Bentley has announced a new version of its Bentayga SUV - and it's a diesel. Indeed, it's the first diesel ever produced by Bentley and the luxury brand claims it's the most powerful and the fastest luxury diesel SUV you can get your hands on.
The Bentayga Diesel was engineered and built at Bentley's base in Crewe, UK, but its research took place around the world in what Bentley has described as "the most exhaustive" development program in its history. The purpose of this was to ensure that the vehicle could handle a wide variety of road surfaces and temperatures, which ranged from -30°C (-22°F) to 50°C (122°F) during testing.
Under the hood, there's a new, triple-charged 4.0-l V8 engine capable of producing 435 PS (429 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb ft) torque. Bentley has engineered the powertrain to deliver peak torque early in the rev range at 1,000 rpm, helping it to really take off. Indeed, the Bentayga Diesel does 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in a very spritely 4.8 seconds. It tops out at 270 km/h (168 mph).
Bentley is also keen to point out that, despite the impressive performance figures, the Bentayga Diesel produces the lowest CO2 emissions of any of its production vehicles. Progress as that might be, the reality is that kicking out 210 g/km of CO2 is not really that noteworthy. In the UK (where the lower the emissions, the lower the taxes), that puts it in the 11th highest tax band out of 13. A range of over 1,000 km (621 miles), meanwhile, is achieved with a fuel efficiency of 35.8 mpg (7.9 l/100 km).
Of course, luxury bells and whistles is where Bentley comes into its own, and, for the Bentayga Diesel, much of that is geared towards ride comfort. It boasts a dynamic ride system that Bentley says uses the "world's first electric active roll control technology." In short, the system monitors and counteracts chassis-roll when cornering, and is aimed at keeping maximum tire contact with the ground at all times to ensure stability.
In addition, Bentley promises light, responsive steering at low speeds and stability at high speeds by virtue of the vehicle's electric power-assisted steering. There are four different suspension heights that can be selected depending on the driving surface, as well as traction control and hill-descent control.
Eight driving modes allow the Bentayga Diesel to be configured based on the driving surface and conditions, while responsive off-road settings provide further options for when drivers leave the asphalt behind. Details about pitch, roll, wheel articulation, steering angle, compass bearing and altitude are provided via a driver information panel.
As well as being able to tailor the setup of the vehicle as required, drivers can also call in help from a number of assistance technologies. Adaptive cruise control makes it possible to keep a set distance from a vehicle in front, while predictive adaptive cruise control uses navigation data, sensors and cameras to make predictions about the upcoming road environment and adjust the vehicle's speed accordingly.
Among the other driver-assistance features are traffic sign recognition, rear crossing traffic warning and top view, which uses four cameras to show the driver what is around the vehicle. Also available are parking assist and electronic night vision, which uses infrared sensors to pick out potential obstacles ahead.
The Bentayga Diesel's exhaust system has been designed to be as quiet as possible for the benefit of those inside the vehicle, who will be surrounded by luxury seating, veneered wood and metal elements. The vehicle's infotainment system is served to the driver by way of an 8-in touch screen, while rear seat passengers are kept entertained by a removable 10.2-in Android device with 4G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
There's no word on price yet, but deliveries of the Bentayga Diesel are expected to begin in Europe early next year. Russia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan will follow.