The Bentley Bentayga is a symbol of opulence. But it’s not a lumbering slacker on the road. While all its toys and niceties weigh this SUV down, its powerful engine sets this wheeled mansion in motion with little effort. But Bentley believes that it can make this luxury crossover’s performance even better. And now, it is offering an aesthetic and performance upgrade that should do just that: carbon-fiber wheels.
The automaker has partnered with specialist Bucci Composites for five years to design and develop the first carbon wheel to comply with German TÜV standards. Using patented manufacturing processes, these wheels use high-pressure Resin Transfer Molding technology for consistency in quality. Here, each preform is made using carbon fiber cut into predetermined shapes, and then stacked, heated and placed in a mold. After this, several preforms are arranged into a bigger mold, into which resin and hardener are injected. To cap everything off, the wheel assembly is machined and polished to give it an exotic look.
The use of carbon fiber reduces weight by 6kg per wheel, thereby improving performance. Should the wheels get damaged after a high-impact incident, the material weave slows down the loss of air—allowing the driver to gradually bring the car to a complete stop. Finally, since the rim is now more rigid, tire wear is reduced as the tread touches the ground more evenly. Bentley claims that the wheels performed admirably at the Nurburgring Nordschleife.
The new wheels will be available for order before the end of this year, and we’re sure that it’ll cost a lot. But if you’re a Bentayga owner who plans on having your rims wrapped in tacky carbon-fiber stickers, we highly suggest that you get the real deal instead.