Bentley’s Bentayga made its debut in late 2015, backed by the claim that it was the world’s fastest SUV which also happened to be the first such vehicle from the British-based German-owned luxury automaker. We thought this might happen.
That was mainly due the colossal power generated by the 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine under its bonnet, utilising its 447kW and 900Nm to escape the its weight and accelerate to 100km/h in just 4 seconds and to a top speed 301km/h.
The time has come to follow that up with a more economical alternative to that staple Bentley engine, though. But the marque doesn’t want to concede even an inch of ground when it comes to performance in the transition to a diesel engine.
As such, the first ever diesel powered Bentley of any sort, to debut in January 2017, is powered by a newly-developed triple-charged 4.0-litre V8 that’s been developed with Audi (and Porsche, no doubt). The block itself is a variation on the new Panamera Turbo’s powerplant - minus the spark plugs etc - that uses an electrically driven supercharger and pair of twin-scroll turbochargers to force 320kW and 900Nm.
Equally impressive is the torque band, in which the new diesel engine is able to deliver maximum twisting force from just 1,000rpm and extends all the way to 3,250rpm. As a footnote to the engine specifications, a combined cycle fuel economy figure of 7.9-litres/100km is what Bentley claims to be achievable.
Despite the huge powered extracted, though, the diesel Bentayga isn’t able to match the petrol twelve-cylindered version’s top speed, puffing out at a respectable 270km/h while its century sprint time is lengthened to 4.8 seconds.
As a parallel to the Bentayga’s original claims to being the fastest, Bentley now proudly states that it now also has the fastest diesel SUV in the world.