You might ask yourself, what’s the relevance in taking the new Bentayga V8 to the snow-covered slopes of the Austrian Alps when your readership lives in the most highly-populated arid desert in the world and swelters in its hottest cities. Well, think about it. Partly, it’s because if you can balance 3,250kg of leather-lined Bentley on a surface that you’d have difficulty walking across in anything but studded boots, then you know it’s going to excel in all conditions. But mostly, it’s because you know it’s going to be a whole lot of fun.

When first introduced, the Bentley Bentayga set the luxury SUV benchmark – it became the definitive automobile for drivers seeking the ultimate Grand Touring experience unrestricted by landscape or conditions. It is, before anything else, a Bentley. Now it’s available in its most sporting guise ever – the Bentayga V8.

The beating heart within the new range is a new-generation 4.0-litre, twin-turbocharged V8 petrol engine. This power plant, installed within a leather-lined Bentley, fuses exquisite luxury with power, usability and extensive sporting ability. And it’s done in a style that perhaps no other manufacturer can match with performance customisable on demand by the driver through Bentley’s Drive Dynamics system – from limousine-like refinement to sporting precision at the flick of a switch. For real.

Its typically understated Bentley looks are clear. It’s purposeful, but not brash. It’s far from anonymous, instead always demanding a second look. The Bentayga is still rare enough on the road that it inspires curiosity. “Is that a Bentley?”

The shape is defined by the Bentayga’s unique muscular, sculptural lines, balancing athleticism with an unmistakable presence on the road. From the four round LED headlamps to the large matrix grille, the Bentayga V8 exudes the Bentley design DNA, while the overt powerline, large rear haunches and raised ride height reflect the rugged off-road ability of the luxury SUV.

For those in need of a little bling, but who feel comforted by adding a genuinely useful reason, also introduced on the Bentayga V8 are sporting red brake calipers for the front and rear standard iron brakes. The calipers are painted in special, hightemperature resistant Tornado red paint, and signal strongly the dynamic intent of this performance-oriented Bentayga V8.

If you’re in the market for a Bentayga, you’re in the market for a vehicle with supreme load ability and the highest levels of comfort. Rest assured, the Bentayga V8 continues the Bentley tradition of intricate detailing and fine, handcrafted precision using authentic materials. Customers can specify hand cross-stitching, which highlights the interior styling lines of the seats and door panels, and there is the choice of the Bentayga’s four-, five-, or seven-seat configuration, for ultimate versatility.

It’s a driver’s car. And that remains the same whether the driver is on the school run, late for a business meeting across town, or heading out on a weekend of off-road adventure. 

How? The Bentayga V8 is available with Bentley Dynamic Ride – the world’s first electric active roll control technology that utilises a 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.

Bentley’s adaptive and reactive system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Bentayga to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The pioneering use of a 48V system results in silent, instantaneous responses to deal with all road surfaces.

The Bentayga’s 8” touch screen infotainment system boasts class-leading navigation technology, a 60GB hard drive, and a choice of up to 30 languages. 

Rear seat passengers benefit from the introduction of the Bentley Entertainment Tablet – a removable I 0.2” Android device with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth for effortless, high-speed on-board connectivity.

Customers can choose between three different sound systems for the Bentayga V8: Bentley Standard Audio, Bentley Signature Audio and Nairn for Bentley Premium Audio. The latter is the most powerful system in the segment, with 1,950 watts, a network of 18 speakers and super-tweeters for unrivalled recreation of the highest audio frequencies. We can vouch for the Nairn – truly sublime quality and (when required) raucous power – a bit like this Bentayga V8!

In the creation of the Bentayga V8, Bentley might just have created the car to trump all cars. It truly is ‘every car’.

It has competition in its execution as a practical, rugged SUV. There are others that match it, but none better it. As a sports SUV, again, you might point to pretenders to Bentley’s crown, you might suggest others do it better. We’d happily argue that point with you though.

However, there simply isn’t a car on the road today within this sector that does everything in quite such refinement and luxury.

And this, for us, is the essence of the new Bentley Bentayga V8. It’s a car where the driver need accept no compromises.