of its petrol-electric powertrain.
In four-seat form, the Bentayga adopts a Captain style of seating intended to “provide an enhanced space for relaxation, entertainment or work, on the move.” The two rear seats feature 12-way electrical adjustment, heating, ventilation and massage functions. Options such as Bluetooth headphones, fold-down picnic tables and individual Mulliner Console drinks cooler are also on offer.
In seven-seat models, the third row can be folded away automatically.
Bentley said, “The flexible seating options make the all-terrain Bentayga the most practical luxury car Bentley has ever built. Big enough to carry a family of seven, it also has the ability to swallow up a boot-load of luggage when required, while the available four-seat configuration means the Bentayga can also double as a luxury limousine.”
Bentley will be hoping that the Bentayga’s seating tweaks will help give the SUV an edge over new rivals on the market – such as the recently revealed Aston Martin DBX and Mercedes-Maybach GLS.
The carmaker has also begun testing a facelift of its SUV ahead of its debut sometime next year. The test mules in the images wore wear heavy camouflage to the front and rear, suggesting that Bentley is planning a number of design updates.
While the SUV will remain instantly recognisable it is set to get styling updates in line with the new Continental and Flying Spur with the test mule sporting revised headlamps and tweaks to the rear lights as well. We can also expect the front and rear bumpers to be redesigned.
Just as significant will be the technology overhaul inside. The current car's infotainment system is expected to be replaced by the latest system from the Continental GT and Flying Spur. A fully digital instrument display will likely also feature, while the range of active safety technology should advance as well.
The brand's flagship W12 engine is expected to receive upgrades to boost efficiency, but don't expect anything dramatic across the rest of the range. The V8 is relatively new, too, while the six-cylinder plug-in hybrid model still isn't on sale after a lengthy delay.
Question marks remain over the diesel model, which was officially axed from the firm's line-up in 2018 in international markets. A change in attitude towards the fuel was blamed for its removal back then, but since then sister brand Audi has introduced several large capacity S-badged diesel models to its range.
Bentley currently markets the Bentayga in India with a choice of V8 and W12 petrol engines alongside a V8 diesel engine. It is not yet known when the new seating layouts will be offered on the Bentaygas headed to India though it should become available for order in the coming months.