first_img This $500,000 Armored Bentley Protects Against Hand Grenade Attacks Jonathon Klein/The Manual Previous NASCAR Driver Brad Keselowski on Crashing, Winning, and Creating a Legacy With no one in sight and nothing to hit for hundreds of yards, I made that Bentley dance through the field. Its tires hurled snow into the air, all while I sat cloistered in the sumptuous leather bucket seats, jamming out to Run the Jewels blasting through the SUV’s 1,950-watt Naim audio system.To get a better sense of the V8’s character, I dropped the windows and continued my frivolity, listening to a very AMG-like soundtrack from the Bentayga’s exhaust. Unlike thee German Mercedes-AMG, however, the engine has an almost Japanese tuner-like turbo pressure blow-off valve. It squealed and hissed like a coked-out squirrel every time I lifted off the throttle. This isn’t a complaint — it’s glorious, and Bentley’s more modern clientele will love it just as they’ll love the Bentagya V8 as a whole.But with the sun setting over the Austrian Alps — a truly breath-taking sight to behold — I pulled back into the hotel and turned off the ignition sitting in the secluded quiet provided by the expert noise-insulation. And as I sat there, touching the soft leather, slick metal fixtures, gazing at the gorgeous analog gauges and central clock, I only had one thought enter my brain about the $165,000 Bentayga V8. “Bentley is going to sell every Bentayga V8 it can build. It’s a riot. But I wonder what it’s like in the desert?” Jonathon Klein/The Manual 1 of 3 Ice is unforgiving, especially in something that still weighs nearly three tons. Quick hands and even quicker throttle adjustments are an absolute necessity. I had the hands, the Bentley had the throttle, and both made for a hellaciously fun combination. The ice track itself was short and featured one small straight where you could dig into the Bentayga’s stupendous torque, a series of tight hairpins, and a set of left-right Ss meant to connect each corner together in wide, slow drifts. Bravery wasn’t needed as speeds were low. Skill was, and many weren’t as accustomed to the differing textures and grip of the track’s snow and ice surface as others. Thankfully, my Midwest driving history resurfaced quickly.Sashay left, sashay right, foot to the floor, and a lovely rooster tail of ice and snow was sent skyward. The torque in this behemoth is gob-smacking even on this slick track. I could feel the Bentayga dig into the snow and attempt to propel itself forward with urgency. And while the Bentayga wasn’t built with the intention of its drivers rallying through Sweden or Norway, it’s hugely adept in just that. While no one would likely take this advice, if properly setup with a cage, comms, and fire-suppression, the Bentayga V8 could probably hand WRC-spec racecars their lunch on any special stage. It’s rally proficiency aside, it’s likely the most comfortable off-roader you could ever ask for.Richard PardonRichard PardonWhile the ice track was meant to test the Bentayga’s traction control systems and torque management, it was less than ideal to find out whether or not the SUV’s luxury prowess could be compromised on anything but a smooth surface. And because my date with the ice track was over, I swapped into a more loaded Ardent Green specimen and sped off into the Austrian countryside to look for more rural and tortuous highway offshoots. Within a few miles, I found a snowy field with bumps, ruts, and enough elevation change to truly test the Bentayga V8 luxury promise.But before I get into our playtime in an Austrian field, here’s one thing you should know: the Bentayga’s suspension is made of magic. When I first tested the W-12 Bentayga a few years ago, the electronically controlled sway-bars and suspension blew me away. Bentley had deleted the dreaded body roll that plagues heavy SUVs. And I’m not talking about reducing it by a few percentage points. No. There’s zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing in the way of roll. Mazda’s little sports car MX-5 Miata has more body roll than the Bentayga. Yet, at the same time, over rough terrain, it’s as smooth as softened butter. The Bentayga V8 is no different, yet the car feels livelier and even more planted after its W-12 diet. Next Icons of America: Taking a Corvette Road Trip Along Route 66 Editors’ Recommendations Jonathon Klein/The Manual Ride Out the Apocalypse With the 1,000-Horsepower Rezvani Tank X SUV Escape the City and the Roads with the 2020 Subaru Outback High in the Austrian Alps on a frozen racetrack near our hotel, the outside air hovered around a frigid -5 degrees Celsius. I asked my instructor, “Now, how do we turn traction completely off?” with a mischievous smile. “Twist the central knob to Sport, then press the traction button to the right of the knob,” he replies. My index finger depresses the button and the traction control light flashes on the Bentayga V8’s dash. This isn’t what civilized people do in their Bentleys. But 1) this isn’t my Bentley, and 2) I’m not what you’d call “civilized.” In a world of aristocrats and royal families, I’m the butler who’s snuck into the liquor cabinet and ran off with the maid.There was a time when Bentleys were stoic slabs of English metal and wood, tipping the scales at nearly the size of a full-grown African elephant, hand-built for nobility that prized the feeling they got whilst they peered down on the proletariat from their ivory and marble towers through their crystal monocles. They slowly moved through towns and cities like icebergs moving through a calm sea. Modern Bentleys, however, are more egalitarian in their use. They’re still monumentally expensive to the general public, but these aren’t cars just to look fancy AF any longer.Jonathon Klein/The ManualJonathon Klein/The ManualThat’s not to say, if you’re lucky enough to own one, you won’t still look like a boss rolling through downtown Manhattan or Rodeo Drive. But speed, power, comfort, and a sense of hooliganism have been brought into the company’s mantra. This blending of old and new identities doesn’t always work, but has been perfectly distilled into the 2019 Bentayga V8. While it is the least expensive Bentley in the company’s lineup, its comparatively low price point doesn’t concede anything to its siblings. In fact, it may be the most fun Bentley ever.Before our date on the ice and snow in Austria, we were given the low-down, dirty details of Bentley’s new V8 engine. Displacement is 4.0-liters and makes use of two twin-scroll turbochargers set in the “V” of the engine for a “hot-V” configuration. This setup reduces turbo-lag and keeps the turbos nice and happy, which in turn gives your right foot access to 542 horsepower and 568 lb-ft of torque. That immense oomph is then sent through an all-wheel drive system, giving the Bentayga the extraordinary ability of hitting 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and a top speed of 180 mph. Those metrics, however, weren’t to be tested that day.last_img read more

TORONTO — The Toronto stock market advanced for a third consecutive session Tuesday as sharply rising oil prices supported a continuing rally the energy sector.The S&P/TSX composite index closed 95.06 points higher at 13,647.26 after a combined advance of more than 300 points the previous two trading days.The capped energy and materials sectors were among the top performers on the TSX as the November contract for benchmark crude oil soared $2.27 to US$48.53 a barrel, adding to a rebound from under US$45 just a week ago.“We have (an) energy rally … that’s the key,” said John Stephenson, president and CEO of Stephenson and Company Capital Management.“There is just a series of more bullish themes out there,” added Stephenson, pointing to a new report quoting a top OPEC official as predicting a rebound in prices and a short-term outlook from the Energy Information Administration calling for a decline in U.S. oil production.That, along with the feeling that perhaps that badly mauled energy issues have been oversold has may traders believing “the worst is over,” he said.Stocks are on the best tear of the year and this time they might crack the ceiling“(But) I don’t think there is any compelling reason for that truthfully,” said Stephenson, who believes oil could still test lows under US$40 a barrel in the current slow-growth economy.“I do think it goes lower and it goes lower because I don’t think that we have enough demand out there,” he said.“That’s one of the issues that’s driven things down to this level and nothing really has changed tremendously.”Beyond demand, supply issues also remain unresolved, with U.S. production cuts being far from “earth shattering” and with Iranian oil yet to come on the market as a result of an end to western-led sanctions, he said.Elsewhere on commodity markets, November natural gas was up two cents at US$2.47 per thousand cubic feet, while the December gold contract rose $8.80 to US$1,146.40 an ounce.The loonie also continued its recent uptick, up 0.35 of a U.S. cent at 76.76 cents US.In New York, markets were mixed as the Dow Jones industrial average posted a modest advance, up 13.76 points to 16,790.19, while the broader S&P 500 fell 7.13 points to 1,979.92.Biotechnology stocks were among the worst performing issues and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gave back 32.90 points to 4,748.36. The sector has been hammered in the past month on investor concerns that the industry might face more scrutiny from Washington over its drug pricing practices.In corporate news, stock in First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) soared $1.30 or 21 per cent to $7.49 after the Vancouver-based mining and metals company said it wanted to slash outstanding debt by at least US$1 billion within six months though a combination of asset sales and other strategic initiatives.First Quantum also announced it was cutting 644 people from its workforce and reducing salaries by up to 20 per cent while also lowering the cost target for its flagship Cobre Panama project by seven per cent to US$5.95 billion. read more