Bentley expects its EWB (extended wheelbase) to snag nearly half of Bentayga buyers by adding 7 inches to the wheelbase, creating an even more comfortable and luxurious interior.
The Bentley Bentayga is a big deal for the British luxury brand. The first SUV the brand built at volume, it immediately became the bestseller in the lineup.
And it’s about to get even bigger. A 7-inch addition between the wheels will transform this brute into one of the most luxurious limousines in the world. Additionally, a new seat option will make other vehicles’ seats look like they reside in a base-model rental car.
Extra Space for Some Very Important Passengers
With the 7.1-inch stretch, the Bentley Bentayga EWB is now 125 inches from wheel center to wheel center. Overall length grows to 208.9 inches long. That’s regular-cab, full-size pickup length, for reference, though it falls just a hair (1.4 inches) shy of the Rolls Royce Cullinan. Oh my, Bentley, not measuring up to a roller?
Bentley claims at least one superlative, though. It has a cabin 1.57 inches longer than any competitor. And a 4-inch-lower roofline to boot.
While the standard Bentayga can have a third row, the EWB can’t. It will have a range of four- and five-seat options, though — including a five-seater that lets the owner fold the rear seats flat.
The Four Seat Comfort Specification (Bentley would never abbreviate this as “spec”) has two outer rear seats. Between them is a console, and you can have a wine bottle cooler, with crystal flutes, fitted.
The standard configuration is what Bentley calls 4+1. The two outermost rear seats have 16-way power adjustment as well as heat, ventilation, and five different massage settings. And the +1 is a middle seat that holds a person and that’s all.
Airline Seat Promises Unmatched Comfort
The Bentley Airline Seat Specification is the showpiece: 22 different ways to power-adjust the seat, including a deployable footrest attached to the seat in front of it.
Airline Seat lets you recline the rear seats 40 degrees, so rear-seat occupants can catch a nap. Or you can move it even more upright, which Bentley says makes working on the move easier.
This seat keeps getting even more interesting. Automatic climate controls measure the temperature of the seat and the humidity where you’re touching it. Bentley says that, based on multiple studies, the tweaks can improve cognitive function and alleviate fatigue.
A postural adjustment system uses multiple pockets in the seats to continuously change the shape of the seat. The idea is to move pressure points around, and it’s meant to help reduce fatigue. It can adjust in three dimensions, has six independent pressure zones, and can provide 177 adjustments every 3 hours. It might beat your bed for comfort.
OK, that’s it about the seat. But really, calling it Airline Specification is doing it a disservice. We’ve never sat on a plane seat that could do anything like this. Then again, we might not be using the same airlines as the average Bentley customer.
New Steering and Cosmetic Changes Help Complete Bentayga EWB
There are minor cosmetic changes to ensure that the Bentley Bentayga EWB and the standard version aren’t mistaken for each other at the country club. A new grille wears bright chrome vertical vanes in front of a black mesh. The 22-inch wheels get a mirror polish on the face of the spokes, too.
Sticking half a foot into the middle of a vehicle can ruin the turning circle. So Bentley has added an all-wheel steering system. A common luxury car feature, it turns the rear wheels in the opposite direction of the fronts at low speeds. The result is a turning circle 7% shorter than the standard wheelbase.
The same system moves the wheels in the same direction as the fronts at speed, meant to increase stability on the highway.
Power Doors? Yes, Please
Long rear doors required another new solution. Power rear doors are an option, the first time Bentley has made this available. Switches on the center console will pull the doors closed, and the motors also assist the movement when you’re opening them.
An all-new Diamond Illumination feature adds LEDs behind the soft trim on the doors: 22 on each rear door and 12 on each front door. The lights glow through tiny perforations in the leather trim, creating an all-new and super-cool effect at night.
Diamond Illumination is one of the many new customization features available on the Bentley Bentayga EWB. All-in, you can order the SUV in 24 billion different configurations. Hopefully, that’s enough.
542-Horse Bentley Bentayga Arrives Later This Year
Bentley will offer only one engine, at least at launch. The 542-horsepower turbocharged gas V8 propels the SUV to a top speed of 180 mph.
Expect deliveries of the Bentley Bentayga EWB to start in Q4 of this year. Bentley anticipates it will make up 45% of Bentayga sales.
Pricing hasn’t been announced, but expect a hefty premium over the $190,000 or so it takes to bring home the standard-length V8. And that’s before you start working out which of the 24 billion different specifications you’d like.