Two V8 engine automobiles – fine automobiles that they are, were invited to the Austrian Alps for a show down.
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To compare a Bentley and a Scania could be as impractical as it gets. It may also sound as weird, or look as out of place. An exercise to this effect was carried out in the Austrian Alps, and the result was not less startling, it was interesting and rewarding in fact. The process was more interesting than the outcome. Invited to the picturesque Austrian Alps along with its ‘cousin’, the all-new Bentley Bentayga Diesel, was the 2017 International Truck of the Year, the Scania S730. The two met at the famous skiing resort Kitzbühel. Helping to reanimate the tradition of summer vacations in the mountains, the two fine automobiles, like the emperors of former ages, turned the small medieval town into an automotive festival of a different kind. Powered by a V8 engine, the presence of the most powerful European diesel SUV added to the plot. And, as the saying goes ‘What is good enough for the kings and queens, is perfect for the king of the road,’ the Scania S730 and the Bentley Bentagya Diesel made for a great Austrian symphony. If the picturesque scenery with giant mountains, bright sunshine and pure white clouds made for a great day, it also reflected upon the fact that the two are not that different after all.
V8 at heart
Both, the Scania S730 and the Bentley Bentayga Diesel, are equipped with big V8 engines. For Scania, it is an absolute and unique selling proposition. The engine produces 730 hp and 3,500 Nm of torque. The 4.0-litre V8 engine of the Bentagya, on the other hand, produces 435 hp and 900 Nm of torque. If the big Swede takes the lead over the Bentley, solace is had in the fact that the distinguished Brit is in sync with its close cousin, the Audi SQ7, with whom it shares the engine. While each pot has the size of half a litre, the volume of each cylinder multiples by four in the case of the Scania. A parallel is nevertheless achieved at the rpm level. Both the automobiles deliver their maximum torque at 1000 rpm. The Scania engine make does with a single turbocharger. The Bentley has two of them. These are variable in nature. There’s an additional electric compressor too. Its primary task is to ensure that there is no turbo lag. An impressive V8 machinery there!
As fine as it gets, the interior of either automobile turned out to a big surprise. The big Swede reflected upon the new era of truck design that has been the subject of discussion in the recent times. The cockpit of the Scania, it was found out, made an excellent example of workmanship. When compared with the interior of the Bentayga, the cockpit of Scania highlighted at once, that the opulence of similarities is truly amazing. One of Bentley’s core values is the rich craftsmanship heritage. The most powerful SUV thus flaunts the finest leather, wood, aluminum and steel. They are arranged like the suite of famous German-British composer George Frideric Handel. Most components including the steering wheel are covered in the finest handcrafted leather. Even the contrast stitching is handcrafted. So also the woodwork by the Bentley owned carpentry in its hometown, Crewe in England.
Elegant chrome and aluminium inserts complete the picture. If the aluminium rings around the air deflectors are milled out of a solid block, like their control levers in valve optic, the heartwarming quotations to the rich Bentley tradition are the massive ashtrays and the beautiful analogue dashboard clock. Optional is a Breitling mechanical time piece with automated tourbillon movement. The catch is, the price tag of the Bentayga rises by Euro 150,000. By approximately 50 per cent.
Elevating comfort are the two electric seats in the second row. They can be plenty adjusted to serve the personal needs, and offer extra comfort through heating, cooling and massage functions. Two tablets address modern communication and information needs. A ‘mirror app’ replaces the traditional make-up mirror. While it is quite unlikely that any one will dare to take a Euro 300,000 SUV off the road, the Bentayga is capable. It comes with eight driving programs. The air suspension delivers perfect comfort and variable ground clearance. If the two are enough to draw a comparison with the Scania S730, decent amount of sportiness was displayed by the Bentagya on the winding and sometimes challenging mountain roads around Kitzbühel. Weighing 2.5-tonnes, the Bentley, thanks to the rear axle orientated all-wheel drive and active roll stabilisation, never feels like a motor yacht in fast corners. A comfortable picnic bench unfolding out of the huge trunk marked the celebration of a journey. It gave an impression of being the lord’s high seat or VIP stand at a polo tournament. For the complementary culinary delights, a special picnic box by Mulliner could be ordered.
Culinary delights and the ultimate benchmark
Having classic features like a fridge, coffee machine or a micro wave, the Scania S730 outshone the Bentley in this area. There may not be the option to order a 150k watch for the dashboard, the Scania S730 set a benchmark with many new features. The International Truck of the Year 2017, the Scania S730 impressed with its deep black high gloss instrument panel. It sets a new standard in the truck industry. Like the Bentley, the Scania also comes with a huge digital display between the tachometer and the rev counter. Leather applications with a contrasting seam are standard for the strongest V8 variant. Showing off the V8 status through a sign all over the truck, the Scania draws a parallel with the Bentayga, which has embossed logos on the headrests and a link with ‘Flying B’ stitched. The rich technology and safety features both the vehicles possess, don’t have to be listed in detail. They are there. And, for the record, the Bentley does not offer a GPS controlled cruise control.
The price tag of Euro 300,000 makes the Bentley cost almost double than what it takes to buy a Scania S730 truck. This is despite the many commonalities the two have. If the difference in payload is big, the Bentley weighs ridiculously less than the Scania S730 at 2.5-tonnes. Worth having the two in the fleet, the Bentley Lodge at Kitzbühel is serviced by Kitz Country Club, and accommodates up to eight guests in perfectly designed rooms with traditional names like “Mulliner” or “Bentley Boy”.
CV is an associate member of the International Truck of the Year (IToY). As part of this association, the magazine provides exclusive articles, written especially by IToY jury members.