Bentley's Bentayga essentially has the ultra-lux SUV mountaintop alone to itself...for now.

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The proportions of the Bentayga depend on the use of oversized wheels. This example features 21-inch black-painted and diamond-turned alloys, a $1,700 option.

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The color on this model is known as Damson, and it's a $5,715 "extended paint range" option.

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Headlamps are cornering LED units.

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The Bentayga shares its wheelbase with the Audi Q7, which also resides on the Volkswagen Group's MLB Evo platform. However, the two look nothing alike.

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The Bentayga's nose is imposing and controversial, which is another way of saying it's 100 percent Bentley.

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The rear end is the Bentayga's most generic aspect. Its most interesting feature is the "horseshoe" surfacing of the hatch itself.

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Note the Bentayga's strong rear haunches, which have become a design hallmark for the Flying B.

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The Bentayga's layered dashboard is said to be inspired by the wings on Bentley's Flying B emblem.

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The Bentayga's steering wheel is surprisingly small and sporty for an SUV of this size.

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Heated and cooled seats have 22-way power articulation, massage, and quilting on the shoulders, like an upscale hunting jacket.

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The Bentayga comes standard with a bench rear seat, but this four-seat Comfort Specification comes with a full-length console and a quilted cargo divider. More importantly, the rear buckets feature the same amenities as the front chairs, all for $11,015.

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The Bentayga's cargo area is 15.2 cubic feet in four-seat specification, or 17.1 cubic feet with the three-across bench seat.

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This Bentayga's $3,200 "Event Specification" includes a fold-out quilted leather bench seat for sophisticated tailgating. The idea behind this is to combine the seat-like utility of the Land Rover Range Rover without the awkward cargo loading.

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The hand-built second-generation 6.0-liter W-12 engine cranks out 600 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque.

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Surprisingly modern typeface and look for this engine badge.

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That painted center in the outboard light? It hides a motorized washer.

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The generic-looking tail lamps at least have B-shaped light pipes inside to add a bit of character.

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There are eight different wheel patterns in three different sizes, from 20 to 22 inches.

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Classy, legible analog gauges sit behind mineral glass. Nearly every modern vehicle locates their instrument binnacle behind clear plastic.

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The multifunction screen in the gauge cluster can keep tabs on everything from music selection and navigation directions to vehicle settings and advanced driver-assist systems.

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This European-spec model features gauges and readouts in kilometers.

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Bentley's signature bullseye vents are opened and closed using organ-stop plungers.

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This Bentayga features burr walnut veneers with Portland and Damson hides.

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Power seat controls feature 22-way adjustment. Note the massage function.

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Beautiful quilted leather adorns the doors. Note the heavy metal lidded ashtrays as part of the $590 Smoker's Specification.

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This model is fitted with the top-shelf "Naim for Bentley" audio system, a $4,690 option. It features 18 speakers, 19 channels and 1,950 watts of power.

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Just in case you forgot what you were driving, Bentley's Winged B crests are available on the seatbacks.

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If it looks like metal in the Bentayga's interior, it invariably is.

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The Bentayga's chunky gearshift includes an awkwardly placed Park button.

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Bentley's drive selector features four on-road modes (Sport, Bentley, Comfort and Custom) and four off-road modes (snow and wet grass; gravel; mud and ruts; and sand). Note the engine stop/start override.

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Climate-control switchgear feels good, but certain functions also require the touchscreen, which seems unnecessarily complex.

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Steering wheel controls include Bluetooth telephony, voice control, heated wheel and audio functions.

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The W-12 engine's lubrication system has been engineered to have no problem with 35-degree tilts in every direction without suffering from oil starvation issues.

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The Bentayga rides on a four-link double wishbone front suspension, and the rear end sits atop a rear trapezoidal multilink setup, with both ends featuring self-leveling air springs and continuously variable damping.

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While I didn't have the chance to test it, the Bentayga's water fording depth is 20 inches.

Published: / Caption: / Photo: Chris Paukert/CNET
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