2017 Bentley Bentayga Mulliner Review

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British-based luxury automaker Bentley first introduced its Bentayga SUV in 2015 at the Frankfurt Motor Show,with production ramping up in November of that same year. As the brand’s first-ever SUV, the launch of the Bentayga was anything but timid. Bentley frames the Bentayga as the most luxurious, fastest, and most expensive SUV in the world. Indeed, in this segment, it takes a lot to stand out, but even when the vehicle in question is drenched in luxury and speed and totes an asking price approaching a quarter-million dollars, some customers simply need more. Enter Mulliner, Bentley’s self-described “in-house personal commissioning division,” which was called upon to add bespoke touches and even more opulence to the already-over-the-top SUV. Just how indulgent did Mulliner get? Here are some highlights – new color schemes for the interior and exterior, hand-stitched embroidery for the seats, an onboard refrigerator, crystal champagne flutes, custom china cutlery, and a solid gold clock studded with diamonds. Yep, it’s that kind of SUV.

While certainly eye-raising to most, this list of upgrades is pretty much on par with other custom Bentleys we’ve seen in the past. But of course, the British brand is happy to pull heavily from its list of superlatives when describing this thing, with phrases like “the ultimate luxury SUV” setting the tone. Basically, the Bentayga Mulliner is Bentley’s new flagship utility vehicle, slated as the “most exquisitely appointed luxury SUV ever created,” something that “will appeal to owners searching for the pinnacle of go-anywhere motoring, with the finest performance and comfort.”

Again – you gotta be bold when playing for the top of the heap. Read on for the details on why Bentley thinks this is the best that money can buy.

What Makes The Bentley Bentayga Mulliner Special

ENGINE, DRIVETRAIN, AND SUSPENSION

Bentley Bentayga

Note: Standard Bentayga pictured here.

To begin, let’s talk about the mechanicals underneath the skin. Mulliner didn’t touch the engine, drivetrain, or suspension when applying its bespoke gloss to the Bentayga, and while we’ve been known to rail against special edition models that neglect the factory-stock hard bits, I’m giving the Bentayga Mulliner a pass in that respect.

“But why?” you might ask. “Why should the Bentayga Mulliner be exempt from your keyboard-bound wrath?”

The answer is simple – the stock stuff is mighty impressive as is. Messing with it just isn’t really necessary.

I’ll show you what I’m talking about. Under the hood is a stonking twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 powerplant, which lays down an incredible 600 horsepower at 5,250 rpm and 664 pound-feet of torque at 1,250 rpm. With that much muscle, acceleration from standstill to 60 mph takes just 4 seconds flat. Meanwhile, top speed is rated at a jaw-dropping 187 mph, making the Bentayga the fastest production SUV in the world.

The answer is simple – the stock stuff is mighty impressive as is. Messing with it just isn’t really necessary.

Helping it achieve those numbers is a standard eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF, which routes the power to a high-performance AWD system. To keep it both comfortable and somewhat stable in the corners is something called Bentley Dynamic Ride, a system touted as the first electric active roll control system juiced by a 48-volt power source. Essentially, the suspension keeps the top-heavy SUV from leaning when it’s loaded up in a corner, making sure it’s balanced with all four tires firmly planted to the tarmac. As an added bonus, the system also manages to enhance interior comfort.

So while I feel justified in complaining that the Chevrolet Redline Series is too boring and the Nissan Midnight Edition is too lame, I can understand an unwillingness to coax more power from a 600-horse twin-turbo W-12 or fiddle with a dynamic suspension set-up.

Engine type twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12
Horsepower 600 HP @ 5,250 RPM
Torque 664 LB-FT @ 1,250 RPM
0-to-60 mph 4.0 seconds
Top speed 187 mph
Drivetrain layout Front-engine, AWD
Transmission Eight-speed automatic
Suspension Bentley Dynamic Ride electric active roll system

THE NEW STYLE OUTSIDE

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

Moving on, Mulliner spent some time tweaking the Bentayga’s exterior, which should help it stand out in the parking lot of your local yacht club. The biggest change is the Duo Tone paintjob (basically just a two-tone color scheme), a first for the Bentayga model. The hood and greenhouse were painted one color, while the body below the beltline was painted a different color. Bentley adds that the Duo Tone paint option will be introduced across the entire Bentayga model line this April.

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

In the corners you’ll find 22-inch wheels bearing a distinctive seven-spoke design.

Additionally, in the corners you’ll find 22-inch wheels bearing a distinctive seven-spoke design. These rollers get large, polished metal bars that emanate out from a floating wheel center, and look at home on the large-and-in-charge SUV.

Meanwhile, the fascia gets the usual crosshatch metal insert for the grille, which is a design that’s repeated for the central intake, lower intake, and corner fog light surrounds. The front bumper also gets the same skid plate-look addition at the bottom of its chin, plus a mate-black insert to frame the twin oval exhaust pipes in the rear. The lower character line is also finished in polished metal.

MORE GOODIES IN THE CABIN

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

Inside the Bentley, Mulliner makes its presence known with an attempt at a bit of old-school coachbuilding flair, not to mention no small dose of sheer, unadulterated, money-is-no-object options. The phrase “handcrafted” could be applied liberally throughout.

Starting things off is an additional application of the two-tone color scheme used for the exterior, but in the cabin. And that means different hues for the front and rear seats, both of which are draped in a healthy amount of hide. This upholstery was hand-stitched and gets customized Mulliner embroidery, plus the requisite contrast stitching to show off the hard word. Customers get seven unique color schemes to choose from.

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

Rear-seated passengers get to enjoy a bit of bubbly with an illuminated Mulliner Bottle Cooler box, which incorporates customized Cumbria Crystal flutes.

There’s also a new veneer concept used for the door panels, wherein a gradient is employed with the trim starting black in front before gradually transforming into Burr Walnut towards the rear. This slick little detail, an exclusive feature of the Mulliner, is also repeated in the center console, and looks pretty damn cool in my opinion.

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

Further touches include six different “moods” for the cabin ambient lighting, with fine-tuning available in 15 individual colors. Not only can you adjust the hue, but you can also adjust the brightness, with the colored lighting extended to the doors, armrests, and footwells. Open the doors, and you’ll also find illuminated kick plates (er, excuse me, Bentley calls them “tread plates”) tagged with the Mulliner logo.

Providing the soundtrack for the Mulliner experience is a Naim for Bentley Audio system, a system that Bentley calls the “most powerful, highest quality audio system in the class.” Specs include no less than 20 individual speakers, with power provided by a 21-channel amplifier that pumps out 1,950 watts.

So basically it’s a garden party on wheels.

To keep it comfy, there’s also a remote control setting that lets you operate the cabin heater and air conditioning from afar, even then the engine is turned off. In back are electric rear window blinds, plus a double sun visor, both of which are offered with the optional Sunshine Specification package on the standard Bentayga.

Further equipped options include the City Specification and Touring Specification. With these, there are added convenience and driver assist tech features like Park Assist, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Assist, Night Vision, and a heads-up display.

That’s all well and good, but it’s not exactly remarkable compared to any other modern SUV. Where’s the really good stuff?

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

Customers can choose either yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold for the clock, while the face can be had in mother-of-pearl, or black ebony. Providing the time indices are eight diamonds inset with the face.

Well, try this on for size. Rear-seated passengers get to enjoy a bit of bubbly with an illuminated Mulliner Bottle Cooler box, which incorporates customized Cumbria Crystal flutes. The whole set-up is neatly integrated directly into the rear console, and will make you question how you ever got on without it.

Further opulence can be had with the Linley Hamper by Mulliner package, which apparently equips an onboard refrigerator, custom Linley china cutlery, crockery, crystal glass, and even a pantry of sorts (basically storage for dry goods). Bentley adds that sections of this feature can be removed and used for seating when dining outdoors.

So basically it’s a garden party on wheels. But it gets even better.

If you’re really looking to burn a bit of cash, you’re gonna need the Mulliner Tourbillon by Breitling clock. Normally a $160,000 option, this exquisite timepiece is created from 196 individual parts, and uses an automatic winding mechanism to keep it accurate. But the best bit is that’s made from solid gold. Customers can choose either yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold, while the face can be had in mother-of-pearl, or black ebony. Providing the time indices are eight diamonds inset with the face.

Just to be clear, that’s a solid gold clock with diamonds in the face. In a car.

And of course, if 15 different interior ambient lighting options, two-tone paint and upholstery, and a gold friggin’ clock aren’t enough for you, Bentley will always customize yours as you see fit. Perhaps platinum seatbelt buckles and a headliner made from the Shroud of Turin would be a nice fit.

SO THEN, HOW MUCH AND HOW DO I GET IT?

While obviously enjoying a very limited production run, Bentley declines to specify how many Bentayga Mulliners will be built. If you have the means, you’ll be able to order yours as early as this Spring.

As for pricing, well, this is most definitely one of those “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” sorts of situations.

As a reminder, the “standard” Bentayga starts at $230,000.

You’ll be able to see this thing in the metal at the Geneva International Motor Show next week, where it’ll be on display alongside another Bentayga that’s apparently a one-off example with an inlay in the front fascia “depicting the stunning Monte Rosa mountain range in exquisite hand-crafted marquetry.”

OTHER OPTIONS

MERCEDES-MAYBACH G 650 LANDAULET

Mercedes-Maybach G 650 Landaulet

If you’re looking for never-ending luxury, but crave the adventure of off-roading, then this is the one for you. Inside is seating for four with top-notch materials, comfort, and prestige, while under the hood is a boosted V-12 making 630 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque. Applying that sort of output to any terrain on Earth is hardcore off-roading spec suspension and grippy 325/55 tires.

PORSCHE CAYENNE TURBO S

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S

When it comes to mating sportiness with a tall SUV body, Porsche has been at it longer than most thanks to the Cayenne. The interior is draped in luxury, but the stuff that makes it go draws from the German automaker’s long competition history. Power is derived from a 4.8-liter V-8, while branded acronyms like Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC) and Porsche Torque Vector ing Plus (PTV Plus) keep the mass in check. And while it’s not quite the fastest SUV in the world, it’s not far off, laying down a top speed of 176 mph.

My Opinion

Vehicles like the Bentayga Mulliner seem to transcend the simple idea of what a car or SUV is supposed to be. To the masses, it’s about A-to-B transportation. To enthusiasts, it’s a matter of self-expression and fun behind the wheel. To folks that might buy this thing, it’s a statement of wealth and power. This is the kind of machine you might buy when you already have millions upon millions of dollars worth of metal in your garage(s), plus a few yachts and a private jet or two. It’s outrageous and over the top in every single way. And that’s exactly the point.

Press Release

Bentley Motors is today announcing the introduction of the Bentayga Mulliner: the ultimate luxury SUV.

Bentley’s in-house personal commissioning division, Mulliner, has applied its exquisite craftsmanship to the multi-award-winning Bentayga, creating a new flagship model and setting new standards in automotive luxury.

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

New interior and exterior features – including optional Duo Tone paintwork, unique 22” wheels, Mulliner Bottle Cooler and a new veneer concept – complement the Bentayga’s sculptural, modern design.

Featuring Bentley’s class-leading 6.0-litre, W12 engine, the Bentayga Mulliner combines efficiency and refinement with ultra-luxurious levels of power and torque. With 608 PS (600 bhp) and 900 Nm (663 lb. ft.) delivering a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds) and a top speed of 187 mph (301 km/h), the Bentayga is the world’s fastest SUV.

Produced in very limited numbers due to the highly complex, handcrafted nature of the Bentayga Mulliner’s luxurious interior features, this new flagship model will be available to order in Spring 2017.

A special one-off example of the Bentayga Mulliner will be on the Bentley stand in Geneva next week, featuring a unique inlay to the front fascia depicting the stunning Monte Rosa mountain range in exquisite hand-crafted marquetry.

An Extraordinary Mulliner Exterior
The Bentayga Mulliner is the most exquisitely appointed luxury SUV ever created, and will appeal to owners searching for the pinnacle of go-anywhere motoring, with the finest performance and comfort.

This new model introduces striking optional Duo Tone paintwork for the first time on Bentayga. The elegant finish is achieved by choosing the perfect proportional balance point for the split, the resulting effect making the cabin and bonnet appear as though floating. The split also serves to enhance the Bentayga’s trademark super-formed muscularity and accentuates its powerful presence. Duo Tone paintwork will be available across the Bentayga range from April.

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

The new Mulliner 22” Paragon seven-spoke wheels with floating wheel centres, unique exterior badge, and the addition as standard of body-coloured lower bodywork and bright chromed lower bumper grilles, complete the exterior enhancements.

The Ultimate Handcrafted Interior
Inside, Mulliner has combined traditional and modern coachbuilding design. A new Mulliner designed interior colour split – with the front and rear seats finished in different hide colours and offered in seven suggested colour ways – complements the optional Duo Tone exterior paintwork. The hand-stitched hides are finishedwith unique Mulliner embroidery and contrast stitching.

Bespoke features by Mulliner include a new Mulliner Bottle Cooler in the rear of the cabin, featuring an illuminated chilling cabinet and bespoke Cumbria Crystal flutes, all seamlessly integrated into the generously proportioned, rear centre console.

Ombré Burr Walnut Veneer is exclusively introduced to the Bentayga Mulliner model. This showcases a unique wood transition from Black through to Burr Walnut as the veneer wraps around the interior and a special veneered panel replaces the standard central console fascia.

Mood lighting, comprising six different ‘moods’, together with illuminated Mulliner tread plates and Bentley LED Welcome Lamps, create a luxurious night-time ambience. Bentayga Mulliner also offers owners the chance to create their own bespoke ambience, with ‘My Mood’, which allows occupants to choose from 15 different colours, while also adjusting the brightness in doors, armrests and footwells.

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

Luxury in Audio, Comfort and Convenience
The Naim for Bentley Audio system in the Bentayga Mulliner is the most powerful, highest quality audio system in the class, featuring twenty speakers driven by a 1,950-watt, 21-channel amplifier.

A convenient, remote-controlled Parking Heater function allows the vehicle interior to be heated or cooled when the engine is switched off, while electric rear window blinds and a double sun-visor are also available with the Sunshine Specification.

The Touring and City Specifications enhance the comprehensive suite of standard driver assistance features, including Park Assist, Lane Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Assist, Night Vision and a Head-Up Display.

The Bentayga Mulliner also benefits from Bentley Dynamic Ride – the world’s first electric active roll control technology that utilises an unrivalled 48V system. This system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre contact to deliver class-leading cabin stability, ride comfort and exceptional handling.

The flagship Bentayga is also available with the exquisite optional Linley Hamper by Mulliner, complete with refrigerator, bespoke fine Linley china cutlery, crockery and crystal glass, and storage areafor dry goods. For comfort in the great outdoors, sections can be removed and used as seats.

Another striking option is the bespoke mechanical Mulliner Tourbillon by Breitling clock. The most complex of watch mechanisms, the Mulliner Tourbillon features 196 individual pieces and is automatically wound periodically by a dedicated high-precision winding mechanism within the car. This masterpiece is machined in solid gold (customers can select from yellow, white or rose gold), with a choice of either a mother-of-pearl or black ebony face and decorated with eight diamond indexes.

Bentley Bentayga Mulliner

Mulliner – The Beauty of Bespoke
As Bentley’s personal commissioning division, Mulliner exists to respond to individual customer requests for further bespoke features on the Bentayga Mulliner.

The experienced team, supported by the in-house engineers and designers at Crewe, prides itself on a long history of fulfilling the desires and demands of Bentley’s most discerning customers worldwide.

(topspeed.com, https://goo.gl/rN6L1l)

 

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