Bentley Motors Ltd. introduced its Bentayga EWB luxury sport utility vehicle to South Korea, joining companies like supercar maker Lamborghini and fashion house Louis Vuitton in tapping the nation’s appetite for high-end goods.
Unveiled at the Bentley Tower in Seoul on Tuesday, the Extended Wheel Base range is 180 millimeters (7 inches) longer than a normal Bentayga, creating more interior space. The SUV comes equipped with a 4.0 liter V8 engine, has a top speed of 290 km/h (190 mph) and can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.6 seconds. Inside the cabin, seats will automatically adjust for temperature and posture, while the driver can exit the car before it parks itself. The Azure model starts at 340 million won ($260,000).
Korea “remains the most important market” in Asia, Christian Schlick, brand division director at Bentley Motors Korea, said at the launch.
With an extended range of 60 exterior colors, 15 leather upholstery colors, 10 handcrafted veneers and a choice of 21 inch or 22 inch wheels in a variety of finishes, there’s an almost endless variety of options to tailor the look of the car.
Koreans “prefer not having the same cars as their neighbors and friends,” Schlick said. “Therefore, we’re offering millions and billions of opportunities to specialize our cars,” he said.
Bentley posted record sales in Korea in 2022, delivering 775 cars — the most in Asia outside China and fifth-highest worldwide. In a global first, the automaker last year opened a 10-story building, dubbed Bentley Tower, in Seoul in 2022 to offer a one-stop shop for customers from new-vehicle purchases to after-sales service and used-car certification.
Bentley joins a series of luxury carmakers and consumer brands launching new products and special events for Korean consumers, who Morgan Stanley rated the world’s per-capita biggest luxury spenders in 2022. Lamborghini expects record sales this year in Korea, while Ferrari in June hosted its first-ever Asian motor show in Seoul.
Bentley is also making a “Korean edition” of its Continental GT sedan, a limited model with some options preferred by Korean drivers and an interior designed in collaboration with Korean artist Ha Taeim. Just 10 of the cars will be built, for delivery in the first half of 2024.
“We are on a good track,” in terms of sales in Korea, said Schlick. “I don’t know yet how the markets will end up, but I think we’re in a very strong position still inside Asia.”