Here’s a third powertrain version for the Bentley Bentayga, the V8, following the 6.0 litre W12 and triple-charged diesel V8 models. The 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged petrol V8 mill comes courtesy of the larger Volkswagen Group, from which comes similarly-engined makes such as the 2018 Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Audi RS7, and of course, Bentley’s own Continental GT and Flying Spur V8s.

Here in the Bentayga, the eight-pot powerplant makes 550 PS at and 770 Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed ZF automatic. Powered thus, the Bentayga V8 does the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds, onwards to a top speed of 290 km/h. Just in case fuel economy is a concern, consumption is rated at 11.4 litres per 100 km, for a range of 746 km according to Bentley.

These are attributed to cylinder deactivation which takes place in just 20 milliseconds, while stop-start which can activate at ‘near-to-stop’ speeds also contribute to the Bentayga V8’s efficiency ratings. On the chassis front, the Bentayga V8 gets Bentley Dynamic Ride, an active roll control technology utilising the platform’s 48V electrical architecture.

In its ‘most sporting guise to date’ according to its maker, the Bentayga V8 can also be specified with optional carbon-ceramic brakes, with discs measuring 440 mm in front and 370 mm at the back. The front calipers are 10-piston items, and the brake system as a whole produces brake torque of up to 6,000 Nm, says Bentley.

As par for the Bentayga course, the V8 variant gets up to eight drive modes, four on-road and four off-road, while multi-mode air suspension gives the driver a selection of ride heights for different applications. Hill descent control for steep declines is also included here.

The high-performance brakes get specialised paint too, specifically for resistance to heat generated by forces involved in stopping this 2,395 kg beast from great speeds. Visually, the V8 variant is distinguished by its black and chrome grille in front, while the stern end gains twin-quad exhaust exits, in a way resembling side-turned figures-of-eight in reference to its newly-adopted powertrain.

Rolling stock features 21-inch wheels as standard, with 20- and 22-inch items optionally available, including a new 22-inch design with black painted and polished finish. On the safety front, the Bentayga V8 gets the full suite of active safety features such as adaptive cruise control including Stop & Go, predictive ACC and traffic assist, plus park assist and night vision.

Inside, the Bentayga V8 marks the first time a Bentley can be specified with a high-gloss carbon-fibre finish, whereas in Bentleys previously the material was given a matte surface. Here, the trim can be specified for the fascia, centre console and door waistrails. For wood-trimmed specifications, a wood and hide-trimeed steering wheel can also be specified, while Cricket Ball red leather also makes its debut here.

The infotainment package includes an eight-inch touchscreen with navigation, a 10.2-inch Android-based tablet with 4G, WiFi and Bluetooth for onboard connectivity, plus a choice of either Bentley Standard Audio, Bentley Signature Audio or the Naim for Bentley Premium Audio pack, with 18 speakers and super-tweeters driven by 1,950 watts.

As with all Bentleys, the Bentayga V8 can also be personalised to one’s heart’s content with the Mulliner customisation programme. Given the Malaysian market’s capacity-based tax structure, a relatively smaller-engined Bentley in a more versatile SUV form might go down a treat here with the luxury car shoppers. What do you reckon, dear readers?