And so it has come to pass. It's more than five years since Wolfgang Dürheimer, then Bentley's CEO, said that he wanted to build a diesel-powered Bentley. He left the company shortly afterward to go and work for Audi's development boss, and during his absence company insiders hinted that his plans for a compression-ignition engine had been quietly dropped into the drawer marked "vulgar ideas". But when Dürheimer returned to Bentley for a second stint a couple of years ago, the development of a Bentayga diesel became all-but inevitable.
Don't get too excited; we're told that there are no plans for the Bentayga TDI (as we're not allowed to call it) to make it to the U.S. But we can report that although the company's first diesel will be short of spark plugs, it won't be lacking performance.
We've previously told you about the engine itself; it's the triple-boosted V-8 that's already been fitted to —another intriguing car that we may not (or may) be adjudged worthy of. The engine uses two turbochargers, the second brought on stream by a clever VTEC-style variable-valve system; low-speed response is increased by a 48-volt electric supercharger that helps fill the motor's lungs before the first turbo gathers momentum. The result, as in the Audi, is the combination of a peak 429 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque, with the latter figure available from just 1000 rpm. Like the existing W-12 Bentayga, the diesel will also get the option of to minimize roll, this also powered by the 48-volt electrical system.
Bentley is claiming that the Bentayga will be the fastest diesel-powered SUV in the world, saying it can dispatch the 0-to-62-mph benchmark in 4.8 seconds. That's a tenth quicker than the figure Audi claims for the SQ7, despite the fact that—per both manufacturers' figures—the Bentayga weighs 132 pounds more than its slightly sportier sister. We look forward to a YouTube drag race to settle the matter. Bentley also claims a 168-mph top speed, some way short of the W-12's 187 mph but still more than adequate for most owners.
In terms of visual differences, only the most eagle-eyed will be able to tell the Bentayga diesel from its gasoline-fired sibling—so your guilty little secret should be safe. There are very discreet "V8 Diesel" badges on the front doors that we're sure you could persuade the factory to omit, as well as a new tailpipe design and a black grille.
Deliveries will start early next year for European customers, with other territories including Russia, South Africa, Australia, and Taiwan set to follow.
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