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The Bentley Bentayga Speed already is fast. Make that extremely fast and powerful.

Billed as the world’s fastest SUV, the Bentayga Speed has a top speed of 190 mph and can rocket from zero to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds. Mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the giant SUV’s 6.0-liter W-12 engine generates 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque.

           2021 Bentley Bentayga Speed (Image: Bentley)

Now the range-topping 2021 model is adding some exterior styling flair, more interior amenities and fuel-saving technologies.

"The new Bentayga Speed remains the fastest SUV in the world, but more than that, it's also the most luxurious version of the new Bentayga—the best of both worlds, the pinnacle," says Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark.

Midcycle Makeover

The updated Speed echoes the exterior changes made on the standard Bentayga, which was unveiled earlier this summer, to bring the SUVs more in line with the ultra-luxury marque’s Flying Spur and Continental GT cars.

The facelift includes a more muscular and rounded front end with jewel-like elliptical headlights, a large matrix-styled grille and clamshell hood.

To differentiate it from the base SUV, the Speed gets 22-inch wheels and a larger spoiler. Buyers also can opt for a Black Specification package that substitutes carbon fiber for the standard chrome trim elements, including the front splitter, side sills, wheels and roof spoiler, while other areas get gloss black paint.

The revamped interior is highlighted by Alcantara seat upholstery, digital instrument cluster and a 10.9-inch touchscreen infotainment unit. The latter features improved resolution, anti-glare coating and improved touch functionality, according to the carmaker.

Power Management

The current V-12-powered Bentayga Speed has a U.S. EPA fuel efficiency rating of just 14 mpg.

Don’t expect the 2021 model to do much better. But to help improve highway efficiency, the giant SUV is adding cylinder deactivation technology and a new “Sail” driving mode.

Bentley claims the cylinder deactivation system will enable “significant fuel economy gains under part-throttle cruising conditions” as well as reduce tailpipe emissions. In addition to deactivating half the cylinders during low power modes, the system alternates between the two to keep the engine and catalytic hot and running at optimal levels.

A new “sail” function allows the vehicle to coast during highway cruising. When the throttle is released with the transmission in fifth through eighth gear, the torque converter is fully opened to essentially decouple the engine and transmission, thus reducing the engine load and fuel consumption. The torque converter automatically reengages during acceleration.

The Speed’s four driving modes also have been recalibrated to provide greater distinctions between performance and comfort settings.

As with other Bentayga variants, which include the base 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 model and a 3.0-liter V-6 hybrid, the new V-12 Speed now is teamed with Bentley’s new 48-volt active roll control technology. The system works in conjunction with Bentley’s torque vectoring technology to improve cornering capabilities and overall responsiveness.

Carbon-ceramic brakes are optional. Bentley says the large discs provide more than 4,400 lb-ft of stopping force and can withstand temperatures as great as 1,000°C (1,832°F).

What’s Next?

U.S. Sales of the new Bentayga Speed are due to in the first quarter of 2021. 

Pricing is expected to start at about $245,000.