Torque of the country / Rather like a well-known type of oven, this #Bentley
burns oil to hugely impressive effect. Words Robert Coucher. #Bentley-Bentayga-Diesel
Bentleys were long known for their low-revving, large-capacity, high-torque engines. And with this latest iteration, ‘the bloody thump’ is back. This Bentayga is Bentley’s first diesel and the specifications are astonishing: 429bhp at 3750rpm, 664lbft at 1000rpm, 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 168mph… from a diesel SUV!
But why would you bother with the fastest diesel SUV on the market when the W12 petrol version is more than man enough? Set off on a 600-mile tour (walking in Scotland, winetasting in Bordeaux, skiing in Verbier) and you’ll do so on just one tank. That’s why.
The secret is the triple-charged 4.0-litre V8 (co-developed with Audi, whose diesels did rather well at Le Mans). It employs two twinscroll turbochargers, plus an electrically powered supercharger that primes the first turbo in the mid- range and the second at the top end – good to see a ’charger back on a Bentley once again. This set-up offers the full 664lb ft force at just 1000rpm – and a claimed 35.8mpg. The CO2 emissions figure of 210g/ km is the lowest ever for a Bentley, too.
The Bentayga has never been an elegant machine because, well, it’s an SUV. But it sure offers presence, even if it’s a bit bling. The signature meshed radiator grille, together with meaty alloys shod with 285/45/R21 Pirelli Scorpion all-season tyres, signal intent and, yes, the #V8-DIESEL
badges are a delete option.
Climb up into the high, bolstered chair and the interior appointment is supreme – swathes of leather, cross stitching, chrome organ-stop controls, burr walnut and other twinkling jewellery. Fire the engine and all of a sudden nothing happens. You can’t hear it. Hop out and stand next to the bonnet and you can just about make out a slight diesel tickover. Pull the chunky, eight-speed auto selector back into Drive and the 2390kg Bentayga wafts off on its almost instant mountain of torque.
The power delivery is the nearest any internal combustion (or even pressure combustion) power unit comes to an instant-torque electric motor. The thrust is fabulous, near-silent, silken and refined. While the acceleration could be described as astonishing, with so little apparent effort or drama it is more ‘amazing’.
On the road the Bentayga is no sports car (though it does have a Sports mode) yet it can be hustled thanks to its four-wheel-drive traction, powerful brakes, sharp-enough steering and that smooth, instant power delivery. As a car enthusiast you might miss an engine note because this one simply thrums, but as a capacious gentleman’s GT this diesel #SUV
delivers and will be more than capable of taking you off-road at your next shoot.
Above and below #V8 #Diesel
employs two turbos and a supercharger for instant massive torque and country-crossing range on a full tank, though there are few clues that it’s an oil-burner.