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The world’s first diesel Bentley is here. And it's fast

… in the form of the Bentayga. Quite a special diesel, this

Bentley Motors, in all its 97 years, has never made a diesel-powered car. Until today, that is. And the rule-breaker isn’t one of Crewe’s regal saloons or raffish coupes, either. The first diesel Bentley is a Bentayga.

The spirit of Ettore Bugatti, who famously once derided Bentleys as ‘le camion plus vite du monde’ (the world’s fastest lorries), is no doubt smiling upon this news with glee somewhere, but consider the Bentayga Diesel’s preposterous performance before unleashing the might of Internet Fury upon it. 

Thanks to a triple-charged 4.0-litre V8 developing 429bhp and 664lb ft – 900Nm in modernspeak – the 2390kg Bentayga Diesel will hit 60mph in 4.6 seconds (0-62mph takes 4.8) and roll on to 168mph. That’s still pretty brisk for an Edwardian mansion of 21-inch wheels, giving away 0.4 seconds in acceleration to the petrol-powered W12 Bentayga. A diesel V8 Range Rover, by comparison, takes 7.2 seconds to reach 62mph, in top-notch SVAutobiography LWB form.

You might crow that anyone who can afford a £160,000 SUV won’t care for 21mpg and 296g/km, so they’d have the W12, but Bentley believes the Bentayga Diesel’s 210g/km claim – and its estimated range of 621 miles – will pique the interest of Bentley folk who care not for the mundanity of refuelling on long jaunts. 

Crewe’s even helpfully pointed out some routes this leviathan could tackle on one gulp of fuel, estimating that Verbier, Bordeaux or the Scottish borders could be reached from London without the car needing a drink. 

The engine itself is familiar from Audi’s own improbably fast SUV, the SQ7, down to the twin-turbos plus electronically spun compressor to cut lag and offer maximum torque at just 1,000rpm. However, where the Audi version is tuned for an impressively authentic V8 rumble, the Bentayga breathes through a bespoke exhaust supposedly “acoustically engineered to be as a quiet and refined as possible”. 

So, how would anyone ever tell you were driving the diesel version, besides your apparent aversion to motorway service stations? Well, the handful of giveaways are subtle ‘V8 Diesel’ badges mounted at the base of each front door, the vaguely figure-eight shaped tailpipes, and a black grille instead of a silver mesh.  

Sales kick off next year, targeting Europe, Russia, South Africa and Australia in the main. The US, China and Middle East will be just fine with the petrol model alone, you suspect. 

Right, that’s all the numbers, and all the details. Over to you, Internet Fury…

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