When the curtain fell on the Mulsanne in 2020, Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark said that if the company was going to build a successor, it probably wouldn’t be a sedan. That makes Tuesday’s arrival of the new Bentayga Extended Wheelbase no big surprise. No, it doesn’t have the same grandiose presence of the dearly departed Mulsanne, but step inside and you’ll nevertheless be greeted with the lap of luxury.
Bentley’s key objective with the Bentayga EWB is clearly rear passenger comfort. The EWB is 7 inches longer than a standard Bentayga, and that entire stretch is added in the length of the rear door. That equates to a wealth of legroom for back-seat riders, so much so that the right, passenger-side chair can recline up to 40 degrees, and will automatically move the front seat forward (if unoccupied) and deploy a footrest. Bentley calls this the Airline Seat Specification, and it has 22-way adjustment, along with automatic heating and cooling, as well as 177 pressure points to tweak your posture.
Three rear seating options are available, including a full three-across bench, two individual chairs with a fixed center console and what Bentley calls a “four-plus-one” arrangement, with a large middle console that can be folded into the seat back should you need to squeeze someone else in there. Overall, Bentley says the Bentayga EWB has a longer cabin and more passenger space than not only the Mulsanne, but the Rolls-Royce Cullinan SUV, as well.
There are a bunch of new trim and material options specifically for the EWB, including a new perforated quilting pattern for the leather. A big highlight is something Bentley actually teased earlier this month: illuminated door quilting, which puts lighting behind the hide, shining out through the perforation. New metal options are available, as well, and when you add all the combinations up, Bentley says there are 24 billion different trim configurations. So yeah, go wild.
The exterior modifications aren’t quite as extensive, though you’ll be able to spot the EWB thanks to its vertical-vaned grille, a design borrowed from the Flying Spur. There are also two special exterior specs: Azure and First Edition. The former, which borrows its name from one of Bentley’s prior models, has unique 22-inch wheels, bright lower bumpers and special badging. The First Edition has all of those tweaks but also includes the illuminated inlays, Naim audio system and special embroidery.
Despite its flagship status, the EWB does not use the Bentayga’s biggest engine. Rather than borrowing the twin-turbo W12 from the Bentayga Speed, the EWB uses Bentley’s 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, tuned to produce 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. A ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, as is all-wheel drive and an adaptive air suspension. Bentley says the Bentayga EWB can accelerate to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is only one-tenth of a second slower than the more athletic Bentayga S.
Because of the added length, Bentley includes rear-wheel steering on the Bentayga EWB, and the company says the long-wheelbase SUV’s turning circle is actually better than a normal V8-powered model. Bentley also fits the EWB with its Dynamic Ride anti-roll tech, which uses 48-volt architecture to counteract body motions, resulting in flat cornering that feels totally natural.
The 2023 Bentley Bentayga EWB is expected to go on sale toward the end of this year, and while pricing hasn’t been announced, it’ll almost certainly start well above $200,000. Even so, Bentley expects the EWB to account for 45% to 50% of all Bentayga sales, making it a far more successful proposition than the Mulsanne ever was — even if it’s not quite as special.