It’s not that the new 2023 Bentley Bentayga Extended Wheelbase (EWB) isn’t a joy to drive. It’s more that it’s a bigger joy to be driven in. With 180 more millimetres between its axles than the previous Bentayga, the new EWB offers enough legroom for an NBA star. Enjoy it back there with these five features that nudge this already overt-the-top (OTT) premium SUV into the ultra-luxury stratosphere.
The most OTT thing of all? 3 of the 5 OTT features reside in the special rear seat.
Available in the ceiling-level Azure trim, which Bentley PR understates “prioritizes comfort wellbeing,” the OTT-est of features is called the Airplane Seat.
Yes, Airplane Seat.
The name evokes disappointment in most of us, the 99 per cent, who associate such seats with cramped conditions, plastic knives, and ashtrays bizarrely stamped with No Smoking symbols. This is not that.
Instead, picture something Saudi royalty would use to travel to their vacation estate.
The Airplane Seat’s adjustability and just plain chill-ability
The Airplane Seat has a Relax mode that you (or your driver) need to activate. This ballet of technology flexes positions in 22 different ways. Your current SUV’s backseat is adjustable in just one: flat down, to create room for your kid’s hockey equipment in the trunk.
Then it maximizes the extra legroom, pushing the front seat towards the dashboard while a leather-bound footrest deploys from its back. Meanwhile, your relaxing backseat reclines up to 40 degrees, almost supine.
Whoops! Gotta close a deal suddenly or lay off a plant of full of underpaid workers? No problem! Switch the seat to Business mode, which ensures you’re comfortable while rolling up your sleeves to earn your daily bread.
All that said, you can’t fold flat the Airplane Seats in four-seat or four-plus-one versions of the EWB in any mode, so trunk space is fixed. Your child’s polo equipment will simply have to fit in the boot or find its own transport.
Intuitive massaging, plus the opportunity to discomfit the shotgun passenger
Remember, if you do employ the full comfort/wellness of the rear Airline Seat into Relax mode, whether by touching a button in the door or from the backseat’s own touchscreen remote, it slides the front seat forward, granting you the aforementioned legroom you deserve. Yes, it relaxes you – a wellness function – but it’s also a great way to improve your sense of wellbeing by reminding the person sitting up there that you’re the boss.
Meanwhile, you now assume complete postural control of your body for the rough ride ahead. Sixteen airbags embedded within the Airline Seat gently massage you without you even thinking about it or summoning the procedure. It’s subtle. The point is to keep the blood from pooling while you’re sitting there passively plotting your next market disruption.
Climate Control System provides the body comfort you weren’t even aware of
For the first time in any car anywhere, this Airplane Seat contains a system that monitors your body’s temperature and the humidity. Remarkable! Consider how many divorces began with a fight over the thermostat. (Thank heavens for the pre-nup!)
You tell it what your ideal temperature is and it will maintain that state of bliss for your body. So, on a long drive, when many of us get stuck to the finest leather on a warm day or chilled in the shadow of our mansion, you never have to worry about such uncomfortable hellishness again.
Power doors, something you also weren’t aware of
If you’re among those people who are just too precious to open or shut their own doors, be seated. There are buttons in the Bentayga’s passenger doors that will open and shut them automatically and with sexy quietude. Moreover, if your fingers are too weighed down with diamonds and gold, you can gently nudge the door with your elbow – just a gentle bump – and it’ll take itself home from there. Huzzah!
Another first: light-through perforations in the leather trim
It’s one of those innovations you didn’t know you needed that quickly becomes a necessity. With 12 LED lights in the front doors and 22 in the back ones, this feature shines light through minute perforations in the leather, bathing you in gentle light. LEDs behind the leather ensure these skins aren’t cooked. Sadly, due to ambient daylight, the feature can only be enjoyed at night – or in the tunnel to your luxury underground bunker.