Just as the old guard was getting used to the idea of a Bentley SUV, the chaps from Crewe have launched their most unlikely performance model yet: introducing the Bentley Bentayga Speed. It is billed as the world’s fastest SUV.

A top-speed race

Not that long ago we wouldn’t have believed that we’d have performance SUVs topping 300 km/h. The Bentley Bentayga Speed does a claimed 306 km/h. With that speed, Bentley has taken the title away from its stablemates over at Lamborghini. The Urus SUV tops out at a ‘measly’ 305. The large vehicle will sprint from 0–100 km/h in a scant 3,9 seconds. A firmer suspension set-up along with options ceramic brakes are part of the Speed’s repertoire.

Click here to read our Lamborghini Urus driving review.

To enable the less than aerodynamic shape to reach those lofty speeds, Bentley engineers have unleashed 467 kW from its now familiar twin-turbocharged 6,0-litre W12 engine. Peak torque is rated as 900 N.m. Bentley Bentayga Speed announces itself during start up and gear downshifts thanks to a new exhaust system. As with other Bentayga models, torque is delivered to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Model-specific appearance

The Bentayga Speed has a purposeful exterior appearance. Dark-tint headlights, body-coloured side skirts and a rear spoiler underline the Speed’s intent. Dark-tint radiator and bumper grilles, a unique 22-inch wheel design available in three finishes and Speed signature badging, inside and out, add to the sporting touches.

Inside the Bentayga Speed includes ‘swooshes’ around the door and door handle, on the edge of the seat cushions and backrest bolsters, and on the lower console; a new contrast stitching on the diamond quilting; discreet Speed badging; a Speed illuminated treadplate signature; and the use of Alcantara materials for the first time in a Bentayga.