If you were asked to list the most luxurious cars you can buy right now, there’s a good chance at least one Bentley would find a spot on everybody’s rankings. And now, to cement its place on this list, the firm has created an extended Bentayga SUV with one of the most advanced seats ever fitted to a car.
The Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheelbase has launched today among the fanfare of claims of extra space, increased comfort, a focus on “wellness” and an ability to monitor your back sweat.
Yep, you read that correctly, the seats in the new Bentley Bentayga can monitor your sweaty back and then “determine whether to apply heat, ventilation or both simultaneously to keep the occupant at optimum thermal wellbeing.” Isn’t that nice.
These high-tech seats are called the “Airline Seats” from Bentley, and they sound a damn sight more bougie than the spot I sat in on an eight-hour flight from London to New York recently.
The seat in question, Bentley says, has “22-ways of adjustment,” can recline up to 40 degrees, incorporates a leather-trimmed foot rest and is packed full of sensors to ensure ultimate comfort. None of which were found in the Virgin Atlantic economy seat I recently occupied.
This array of sensors is all part of the seat’s “Auto Climate” functionality. This fancy new feature sees the passenger set a desired temperature which is then monitored and maintained by systems that track the contact temperature and surface humidity in the seat.
These conditions, Bentley says, are then continuously monitored while the seat adjusts the heating and ventilation to ensure ultimate comfort. Apparently, a seat like this is “vital when the focus is on individual wellbeing.”
Good to know you can cancel your therapy sessions and yoga retreats when you receive delivery of your Bentayga EWB.
As well as all those sensors, the new Airline Seat also has massage pockets to ease any tension you might be harbouring, and there are heated armrests. Fancy.
It isn’t just the seats that have had an upgrade in the extended Bentayga, oh no. The new model is a full seven inches longer than the original Bentayga.
But despite this new length, the EWB Bentayga drops the seven-seat configuration of the standard model in favour of a 4+1 layout with the aforementioned Airline Seats. In this spec, there are two front seats, two full-size rear seats and an occasional-use middle rear seat.
Buyers can also spec the Bentley with a five-seat layout and four-seat configuration that replaces the middle seat with a champagne cooler.
When it rolls off the production line later this year, the Bentayga EWB will be powered by Bentley’s 4.0-litre 540 HP V8 engine. It will also be fitted with a new rear wheel steering setup and Bentley Dynamic Ride as standard.
Bentley is clearly optimistic about the success of the longer Bentayga, as it says the new model should account for “up to 45 per cent of all Bentayga sales when the car goes on sale later this year.”