The triple-boosted CI version of the uber SUV is coming to Australia with a smaller price tag than the W12.
Bentley’s first diesel model has had a long and sometimes difficult gestation.
It’s more than five years since company boss Wolfgang Durheimer told journalists that he would like to produce an oil-fired Bentley, but when he left the company for a brief stint as Audi’s development boss company insiders told us that the plan had been shelved.
Things changed again when Durheimer returned to Crewe in 2014, with the Bentley Bentayga Diesel proof that the Wolf has finally got his way.
Other than the novelty of a Bentley without spark plugs, little about the Bentayga Diesel is new. It’s a platform buddy to the Audi SQ7, using the same triple-boosted V8 diesel with what’s quoted as an identical output.
The engine uses two turbos, the second brought on stream by a clever VTEC-style valve-shifting system, with a 48 Volt electric supercharger helping to minimise any lag as the turbos gather momentum.
As in the Audi the result is a peak 320kW and 900Nm of torque, with the latter available from just 1000rpm.
Like the W-12 powered Bentyaga the Diesel sends drive to all four corners through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and it will also have the option of an electrically powered anti-roll system that runs from the same high voltage system.
Bentley is claiming that the Bentayga will be the fastest diesel-powered SUV in the world, although not by any significant margin. The official line is that it can dispatch the 0-100km/h benchmark in just 4.8-seconds, a tenth faster than the time Audi claims for the SQ7.
That’s despite the fact that, on official figures, the Bentayga weighs 60kg more than its sportier sister and boasts an identical power output. It’s going to take a YouTube drag race to sort this one out.
Bentayga Diesel buyers also don’t need to worry about anybody calling them out for their miserly ways. Visually differences are minimal, with discreet “V8 Diesel” badges on the front doors and a black finish for the matrix grille.
Deliveries will start early next year for European customers, and Bentley has confirmed that Australia will be one of the territories to be offered the Diesel, at an as yet undisclosed discount over the $420,000 W12. We’ll bring you more pricing and spec details as we get them.