Since being introduced back in 2015, the Bentley Bentayga has been rumbling along over pavement and rock (mostly pavement, we'd think) under the power of a 6.0-liter W12 engine with twin turbos. For those who aren't totally turned off by the idea of a VW Group diesel, there's also a 429-hp triple-charged V8 diesel. Now Bentley's expanding the engine line-up to include a more powerful V8 option, a 542-hp twin-turbo petrol unit.

Bentley Bentayga buyers will now be able to tick the box of an all-new 4.0-liter, 32-valve V8 with dual twin-scroll turbochargers mounted inside the V of the engine. Along with its 542 bhp, the engine puts 568 lb-ft of torque at the driver's foot.

Bentley is marketing the Bentayga V8 as its most sporting SUV to date, and it may very well feel that way from behind the wheel, but the hard numbers are down when compared to the W12 model. The V8 model fires off from standstill to 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.4 seconds, compared to the W12's 4-second mark, and tops out at 180 mph (290 km/h), 7 mph (11.3 km/h) lower than the W12. For reference, the Bentayga Diesel trails behind with a 4.6-second 0-60 and 168-mph (270-km/h) top speed.

Where the new V8 offers clear advantages on paper is in its eco-friendliness, with 24.8 mpg and 260 g/km estimates from Bentley, compared to 21.6 mpg and 296 g/km for the W12 model. The V8 uses both start/stop technology and cylinder deactivation to eke as much efficiency out as possible within a big, heavy, powerful ultra-luxury SUV setting.

The new V8 model also brings with it the introduction of optional carbon-ceramic brakes for the first time on a Bentayga. The front discs measure 440 mm and sit inside 10-piston calipers, and the rear discs measure 370 mm. Bentley says the new brake system is the largest and most powerful ever offered on one of its vehicles. The red of the calipers adds to the V8's sporty look.

Subtle exterior elements, including the black-and-chrome grille and "twin-quad" exhaust tips, point to the V8 under the hood. All-new 22-in black-painted, polished five-spoke wheels are available, along with 10 other options.

Inside, Bentley accommodates varying needs with four-, five- and seven-passenger options. Other available interior options include a new high-gloss carbon fiber finish, a wood-and-hide-trimmed steering wheel, and a new red leather color option inspired by the color of a brand-new cricket ball. There's also an 8-in infotainment screen up front, removable 10.2-in Android-based Bentley Entertainment Tablet in back, and three audio system options right up to the 1,950-watt, 18-speaker Naim for Bentley Premium Audio set-up.

Bentley will be rolling the Bentayga V8 out in markets around the globe in the coming months.

Source: Bentley

View gallery - 8 images