In fact, there’s already a lot of electrical trickery going on in this new version, because the car uses the same 48v system as the Audi, which allows for a little compressor to cover the turbo lag in the first third of the power curve, before the first of two sequential turbos kicks in. The result is the same 664b ft of torque as you'd find in the W12 petrol model, and 429bhp. Enough, in other words, to preserve the essential DNA of Bentley motoring: effortless, long-distance, long-legged touring.
It’s clever stuff, but what about the noise and vibration that diesels are traditionally known for? How on earth to you fit diesel into the portfolio of luxury motoring? For a start, there’s a lot of sound deadening in the engine bay (“there’s not much space in there”, smiled Peter Guest, Bentayga product line manager), and the powertrain engineers have waved their Bentley wands over the fuel timing and the exhaust system. The result is impressive: apart from a muffled growl on start-up, you’d be hard-pressed to differentiate between petrol and diesel on the go, without looking at the rev counter.
Another important attribute of diesel, alongside its torque delivery, is its fuel economy. The miles-per-gallon figure is not one that often concerns ultra-high-net-worth individuals, but refueling the car is. Standing around, wasting time in the freezing cold at an ugly fuel station is not a suitable use of time for a Bentley driver, So the trumpeted 1,000km range of the V8 Diesel may well tempt a lot of buyers; after all, as Bentley deliciously points out, that should get you from your London pad to your Bourdeaux chateau, or your Skye hunting lodge, without the need to disembark, other than at a suitable restaurant along the way.