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Longer Bentley Bentayga to become brand flagship

Stretched version of the Bentayga SUV to officially replace the Mulsanne saloon as Bentley's flagship model

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Bentley has announced a stretched version of the Bentayga SUV, which will replace the Mulsanne saloon as the luxury brand’s flagship model.

The Bentayga Extended Wheelbase is almost 20cm longer than the standard version, the extra length placed entirely between the wheels and extending the rear cabin and doors by the same amount. For the first time power-closing can be specified for the rear doors.

According to its designers the extended SUV, which measures up at some 5.3 metres in length with a 3.2-metre wheelbase, is much more than just a stretched model. A “nine-figure investment” has been made to provide the best rear-seat travel experience in a Bentley since the Mulsanne, which ceased production in 2020.

Central to this is the new Airline Seat, claimed to be the most advanced seat ever fitted in a car. As well as 22 different forms of adjustment, the seats also feature ‘auto climate technology’ – this measures the temperature and humidity of an occupant and then applies heat, ventilation or both to keep them at the optimum temperature.

Meanwhile a ‘postural adjustment system’ automatically sets the seat based on the occupant’s pressure on it, making up to 177 individual changes across six pressure zones over a three-hour period. Bentley says this improves comfort and reduces fatigue during journeys.

Other luxury details in the car will include the first application of Bentley Diamond Illumination, which employs 12 LED lights in each front door and 22 in each rear door, shining through 1mm perforations in the leather trim.

Initially the Extended Wheelbase model will be available with a 4,0-litre 550hp V8 engine. Bentley claims it will offer driving dynamics comparable to a standard V8 model, helped by active suspension and a rear-steering system first seen in the Bentley Flying Spur.

First deliveries of the Bentayga Extended Wheelbase are set for the end of 2022 at prices yet to be announced. The stretched variant is expected to take almost half of all Bentayga sales, which is already the brand’s most popular model and accounts for one in three of all Bentleys sold.

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Andrew Charman
Andrew Charman
Andrew is a road test editor for The Car Expert. He is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers, and has been testing and writing about new cars for more than 20 years. Today he is well known to senior personnel at the major car manufacturers and attends many new model launches each year.