It’s the SUV everyone loves to hate. Bentley’s Bentayga has been the source of much controversy for the brand, but then it’s also brought plenty of revenue with it. Unfortunately, with the impressive new Continental range now well pretty well integrated into the range, the Bentayga’s aging tech and awkward aesthetics have never been more obvious. To counter this Bentley is working on an updated version, which will break cover next year.
Although the next Bentayga will not be an all-new model, look closely at this prototype vehicle and the changes appear to be significant nonetheless, starting at the rear which should pick up the biggest update. That’s because beneath the black cladding, the Bentayga will feature a new clamshell rear tailgate, one that will inform a sleeker design language borrowed from the new Continental GT.
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In order to do this, Bentley has moved to a one-piece rear light which will sit within this new clamshell bootlid, similar in execution to the Audi Q7. This is a remarkably big change for what would otherwise be a mid-cycle update, as to suit the new bootlid a revised body-in-white is required, hence the odd proportions of this prototype’s cladding. You can see this change in the tailgate shutline, which now flows around the side of the car, rather than straight down the rear face of the current model, which has a more traditional split rear light design.
The new sheet metal also extends to the front. A new bonnet, bumper and wings will clean up the current model’s design with a smoother, tighter aesthetic that again, draws inspiration from the new Continental GT. The headlights are just about visible underneath the translucent cladding, and look smaller and more ornate, with more rake than before.
Something else set for a big update is the Bentayga’s tech, and the interior it will sit within. Already out of date when it was first launched, the Bentayga’s ancient Golf-derived infotainment system will surely be updated to the newest systems employed by Bentley, which in-turn will require a revised dashboard design to house it.
Powertrains will likely mimic the current car’s range of twelve- and eight-cylinder options, with a high likelihood of an upgraded plug-in hybrid model in an attempt to reduce running costs and clean up the Bentayga’s ethical image. Speed, V8 and Mulliner editions will also arrive over the model’s lifetime. Bentley has not announced a release date, but we expect to know more next year.