For Bentley, the new Bentayga is as important as it is controversial. It stands out as the Crewe, England-based automaker’s first off-roader. It will also likely earn the honor of using the company’s first gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid drivetrain, and will soon become its first-ever diesel-powered model.
A new report claims the oil-burning Bentayga will use an evolution of the 4.0-liter V8 engine that’s found under the hood of the Audi SQ7 TDI, which indicates that it will boast an electric-powered compressor (EPC). Fed by a powerful 48-volt electrical system, the EPC promises to completely eliminate turbo lag — the time it takes for a conventional, exhaust-driven turbo to spool up — while improving efficiency. The electric turbo will work in sync with a pair of standard turbochargers mounted between the cylinder banks in order to provide a generous amount of boost across the entire rev range.
The turbodiesel engine generates 435 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque when it’s bolted behind the SQ7 TDI’s gaping grille. Bentley’s engineers are expected to make a handful of modifications to the mill in order to squeeze more power out of it, though full technical details are being kept under wraps for the time being. Dutch website Autovisie has learned that the diesel-powered Bentayga will hit 60 mph from a stop in about four and a half seconds, and go on to a top speed that will be electronically limited to 155 mph. In other words, it will be a tad slower than the W12-powered variant.
If the report is accurate, we’ll see the first diesel-powered Bentley in the metal next month during the biennial Paris Auto Show. And while European deliveries will begin before the end of the year, we most likely won’t get the Bentayga diesel in the United States.
Updated 8/9/2016 by Ronan Glon: Added new technical information, debut date.