This year, Lamborghini told us the Urus will be ready in 2018, possibly with hybrid power packing more speed than any other SUV the Volkswagen Group has to offer. Then came the Bentley Bentayga, and Lambo’s job just got a lot harder.
Somebody at Jaguar Land Rover told me that they don’t believe the Bentley Bentayga can do 187 mph because their people couldn’t push the Range Rover Sport SVR anywhere close to that, despite its weight advantage and 550 horses.
The fact is that while the SVR is indeed slightly lighter at 5,148 pounds compared to the Bentley’s 5,379 lbs, the latter has 50 more horses at 600 and a whopping 664 pound feet of torque compared to the SVR’s 502 lb-ft. Having the same ZF 8-speed auto box (with a final drive of 2.85 in the Bentley) and a lower drag coefficient, - 0.34 versus 0.38 for the SVR -, the Bentayga might just be 25 mph faster after all, beating the current Cayenne Turbo S by 11 mph as well.
With the speed and the luxury part covered in advance, Steve Sutcliffe went to drive Bentley’s latest, which might have a face only a Russian oligarch could love, but also a lot of technologies under that fine leather that will be hard to beat in terms of refinement.
Since the Bentayga was built on the next Porsche Cayenne’s platform, it’s clear that while its advanced electronic suspension and all-wheel drive system was tuned to rival the quality of a Range Rover Autobiography, the next Cayenne Turbo S will handle even better than this already sporty behemoth to satisfy that side of VW’s customer base.
Okay, so where does that leave the Lamborghini Urus? The Italians promise a lighter body, more speed and extreme styling, but while a hybrid drivetrain could give them a performance advantage over a conventional twin-turbo V8, batteries still weight a lot, not to mention that Porsche will hardly let Lamborghini end up with a better handling SUV within the Group.
If Bentley offers luxury and performance while Porsche covers those wealthy buyers from the other way around, the Urus will have to go where no SUV has gone before. Except for one.
Photo credit: Lamborghini
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