If you think 5.12 meters of SUV is too much for your needs, then surely the new Bentley Bentayga EWB is not for you, as it reaches 5.3 meters round. A growth that is completely concentrated in the wheelbase, 18 centimeters more than normal, all of which benefit the rear passengers. To understand the genesis of this elongated Bentayga – the acronym EWB stands for Extended Wheelbase, that is elongated wheelbase – it is necessary to focus on the reference markets of the British brand: the main ones are the United States and China, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany and Switzerland. .
Remaining focused on the first two extra-Europeans, it is known that in the USA the dimensional concepts are very different from ours, so much so that there are high-end SUVs that reach 6 meters, just as it is well known that the wealthiest Chinese do not like to drive and prefer to sit in the back seats. The EWB is certainly for all of them but not only that, as Bentley believes it will account for nearly half of all Bentayga sales.
That said, the EWB’s prices start at around € 275,000 and its preferred competitors are the Range Rover LWB and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. As for the engines, for now it can only be had with the classic V8, so no V12 and no hybrid. Remaining on the technical side, in addition to the lengthening of the wheelbase, this Bentayga has been the subject of several updates, so much so that there are 2,500 new components. Novelties resulting from the implementation of new solutions, such as electrically closing rear doors or rear steering, which makes the “long” version even more agile than the “short” one, with a turning circle of 11.8 meters. But the real gem of the EWB are the Airline seats, a set-up that must be requested separately and which is an alternative to the classic five seats and four plus one. This solution, on the other hand, includes two single seats at the rear, which according to the British manufacturer’s technicians are the most technological ever installed on a production car.
They have twenty-two adjustments and in the relaxation position you can almost lie down; obviously there are different types of massage, heating and ventilation. The last two, however, for the first time can be automatic, in the sense that a series of sensors detects the humidity and temperature of the seated person and acts accordingly. But that’s not all, because the rear dashboard contains a removable device (a kind of compact smartphone), with which all the car’s functions are remotely controlled, except those relating to driving. The latter is a central theme, because no matter how long, tall and heavy – over 2.5 tonnes – this is still a Bentley and therefore must exhibit dynamic qualities in line with the tradition of the brand. Driving it in Canada during the international presentation we found that the coat of arms is safe: much credit goes to the 4-liter V8 bi-turbo with its 550 hp and 770 Nm, but it’s not just about that.
The 4.6 seconds it takes to go from 0 to 100 km / h and the 290 km / h peak are straight numbers, while the real challenge for such a car is the curves. Surely the 8-speed ZF and, above all, the all-wheel drive with Torsen center differential help – the power is always optimally distributed – but we must not forget the electronically controlled triple-chamber air suspension. On the fast and winding roads of the forests around Vancouver the attitude remains composed even when the pace is raised a lot. The steering is not very direct but it is precise, although at times too light, as well as the brake pedal is very soft and it is the big discs that say enough first when physics prevails over mechanics. In any case, the Bentayga EWB gives its best by preferring a fast pace but without exaggeration, which allows you to enjoy royal comfort given by the total absence of vibrations and almost absolute silence, as long as you do not want to stimulate the skills of Naim stereo system that can transform the cockpit into a concert hall.
Bentley Bentayga EWB, the card
What it is: the long wheelbase version of the second generation SUV made in Crewe
Dimensions: length 5.30 meters, width 1.99, height 1.74, pitch 3.17
Trunk: 380-484 liters depending on the configuration of the rear seats
Engine: 4.0 bi-turbo V8, 550 hp at 6,000 rpm and 770 Nm from 2,000 to 4,500 rpm
Gearbox: 8-speed automatic with torque converter
Advantages: comfort, quality of life on board, space on board, performance
Defects: no VW-derived components, modest trunk
Production: Crewe, Great Britain
Prices: Bentley Bentayga EWB prices start at € 275,576