You’re looking at what is probably the most unlikely new vehicle to launch this year.
The Bentley Bentayga Diesel is surprising not just because a diesel SUV is about as far from a traditional Bentley as you can get, but because parent Volkswagen is still in the throws of a scandal over excess diesel-exhaust emissions. Nonetheless, the Bentayga Diesel is happening. It goes on sale next year, but probably won’t be available in the U.S.
At the heart of the Bentayga diesel is a new 4.0-liter V8 that uses two turbochargers and an electric supercharger. As with any other turbo motor, the turbochargers are spun by exhaust gases, while the supercharger gets power from the Bentayga’s 48-volt electrical system. Electric power allows the supercharger to spin up very quickly, increasing responsiveness at lower engine speeds. The turbochargers kick in at higher speeds.
Read more: 2017 Bentley Bentayga first drive
The result of this triple-charging strategy is 429 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Bentayga Diesel will do 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, and reach a top speed of 168 mph, according to Bentley. Those are both highly improbable figures for a diesel SUV weighing over 5,000 pounds. Bentley likely hopes fuel-economy figures will be just as impressive; stricter regulations were probably the main reason for building the Bentayga Diesel in the first place.
The diesel model includes all of the tech and luxury features of the gasoline Bentayga. That means drivers get adaptive air suspension and Bentley Dynamic Ride, which uses electric motors acting on the SUV’s anti-roll bars to counteract body roll. Drivers also get eight off-road driving modes, while passengers get one of the most decadent interiors in the industry, and tech features like a pair of 10.2-inch Android tablets mounted to the backs of the front seats.
Despite the timing of its debut, the Bentayga Diesel won’t be at the upcoming 2016 Paris Motor Show, which Bentley is expected to skip. It will go on sale in Europe early next year, followed by Russia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan later in the year. Since Bentley parent Volkswagen still isn’t selling diesels in the U.S., don’t expect the Bentayga Diesel to make it here anytime soon.