Bentley Bentayga: opulent SUV now available with a diesel engine

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Author: | Updated: 22 Sep 2016 15:08

A diesel? In a Bentley? It’s not the kind of thing you’d expect from the Crewe-based company, judging by its sporting heritage. However, fitting one in its behemoth Bentayga SUV makes sense, and also makes it one of the fastest diesel cars in the world.

The Bentayga SUV is the first Bentley ever to harness the power of diesel.

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Its 4.0-litre tri-turbo V8 engine produces 429bhp and a whopping 664lb ft of torque – enough to give this 2.5-tonne gargantuan off-roader a 0-62mph run of just 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 168mph. Or, to put it more simply, the fastest diesel SUV in the world.

The engine was developed in conjunction with Audi, so it can also be found in the latest SQ7. However, Bentley’s products are not only known for sporting ability, but for exquisite comfort too.

Developed in conjunction with Audi, the diesel unit promises 429bhp and 664lb ft of torque.

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Because Bentley is Bentley, it developed a host of extra refinements that are aimed at making the diesel as responsive and quiet as the W12 petrol unit also on offer. For starters, the third turbo is there to eliminate lag and is electrically controlled.

Bespoke exhaust

A bespoke exhaust system has been acoustically engineered too, so sit in the cabin and you’ll hear nothing more than the dash-mounted Breitling Tourbillon clock. The engine’s calibration, inlet manifolds and emissions development are all Bentley developments too.

What all this means is that the diesel still offers “the quintessential Bentley driving experience”, but costs significantly less than the W12 model to run thanks to its combined mpg of 35.8.

That said, running costs isn’t exactly what the Bentayga’s about but, with a claimed range of 621 miles from its 17 gallon petrol tank, it’ll get its lucky occupants from London to the French Alps without a pit stop.

Inside, things remain as luxurious as ever.

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So, with road testers noting it’s almost impossible to tell that there’s a diesel engine under the bonnet, what else will mark out the Bentayga diesel from its petrol-drinking counterpart?

Clean technologies, enhanced range

It has the lowest C02 output (210g/km) a Bentley has ever recorded but, in short, not a lot else has changed. The suspension set-up has seen minor changes in order to distribute the weight of the new drivetrain more evenly.

Priced from £135,800, the diesel Bentayga undercuts its W12 sibling by around £25,000.

Meanwhile, a black grille with chrome surround now features, and serves as a signature for the diesel powertrain. Things are still as plush as ever inside and, as you’d expect from a cabin boasting “unrivalled levels of precision”, there’s an innumerable choice of wood and leather trim.

The diesel Bentayga will be available from January 2017 and gets a list price of £135,800 – significantly less than the £160,000 price tag of the W12 version.

What do you think of the diesel-engined Bentayga? Will it be a success, or will the traditional W12 petrol remain the go-to choice? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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