REVIEW - A growl of power: Bentley's new Bentayga hits the roads

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The British carmaker's luxury SUV Bentayga was a big hit first time round and the new version will appeal to all discerning motorists. (Supplied)
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The British carmaker's luxury SUV Bentayga was a big hit first time round and the new version will appeal to all discerning motorists. (Supplied)
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The British carmaker's luxury SUV Bentayga was a big hit first time round and the new version will appeal to all discerning motorists. (Supplied)
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The British carmaker's luxury SUV Bentayga was a big hit first time round and the new version will appeal to all discerning motorists. (Supplied)
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The British carmaker's luxury SUV Bentayga was a big hit first time round and the new version will appeal to all discerning motorists. (Supplied)
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The British carmaker's luxury SUV Bentayga was a big hit first time round and the new version will appeal to all discerning motorists. (Supplied)
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The British carmaker's luxury SUV Bentayga was a big hit first time round and the new version will appeal to all discerning motorists. (Supplied)
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Updated 16 August 2020

REVIEW - A growl of power: Bentley's new Bentayga hits the roads

  • The British carmaker's luxury SUV was a big hit first time round and the new version will appeal to all discerning motorists

DUBAI: It was big news ago five years ago when Bentley made their first foray into the luxury SUV space with the Bentayga.
The illustrious British carmaker, renowned for over a century for its elite handcrafted saloons and touring cars, reckoned that the fast-growing SUV market was ripe for a new entrant. That decision has been amply justified by demand for the Bentayga — 20,000 have been sold, making it one of the most popular vehicles in the upmarket SUV space.
So the launch of the New Bentayga is a major event in the luxury car calendar. The 2020 version will be delivered later this year, and Bentley — owned by German car giant VW since 1998 — is getting ready for the rush, especially in the Middle East.

(Arab News' reviewer Frank Kane gets behind the wheel of the Bentley Bentayga)

Luxury-crazy drivers in the region certainly seem to have taken the original model to their hearts. In Dubai, it can regularly be seen parked in prime spots on the forecourts of five-star hotels or zooming down the outside lane.
Firas Kandalaft, Bentley’s UAE-based head of marketing, explained that there was a rush in Saudi Arabia to get buying orders ahead of the recent VAT increase. At around SAR800,000 (a little over $213,000) for an entry-level Bentayga, the tax saving would be significant.
In particular, affluent women in the Kingdom appear to have taken to the Bentayga to enjoy their new driving freedoms, Kandelaft explained.

I had the pleasure of driving a pre-production model of the new version around the tracks and roads at Dubai Autodrome, and have to report an exhilarating experience. 
It is certainly a handsome car, with sleek lines and contours topped off with the legendary “winged B” badge that pays tribute to Bentley’s heritage as an aircraft engine manufacturer and also hints at the near-airborne experience that awaits you once behind the wheel.
The Bentayga exterior has been redesigned front and rear, adding an extra layer of aerodynamism to the body. It displays none of the ‘boxy’ characteristics of some other luxury SUVs. “Elliptical” is the buzzword, especially for the style of the cut-crystal lighting.
Get behind the wheel and you are immediately impressed by the sheer sophistication of the steering wheel and dashboard complex. A new digital combination display has all the driving information you need, while the center console provides touch-screen convenience — including a range of Apple connectivity services. All topped off by the classic Bentley analogue clock nestling above the AC vents.

Bentleys are all hand-built in the car’s historic works in Crewe, England, though there is a distinct feel of German “technik” in the electronics and navigational systems — but with more or a flavor of Porsche than VW.
On the road, the New Bentayga is a thrilling experience. A 4.1 liter V8 engine generates an impressive 542 brake horsepower, to get you from 0-100 kph in 4.5 seconds.
The top speed of 290 kph is unlikely to be legally hit anywhere, but it is good to know you have so much in reserve within the legal limits, and the acceleration necessary to get out of any tricky spot. Flooring the gas pedal produces a satisfyingly deep-throated growl of power.
There will be a W12 version available in the future, likely to become a luxury-car driver’s icon, but with a price tag of more than $500,000.
Excited women drivers, adventurous families, off-roaders and speed merchants will all get a kick out of the new Bentayga, as will aficionados of grande luxe. I have a feeling we will be seeing, and admiring, a lot more of them on the roads of the Middle East.


Wedding gown of UK's Princess Beatrice goes on show

Updated 23 September 2020

Wedding gown of UK's Princess Beatrice goes on show

  • Also to go on display at Windsor will be Beatrice's wedding shoes, made by Valentino, and a replica of her bridal bouquet
  • However, the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara, which the queen wore for her own wedding in 1947 and lent Beatrice for the day, will not feature

WINDSOR, England: The gown worn by Britain's Princess Beatrice at her scaled down wedding two months ago goes on display to the public on Thursday at Windsor Castle where her "secret" marriage took place.
Beatrice, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, tied the knot with Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi at the castle to the west of London in July in a private ceremony without the usual pomp and fanfare that royal weddings usually attract.
The couple had planned to marry in May but the coronavirus lockdown, which restricted the number of guests, forced them to reschedule and have a low-key ceremony instead which was only attended by close family including the 94-year-old monarch.


For the occasion, Beatrice, 32, the elder daughter of Prince Andrew, the queen's second son, and Sarah, Duchess of York, wore a remodelled taffeta, ivory dress designed by Norman Hartnell which Elizabeth herself first wore in the 1960s and loaned to her granddaughter for the wedding.
The ninth-in-line to the British throne was reunited with her dress at the castle on Wednesday for a photocall to publicise the upcoming display.
"This royal wedding dress is particularly unique because I think it's the first time in royal history and certainly in modern royal history, say from the 18th or 19th century onwards, that an existing dress ... has been reworn and turned into a wedding dress," said the display's curator Caroline de Guitaut.


"So it's a very special, very unique piece."
Also to go on display at Windsor will be Beatrice's wedding shoes, made by Valentino, and a replica of her bridal bouquet. However, the Queen Mary diamond fringe tiara, which the queen wore for her own wedding in 1947 and lent Beatrice for the day, will not feature.