Bentley has a new version of their best selling SUV for those owners who rather be driven than drive themselves. With a 7 inch wheelbase stretch, the EBW (which stands for Extended Wheelbase) model offers an improved rear-seat experience, especially if you add the optional 22-way-adjustable Airline Seat package.
The Bentayga Extended Wheelbase is the result of a nine-figure investment by Bentley to create a new model that provides the best rear cabin experience since a Mulsanne, whilst retaining the Bentley hallmarks of effortless performance, exquisite hand craftsmanship and endless personalization.
The success of the Bentayga defined and enabled the growth of the luxury SUV market since the first unveiling in 2015. Over the last seven years, the Bentayga has proved its credibility through genuine off-road capability, hybrid technology, record-breaking performance, and bespoke specifications. The Bentayga remains Bentley’s best-selling model, and has become the benchmark against which other luxury SUVs are measured. The Bentayga Extended Wheelbase once again redefines the zenith.
The Bentayga Extended Wheelbase builds on the latest second-generation Bentayga, extending the wheelbase and rear cabin space by an extra 180 mm. This increase results in the wheelbase of the car stretching from 2995 mm to 3175 mm, with an overall length of 5322 mm. The increased length is all in the rear door, creating an exceptionally luxurious rear cabin area. With a larger cabin space than any other luxury competitor, an emphasis on wellness, and the introduction of the world’s first auto climate and advanced postural adjustment rear seat, extraordinary journeys are guaranteed.
The new Bentley Airline Seat specification is the most advanced seat ever fitted to a car, with 22-ways of adjustment and world-firsts in a new auto climate sensing system and postural adjustment technology.
In Relax mode, the seat can recline to 40 degrees, whilst the passenger seat is motored forwards and a beautifully leather-trimmed footrest deploys from the back of the front passenger seat. In Business Mode, the seat moves into its most upright position to make working on the move more comfortable.
The auto climate seat technology senses occupant temperature and surface humidity and then determines whether to apply heat, ventilation or both simultaneously to keep the occupant at optimum thermal wellbeing. Meanwhile, the postural adjustment system automatically makes micro adjustments to the occupant’s seating position and pressure points, by measuring pressure across the seat surface. The system can apply 177 individual pressure changes across six fully independent pressure zones over a three-hour period improving comfort and minimizing fatigue throughout a journey.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the rear cabin has been enhanced to further improve onboard wellness. The rear ventilation activates only when rear occupants are detected, reducing rear cabin fan noise. The rear cabin has a separate air ionisation system that improves air quality with lower airborne particulates. The ionisers create a static charge around pollutants such as dust or allergens in the air, which in turn cause them to stick to the nearest surface. The result is the removal of such contaminants from the air that the occupants breathe.
The noise of traffic and the on-road world outside the car has a serious effect on wellbeing. Research that tracked thousands of people over a four year period found that those exposed to traffic noise over 70 decibels (db) were 65% more at risk of depression. The Bentayga EWB is quieter inside than its competitors, by between 4% and 26% depending on frequency and position inside the car.
The introduction of Electronic All Wheel Steering, a first for the Bentayga, ensures that there is no shortfall of dynamic ability despite the longer wheelbase. In fact, the turning circle is 7% less than a standard Bentayga, at just 11.8 meters. This also guarantees no compromise between high-speed confidence and low speed convenience. Bentley Dynamic Ride, the 48V active anti-roll control system introduced originally by Bentayga as a world-first, is included as standard and provides the optimum balance between ultimate ride comfort, handling and body control.
With the increased cabin length, the front centre console has been redesigned to provide better ergonomics and functionality for the rear passengers. The rear face of the console has been extended for improved interaction with the touch screen remote, the addition of a wireless charging cradle for a mobile phone and a new air vent design.
For the first time on a Bentley, power closing doors can be specified. Two switches are located on the rear face of the extended centre console, comfortably within the reach of rear passengers. Pressing and holding the switch will close the door on the corresponding side of the vehicle using dedicated motors, creating a truly luxurious valet-like experience. The motors also engage with a light manual push on the door, for a fully integrated motion with the power latching mechanism. The motors also offer gentle assistance when opening the door.
Fitted as standard to the EWB are new ‘waterfall illumination’ interior lamps providing subtle illumination to the rear cabin. The illumination is focused towards the centre of car, and improves the passenger’s visibility of the key central controls and features. The subtle illumination provides a comfortable ambient light to the rear enhancing the feeling of luxury for the rear passengers.
Four detailed exterior changes mark the new model: the longer profile, a new front grille, a new polished 22” 10-spoke wheel, and a repositioned sunroof, all whilst deliberately maintaining the highly successful second-generation Bentayga aesthetic.
Taking inspiration from the new grille on the Flying Spur, the Bentayga EWB has a ‘Vertical Vane Grille’ design that remains elegant while being visually striking. The unique grille consists of bright chrome vertical vanes sitting in front of a black mesh grille. The 22-inch 10-spoke Bentayga wheel is offered in a new mirror-polished design for the Bentayga EWB.
The repositioned panoramic sunroof illustrates again the focus on the rear cabin ambience and ensures the experience is uncompromized. The sunroof has therefore been moved rearwards in the car by 125 mm, providing the optimum position to bathe the rear cabin seating area in natural light. The sunroof can be controlled via the rear cabin Touch Screen Remote, as well as by the front cabin console.
The Bentayga EWB is powered by a 4.0-litre, 32-valve dual twin turbocharged V8 petrol engine. Mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, the V8 offers near supercar performance, developing 542 bhp (550 PS) and 568 lb.ft (770 Nm) of torque, resulting in a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h) and 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds (100 km/h in 4.6 seconds).
Two enhanced specifications of Bentayga Extended Wheelbase will be available at launch. The Azure offers elegant and timeless design with unique signatures, focusing on maximum comfort and well-being with an effortless drive. Unique specification includes a unique 22” ten-spoke directional wheel, bright lower bumper grilles, Azure embroidery and badging. Other additional features include unique quilted seats, mood lighting, heated steering wheel, and increased driver’s assistance aids.
The First Edition specification builds further, including Bentley Diamond Illumination, metal overlays in the veneer, Naim for Bentley Premium Audio and LED welcome lamps. Unique embroidery, inlays and badging identify this as a highly exclusive and distinct model.
The longer 2023 Bentayga EWB goes on sale later this year. No pricing was announced at press time but we can safely anticipate it will carry a premium over the regular car. Bentley predicts the EWB will make up to 45 percent of Bentayga sales.