Published on July 23rd, 2020 | by Subhash Nair


Why it’s Scary That 30K Urus and Bentayga SUVs have been made

Here’s a hard truth to digest, Lamborghini just produced their 10,000th Urus SUVs this month. And last month, Bentley produced their 20,000th Bentayga SUV. Think about how insane that is. Neither the Urus nor the Bentayga have any sort of heritage to their nameplates. Neither brand has ever DARED to build an SUV until 2016 (2017 for Lamborghini). And within a few short years, both models are amongst the best selling models either brand has EVER sold.

These vehicles must be a lot more profitable than the supercars and luxury limousines that Lamborghini and Bentley traditionally sell. I mean, imagine pumping in all that money on a big V12 or W12 only to sell a handful of units to the same circle of clients. But with these SUVs, a lot of the production costs are split between VW Group brands. Both are built on the MLBevo chassis and adapt existing engines from the group as well.

Now, we’re not saying these are easy vehicles to make. In fact, it takes a huge team of talented engineers and designers to overcome the weight and proportion issues, to give each SUV its own unique character and to teaser out certain characteristics from shared hardware. We’re quite sure no one else but VW Group could pull something like this off.

But let’s also not distract ourselves from the bottom line here. These are not ‘eco friendly’ SUVs. Even Bentayga Hybrid models produce 79g/km of CO2, versus something like 49g/km on the Volvo XC90 T8.

In terms of emissions these are some of the worst offending vehicles. They’re heavy. They’ve got insane power outputs. And unlike other Lambos and Bentleys, these vehicles can be used as daily runabouts for the ultra rich. Normally, we close an eye to the 12-cylinder limos and supercars of the world because, well… how often are they being driven anyway? But the Urus and Bentayga are being produced at a rate neither brand has ever experienced before. Shouldn’t we feel at least a little disturbed by what this means?

Aren’t these high-polluting SUVs indirectly paying for dieselgate fines? Is that a morally-acceptable way to deal with dieselgate?

Maybe it’s a conversation the car industry and regulators need to start talking about.

What do you think? Let us know.

BHPetrol RON95 Euro 4M

To be clear, we ARE NOT saying the emissions number for the Bentayga or Urus are messed with. We ARE saying that by nature, these are already some of the worst kinds of vehicles for the environment to daily, even before considering how bad tyre pollution on these behemoths must be.

Here are the press releases from both companies concerning these milestones.

Lamborghini Press Release

 Two years on from its market introduction, the Urus, the Lamborghini Super SUV, has reached the important milestone of the 10,000th car. The model with chassis number 10,000, destined for Russia, comes in the new Nero Noctis Matt (black) color, combined with the carbon fiber package and two-tone Ad Personam interiors in black and orange, complemented by carbon fiber components.

In order to enable clients to further express their personalities, in June 2020, a new color collection was presented for the Super SUV, the Urus Pearl Capsule, which, with a two-tone exterior look, offers ultra-bright pearlescent shades with four-layer paint, in line with Lamborghini color tradition – Giallo Inti (yellow), Arancio Borealis (orange), and Verde Mantis (green), combined with glossy black roof, rear diffuser, spoiler lip and other details. The Urus Pearl Capsule comes as an optional extra for Model Year 2021 and is offered together with a wide range of new colors and features.

Since it was first presented in December 2017, the Urus has contributed significantly to the increase in Automobili Lamborghini sales: in 2019, the first full year that the Urus was present on the market, 4,962 units were delivered to customers.     

In 2017, in preparation for the launch of the design of its third model, the Automobili Lamborghini headquarters site expanded from 80,000 to 160,000 m2. Manifattura Lamborghini, the assembly line dedicated entirely to the Super SUV, is based on the so-called Factory 4.0 model, which integrates new production technologies to support workers throughout the assembly operations. Manifattura Lamborghini establishes a new production model benchmark characterized by modularity, flexibility, and maximum personalization. 

In 2019, a paintshop dedicated entirely to the Urus was opened. Like the production line, the new paintshop is characterized by the use and further evolution of the Factory 4.0 model, which integrates new technologies including AI.  

Bentley Press Release

Bentley Motors has built the 20,000th Bentayga since the start of production and customers deliveries in 2016. The Bentayga remains the fastest and most luxurious SUV in the world, offering a true Bentley driving experience and showcasing unparalleled luxury combined with effortless performance and everyday usability.

The multi-award-winning Bentayga set the luxury SUV benchmark back in 2016, offering customers the ultimate Grand Touring experience unrestricted by landscape or conditions. Go-anywhere driving ability and imperious luxury are the hallmarks of the Bentayga – powerful, individual and exquisite in equal measure, the Bentayga is for those who demand luxury without compromise. To summarise the car’s achievements, Bentley has today released a short film showing the car delivering on its promise of power, performance and luxury.

Driving growth of the luxury SUV market sector

The first customers received their vehicles at the start of 2016 and in the four years since,  20,000 Bentaygas have been handcrafted by the skilled workforce at the Bentley factory in Crewe. Each one has spent more than 100 hours on a dedicated production line, where a team of 230 craftspeople meticulously assemble every Bentayga by hand.

The introduction of five derivatives and four different powertrains has provided greater opportunities for customers old and new to Bentley, to add to their portfolio.

Generating demand also creates opportunity for competitors, however the Bentayga’s diverse abilities means that it has outsold all of its key competitors over the last four years and cemented the acclaim of the pinnacle luxury SUV.

Bentayga – The ‘Game Changer’

Recognition soon came after the launch of Bentayga winning the ‘Game Changer’ award from a leading automotive publication for setting new standards and defying convention, due to its unique combination of luxury and go-anywhere ability.

The Bentayga’s interior set new standards for both luxury and precision, with meticulous tolerances between the exquisite veneered woods, leather and metal elements. This level of perfection is only achievable thanks to the exceptional craft and skill of Bentley’s colleagues in Crewe.

Never before had a vehicle so coherently combined genuine luxury with go-anywhere driving ability. The development programme for the Bentayga was the most exhaustive in the Bentley brand’s history, ranging across five continents. From the dirt and gravel of South Africa, the dunes of Dubai, the muddy fields of Cheshire, and from -30°C in the frozen North Cape to searing 50°C desert heat, the Bentayga’s ability to perform on any surface and even in the most extreme conditions was proven.

One of the key successes of the Bentayga was the introduction of Bentley Dynamic Ride – the world’s first electric active roll control technology that utilises an unrivalled 48V system. The system instantly counteracts lateral rolling forces when cornering and ensures maximum tyre contact to deliver class-leading cabin stability, ride comfort and exceptional handling.

While conventional anti-roll bars present a compromise between body control and ride comfort, Bentley’s adaptive and reactive system provides variable torsional resistance, allowing the Bentayga to be both dynamically capable and comfortable for all occupants at all times. The pioneering use of a 48V system results in silent, instantaneous responses and sufficient power on hand to deal with all road surfaces.

It offers the widest range of on- and off-road drive settings of any vehicle via Bentley’s Drive Dynamics Mode and optional Responsive Off-Road Setting. Up to eight modes are available, allowing drivers, at the simple turn of a dial, to select the perfect dynamic set-up for any surface or road condition.

Extraordinary adventures and past times

The Bentayga enables customers to explore unimaginable places in exquisite luxury – an ability showcased with a Bentley ‘Extraordinary World’ drive across Chile and Bolivia with a number of customers in September 2016. The week long journey began in northern Chile, at Moon Valley where NASA tested the Mars Rover, then continued through the Atacama Desert, the highest in the world, and onwards across Chile’s expansive salt flats where the customers had the opportunity to use the full potential of the Bentayga.

By 2018 further adventures had unfolded; exploring Iceland in a fleet of Bentayga V8s, experiencing the luxury SUV’s incredible off-road prowess, fording frozen rivers, climbing ragged rock faces and navigating frozen trails.

Guy Smith demonstrated the pace of the Bentayga V8 on Rømø Beach in Denmark whilst racing two Kitesurfing World Champions, while others enjoyed the comfort and technology on their way to the Faroe Islea to go surfing – all displaying the ability and ease to explore further in a Bentley than ever before.

For those staying closer to home, customers can personalise their vehicles in line with their pastimes, via Mulliner – Bentley’s bespoking and coachbuilding division. A number of limited editions have been commissioned for a range of outdoor pursuits including falconry, fly fishing, field sports and even horse racing – utilising the Bentayga’s significant 3,500 kg towing capacity.

Power, records and agility

At the heart of the Bentayga is the powertrain, which delivers previously unseen levels of power and torque for an SUV. Whether the powerful W12, sporting yet efficient V8, future-focused plug-in hybrid or the technologically advanced triple charged V8 diesel – all of Bentayga’s powertrains provide the ability of effortless grand touring.

At launch an all-new twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine combined efficiency and refinement. With 608 PS (600 bhp / 447kW) and 900 Nm (663 lb. ft) it delivered a 0-60 mph time of 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.1 seconds) and a top speed of 187 mph (301 km/h).

The innovative Bentley V8 engine was also calibrated to suit this exceptionally capable SUV. Powerful and efficient, with seamless power delivery, it provides an effortlessly engaging drive – both on and off the road. It delivers an impressive 542 bhp (550 PS) of power that can take it to a top speed of 180 mph (290 km/h), accompanied by a potent V8 engine sound that reflects the car’s sporting capabilities. The V8 engine achieves its maximum torque of 770 Nm (568 lb ft) at 1,960 rpm and maintains this right through to 4,500 rpm, ensuring rapid acceleration at any engine speed and a 0 to 60 mph sprint in just 4.4 seconds (0 to 100 km/h in 4.5 seconds).

The Bentayga demonstrated its outstanding performance credentials by claiming the outright record for a production SUV at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday 24th of June, 2018 in Colorado, USA.

Driven by two-time champion Rhys Millen, the Bentayga completed the 12.42-mile course in just 10:49.9 – taking nearly two minutes off the previous record by averaging 66.5 mph while climbing almost 5,000 ft through 156 corners.

The Bentayga Speed is the most powerful and performance-oriented Bentayga to date. It builds on a long tradition of Speed models that was born with the Continental GT in 2007. The Bentayga Speed takes the Bentayga’s extraordinary abilities to new levels, boosting maximum power from 608 PS in the existing 6.0-litre W12 twin-turbocharged model to 635 PS (626 bhp).

With exceptional performance, comfort and handling, the maximum speed increased from 187 mph (301 km/h) to 190 mph (306 km/h), while the 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) acceleration time is reduced from 4.1 seconds to 3.9 seconds. 

The first step to Bentley’s journey to electrification

The Bentayga Hybrid represented Bentley’s first step towards full electrification, combining the serenity of silent motoring with exquisite comfort and effortless performance.

Offering the best of both worlds, the new plug-in hybrid model combines an advanced electric motor with a powerful and efficient new-generation V6 petrol engine. The hybrid version of the world’s most luxurious SUV will be the company’s most efficient model ever with CO2 emissions of 79 g/km (WLTP).

The Bentayga Hybrid combines traditional Bentley values with the very latest technologies, giving customers the best of both worlds – engaging, effortless performance on the open road and silent, emission-free driving in the city, which will become increasingly important. Following Bentley tradition, the Bentayga Hybrid pioneers a new automotive sector – the luxury hybrid – and sets Bentley on the path towards a sustainable electrified future.

About the Author

Written work on @subhashtag on instagram. Autophiles Malaysia on Youtube.

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