7 BENTLEY BENTAYGA THE POWER OF THREE Once there was one, now there are three. Bentley’s mighty Bentayga 4x4 debuted as a flagship $229,000 V-12 back in 2016, but the lineup has now expanded to include a V-8 version and a V-6 hybrid. Choices, choices. Yet for the ultimate in sybaritic indulgence, it’s hard not to crave the flagship V-12. Here, a massive twin-turbo 12-cylinder nuclear reactor with 600 thoroughbred horses produces truly thrilling performance, coupled with silky-smooth refinement. Not that the new $165,000 V-8 version will leave you wanting. In fact, with 542 hp and less weight under the hood, it is arguably the sportier of the two, delivering a delicious exhaust note and revving eagerly to a 6,800-rpm redline. Against the stopwatch, the V-12 is still king with its zero-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds compared to the V-8 at 4.4. Details are still emerging about the Bentayga Hybrid, though we know power comes from a turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 coupled to a huge battery pack. Total power is said to be around 400 hp, with 100 hp coming from the electric motor. The eco-Bentley should travel for up to 31 miles on EV power alone, with the battery capable of recharging in just 2.5 hours on a 240-volt plug. 88
ALFA ROMEO STELVIO QUADRIFOGLIO THE FERRARI OF SUVS
They call it “The Green Hell.” The infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife racetrack is is a 12.9-mile, 154-turn roller coaster through Germany’s Eifel Mountains. There’s no more challenging speed test of man or machine, so it was a monumental achievement when Alfa’s new 505-hp Stelvio Quadrifoglio rocket ship annihilated the ’Ring lap record for SUVs. What’s so remarkable about the Stelvio QV isn’t simply its breathtaking performance—we’re talking zero-to-60-mph acceleration in 3.3 seconds—but rather its sensational handling. This really is the sports car of sport utilities. The combination of laser-precise steering, perfect balance, leach-like grip, and no-roll cornering makes you forget you’re driving a high-riding SUV. Throw in massive Brembo stoppers and a fourwheel-drive system that can direct 100 percent of torque to the rear wheels, and you have the Ferrari of off-roaders. A poet could write sonnets to adulate the Stelvio’s Ferrari-derived, 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 and the torrent of power it unleashes. Add to all this spacious accommodations, versatile load-carrying, and the fact that it’s Italian, and it’s one bella macchina.
1/31/19 9:51 AM