Detroit Auto Show: Bentley says SUV to be called Bentayga

Wolfgang Durheimer, chief executive of Bentley, speaking Monday at the Detroit Auto Show.
(Larry W. Smith / European Pressphoto Agency)

What’s in a name? A rare rock formation in the Canary Islands, if you’re Bentley.

The luxury automaker used the 2015 Detroit Auto Show to announce that its upcoming SUV will be called the Bentayga, named after the Roque Bentayga peak on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria.

“Bentayga is a name that reflects what we know our SUV will do better than any other car in the world: combine the best automotive luxury with outstanding performance to take the Bentley experience to new environments,” Wolfgang Dürheimer, Bentley CEO, said ahead of the announcement.

Bentley had previously confirmed it would build a large SUV, but the name remained a mystery until Monday. The actual vehicle will be revealed later this year -- probably at the Geneva Motor Show in March -- and is expected to go on sale in 2016.


No details on what the SUV will look like were released. Bentley had already shown concept versions of the SUV, but scrapped the design after reaction to it was lukewarm.

Power-train details also remain scarce, though Bentley has said it expects the Bentayga to be the world’s most powerful SUV when it goes on sale. To do this, it will need at least 613 horsepower to trump the Mercedes-AMG G65 SUV available in Europe.

This means it will probably use the 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine found in a variety of Bentley’s Continental GT and Flying Spur models. The engine is capable of at least 626 horsepower, and is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive.

Pricing is a final unknown, but don’t expect to pay less than $250,000 to $300,000 when it goes on sale in 2016.


The addition of an SUV -- in high demand in markets including China, Russia and the U.S. -- should further bolster Bentley’s growth. The automaker sold just over 11,000 cars globally in 2014, an increase of 9% over 2013, and a record for the brand.