Debuting today at The Quail is a new top-trim $339,150 Bentayga from Bentley’s Mulliner customizing division, with deliveries starting in early 2024.It’s powered by the same 542-hp twin-turbo V-8 as other Bentaygas, but it’s built on the long-wheelbase variant, which makes room for 22-way-adjustable rear seats with lots of recline.The tri-tone leather is tanned using a new process that employs wastewater from olive pressing.
There appears to be no shortage of demand at the ultra-high end of the automobile market, which is keeping Bentley’s Mulliner customizing division plenty busy of late. After its farewell to the W-12 engine, the $2.1 million Batur, and building 12 new copies of the of the pre-war Speed Six for a similar price, Mulliner has now turned to the heart of the lineup, creating a more upscale Bentayga SUV.
Shown today at The Quail, the place to be for all the big-price-tag automakers during the Monterey Car Week festivities, is the $339,150 EWB Mulliner, now the most expensive Bentayga.
A little Bentayga background: the ultra-lux SUV starts at $200,025, with the extended-wheelbase (EWB) variant that was added to the lineup for 2023 jumping to $229,625. This new top-spec Mulliner, which is based upon the long-wheelbase model, leaps up another $110K, roughly $60K higher than the Bentayga Speed variant that was the previous top dog, and in the same neighborhood as the company’s Mulliner variants of the Continental GT coupe or convertible and Flying Spur sedan.
EWB means a wheelbase stretch of 7.1 inches, with all of that additional length going to create stretch-out space in the rear seat. So, naturally, the Mulliner Bentayga comes standard with the 22-way-adjustable rear seats—Bentley calls this the Airline Seat, a descriptor it seems to consider as more positive than we might—that are a $11,195 option on the regular EWB Bentayga. These outboard rear seats (if you must be able to fit five, there’s a center-seat option) can recline to almost 40 degrees, complemented by a leather-trimmed footrest that folds out from the seat in front. The seats have both temperature and humidity sensors, which are used to determine whether to automatically apply heat, ventilation, or both simultaneously. They also periodically adjust to ward off fatigue. Take your shoes off, and your piggies will be dancing in 100-percent-wool floor mats.
Tri-tone leather is exclusive to the Mulliner, with nearly 4000 possible combinations of the main color, secondary color, and accent color. And that leather, which Bentley calls Olive Tan, is made with a new process that employs wastewater from olive pressing to create the tanning agent. This is a further nod to sustainability, as the company already touts it uses only leather that’s clearly traceable to being a by-product of the meat industry. Embroidery on the diamond-quilted seats matches buyer’s selected interior color combo, and the Mulliner also comes with a matching, three-color pouch for the key fob.
Other Mulliner bits include a diamond-patterned grille and a unique design for the 22-inch wheels fitted with weighted center caps that remain steadfastly upright. The powertrain is identical to much of the rest of the lineup, a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 making the same 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque and an eight-speed automatic. The company claims the Mulliner is but a tenth of a second slower to 60 mph than the short-wheelbase Bentayga S, which we coaxed to 60 in 3.5 seconds.
The Mulliner Bentayga is available to order now, with deliveries starting in early 2024.
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Director, Vehicle Testing
Dave VanderWerp has spent more than 20 years in the automotive industry, in varied roles from engineering to product consulting, and now leading Car and Driver’s vehicle-testing efforts. Dave got his very lucky start at C/D by happening to submit an unsolicited resume at just the right time to land a part-time road warrior job when he was a student at the University of Michigan, where he immediately became enthralled with the world of automotive journalism.