Bentley has added a new variant to the facelifted Bentayga range, this time with the Bentayga S joining the 4.0 litre V8, the 6.0 litre W12 Bentayga Speed and the 3.0 litre V6 Bentayga Hybrid.

A sportier slant is in order for the Bentayga S, with darkened brightwork and new trim and equipment on its exterior; these are comprised of dark-tined headlamps, 22-inch wheels in three finishes, black split-outlet exhausts, black door mirrors, as well as gloss black side sills and and lower bumper sections and a larger rear spoiler. The marque’s Blackline trim is specified on the Bentayga S as standard.

These denote a sharper-handling Bentayga courtesy of a 15% increase in damping stiffness for its air suspension, which is complemented by Bentley Dynamic Ride that features active anti-roll control through its 48V electrical system, is standard equipment on the Bentayga S. This system is said to react in 0.3 of a second and apply up to 1,300 Nm of torque to counteract body roll when cornering.

Special calibration of its stability control, plus brake torque vectoring applied to the inside rear wheel offer improved steering feel and turn-in response and even less body roll, says Bentley. The Bentayga S is as capable off-road as its other siblings, with a wading depth of 500 mm along with an optional All-Terrain Specification featuring four off-road modes – Snow and Wet Grass, Dirt and Gravel, Mud and Trail, and Sand.

The chassis and handling features in the Bentayga S are exercised by the firm’s 4.0 litre biturbo V8 engine – as featured in the standard Bentayga – producing 550 PS and 770 Nm of torque, sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. These outputs propel the Bentayga S through the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.5 seconds, and to a top speed of 290 km/h.

The sport exhaust system in the Bentayga S adds to the aural dimension, where freer-flowing primary and secondary pipes improve low with fewer perforations in the muffler for ‘enhanced character and volume’, says Bentley, bringing a more performance-oriented feel. CO2 emissions are rated at 294 g/km, with a fuel range of 654 km.

Available in four-, five- and seven-seat configurations, the Bentayga S receives new seats with new stitching, along with Alcantara upholstery and a new colour split to go with the model’s newfound sportiness. Colour accents are added to the instrument panel, centre console, door pads and seat bolsters, while Alcantara trim is applied to the seat cushion and back inserts, steering wheel and gear lever.

The seat backs are finished with an embroidered ‘S’ motif, like those of the badges on the dashboard ahead of the front passenger and on the lower section of the front doors. The Bentayga S driver gets an instrument panel shared with the Bentayga Speed, which displays graphics influenced by high-end chronographs, says Bentley.

This can be viewed in Classic or Expanded format; the former displays the conventional twin-dial layout for the tachometer and speedometer, while the latter hides the right-hand-side dial to show a larger area for maps and media playback information.

The sportier Bentley Bentayga S is priced from GBP179,600 (RM1,050,622) in the United Kingdom before options. The facelifted 4.0 litre V8-powered Bentayga, which arrived in Malaysia in October last year, was priced from RM743,900 before buty, tax, insurance and registration, while the First Edition variant started from RM935,000 with added options including the Touring Specification and the Mulliner Driving Specification.