The post-apocalyptic matte black Bentley Bentayga Bengala would look right at home in a Mad Max film. Designed by Bengala Automotive Design, a Spanish design firm that had previously developed the Ferrari F12 Caballiera, only 15 Bengalas are expected to be built.
The standard Bentley Bentayga, a front-engine, AWD, five-door luxury crossover SUV, was launched in 2016. Its body is manufactured at the Volkswagen Zwickau-Mosel plant, then painted by Paintbox Editions in Banbury, and finally assembled at the company's Crewe factory in the UK. 608 First Edition units were built and 75 were delivered to the US market.
The Bentayga evolved from the 2012 Bentley EXP 9 F concept car and debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2015 as the automaker’s first SUV. The vehicle incorporated unibody construction, AWD and Volkswagen Group's bi-turbo W12 engine and MLB platform, which is also present in the second-generation Audi Q7 and the third-generation Porsche Cayenne, Volkswagen Touareg, Audi Q8, and Lamborghini Urus.
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For the Bengala, Bentley has stripped the brand’s usual luxury accents and delivered an off-road vehicle that includes a custom bull bar built into the front end, a steel horizontal bar that stretches across the nose and an integrated LED light strip.
The SUV features lateral exhaust pipes, large off-road tires and oversized wheels with extended arches and side skirts that provide extra ground clearance on rugged terrain. The exterior also includes an additional LED light bar installed on the roof, rear window louvers and a protective steel bar across the rear bumper.
The engine has not yet confirmed, though it’s likely that either the Bentayga’s twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 or the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, which delivers 60 mph in 4.4 seconds, will be incorporated. The V8 diesel engine Bentayga integrates the same technology as the W12, considered the most technically sophisticated engine in the world, which allows the vehicle to produce an impressive 900 Nm of torque.
“The project literally started out as a joke,” says Shoghi Saeidnia, general manager of Bengala Automotive Design. “We thought we’d give the ultimate, luxury 4x4 a raw, stealthy, off-road finish. So, we designed a concept and shared it online with a few of our closest customers. It all became real when one of them asked us if it could actually be made.”
The price for the Bengala has not yet been announced, though the cost will probably substantially exceed the current Bentayga’s £130,000 list price.