There are certain things in life that very few individuals are privileged enough to have, and the Bentley Bentayga, or any other Bentleys for that matter, is one of them. It’s hard to even think that the world’s fastest SUV (or formerly the fastest, now that the Lamborghini Urus is out) is over two years old now, considering how fresh its historic high-speed run to the 300 km/h mark still lingers in memory.

The Bentayga is Bentley’s first ever attempt in creating an SUV, but it’s unlike your typical high-riding luxury SUV. Conceived on the bones of Volkswagen’s MLB platform (which also underpins the Audi Q7, Porsche Cayenne and Lamborghini Urus), it inherently imbues the Bentayga with capabilities to venture into unchartered territories, and quite literally at that.

Firstly, let’s talk about what’s under the bonnet, or rather what can be had. The SUV comes with a number of engines, starting from the entry-level turbodiesel V8. This triple-charged engine is plucked straight off the Audi SQ7 TDI and produces 429 hp and 900 Nm of torque. With a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 4.8 seconds, it’s dubbed the fastest diesel SUV in the world, at least according to Bentley.

One ring above the diesel is a new petrol V8 offering, this too plucked from another member of the Volkswagen Group family, the Porsche Cayenne Turbo. With 542 hp and 770 Nm of torque on tap, it is the most sporting model in the range, and does the century sprint in 4.5 seconds. Its top speed is 290 km/h.

The pair you see here however, is powered by the range-topping 6.0 litre W12 engine that’s twin-turbocharged to produce a whopping 600 hp and 900 Nm of torque. From standstill, it races to the 100 km/h mark in a blistering 4.1 seconds before topping out at 301 km/h. Not bad for an SUV weighing 2,422 kg, right?

Bentley says the engine has been completely reworked for the Bentayga, and the W12 layout (essentially a marriage of two VR6 engines) is 25% shorter compared to a traditional V12 engine. Furthermore, the engine features direct injection and port injection to optimise fuel efficiency, emissions and performance.

All models share the same eight-speed ZF automatic and get an all-wheel drive system that’s based on Audi’s quattro drivetrain. There’s also a torque sensing limited slip differential to provide maximum traction under all driving conditions, as well as self-levelling air suspension to go with the richly-acclaimed Bentley Dynamic Ride system.

On the outside, the well-heeled gets to choose between 17 exterior paint colours with 90 varying hues, and that’s only from the standard palette. If you want to colour-match your Bentayga to a specific strand of grey hair, Bentley will deliver. Want it in your daughter’s favourite shade of pink? No problem. Here, matrix LED headlights are standard, and the taillights feature a B-shaped graphic, for obvious reasons.

Wheel sizes on the other hand, vary from 20-inch to 22-inches and can be had in several types of finishes. For those wanting a sportier look, the exterior styling kit (seen on the model above) can be optioned for, and is comprised of a 12-piece carbon-fibre bodykit that includes the huge rear spoiler, lower front and rear lip, mirror caps and Bentley vents. This option alone costs RM128,000.

Inside, the Bentayga can be had as a five-seater as standard, though options include a seven-seat layout and a more premium four-seat comfort setup with a centre console. The last one nets each rear seat an 18-way power adjustable setting, including heated, ventilation and massage functions.

Speaking of seats, there are 15 different colour schemes for the leather upholstery, and the hides are sourced from southern German bulls. The one you see here is a combination of saddle brown as the primary hide, whereas the secondary hide is dyed in a darker shade called beluga. Again, personalisation in this department is as far-reaching as one’s imagination. One more thing – each of the Bentley embroidery on the seats is made from nearly 5,500 individual stitching.

Up front, the driver and passenger get a 22-way power adjustable seat, of course with heating, ventilation and massage as standard. There’s a gorgeous three-spoke steering wheel that’s completely draped in matching leather, and the paddle shifters (textured for better grip) mounted behind it is constructed from solid metal.

At the back, the rear seat entertainment package comes with a pair of 10.2-inch touchscreen display that’s docked away on the back of the front seats’ headrests. The tablet runs on Android OS and has a built-in front-facing camera that doubles as a “vanity mirror.” This costs RM33,800. There’s a separate pop-up touchscreen unit stowed below the rear air vents, allowing access to air-con, seat and various in-car functionalities.

Want the top-of-the-line sound system to go with it? Tick the box that says Naim, which is a RM39,600 add-on. The Naim Audio for Bentley is said to be the most powerful audio system available on an SUV to date, featuring a 1,950 watt 21-channel amplifier that drives 20 speakers – nine combined mid-range and tweeters, four advanced bass speakers, a 300 watt sub-woofer and a pair of super tweeters. The super tweeters further extend high frequency audio, giving the system the widest frequency range ever experienced in a car.

Further touches include the traditional Bentley twin-winged dashboard for symmetry, and every single air vent is milled from a solid block of aluminium. The good old organ stops that control air flow is retained, and as usual, construction feels extremely luxuriant. Smack right in the centre of the dash is an eight-inch touchscreen display that’s surprisingly responsive to the touch, and gets Bentley’s proprietary software to look suitably classy.

Down the centre is a host of buttons and switches, including the main dial which lets the driver choose between eight standard drive modes. There’s also a pair of buttons that lets one manually raise or lower ride height should the need arise. This function is also found in the boot (430 litres with the second row seats up) for easier loading.

Perhaps the single most extravagant accessory is the Breitling self-winding Tourbillon clock that’s encased in an 18-carat gold case. The dial is available in either white or ebony-black mother of pearl, and the indices are decorated with eight diamonds.

The fully automatic mechanical clock has a power reserve of 50 hours, and the Tourbillon is found in the six o’ clock position. It’s even back-lit to ensure legibility under all lighting conditions. This option is ultra exclusive and is only limited to four Bentaygas a year – that’s out of 5,500 units (as of March 2016) a year! Unfortunately, this option is not available in Malaysia. But the price? A cool RM634k before taxes.

So, to address the million-dollar question, how much does the Bentayga cost? Prices start from just under RM2 million for the W12 version (after taxes), and the appropriately decked-out grey (Hallmark) example you see here costs RM2.3 million before insurance. The Bentley Kuala Lumpur showroom can be found at Etiqa Twins, 11 Jalan Pinang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur.

Now how’s that for a luxury SUV? Would you pick this or the Lamborghini Urus? Let us know what you think down below. Also, enjoy the comprehensive gallery below.