Despite sharing its running gear with the Volkswagen Touareg, the Bentley Bentayga is a different and much higher-end beast than its German cousin. Among other, less obvious things, while the former gets put together mostly by robots, the latter enjoys a bit more human touch.
And a lot of touch it needs, as it takes Bentley 16 working days or 127 man hours to assemble a single example of the Bentayga Speed. The model comes to life at the Crewe factory, in the United Kingdom, which has been the home of Bentley since 1946 and saw a £500 million ($653/€586 million) cash injection from the VW Group, in the first two years after the takeover.
Here’s the breakdown:
Wood: 10 hours
Trim: 8 hours
Paint: 24 hours
Engine: 13.4 hours
Assembly: 19 hours
Other, Quality, Testing and Sign-off: 52.5 hours
Joining the V8, Design Series, Diesel and Hybrid versions of the high-end SUV, the Bentayga Speed came to market last year as the pinnacle of the range. It combines a generous ground clearance with a GT-like level of comfort and sports car-like performance, needing only 3.8 seconds to sprint from rest to 60 mph (96 km/h). Mind you, that’s previous-gen supercar territory achieved in an SUV that has a maximum speed of 190 mph (305 km/h).
Compared to the regular W12 Bentayga, the Speed model has an additional 26 HP at its disposal which helps shave a couple of tenths of second off its 0- 62 mph (100km/h) time. The 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine found under the hood develops 626 hp (635 PS / 467 kW) and 664 pound-feet (900 Nm) of torque. It has a WLTP-estimated driving range of up to 377 miles (607 km), returns 17.9 mpg US (21.5 mpg UK / 13.1 l/100 km) and emits 496 g/km of CO2.
You can pick up a Bentayga Speed for $235,700 in the States, but it can easily climb up from there if you succumb to the allure of Bentley’s rich customization options.