And the 4-litre V8 engine does not sound all that bad either.
Bentley says it has “made a number of specific developments to provide peerless refinement”, like an acoustically engineered exhaust system to quieten harsh noises. Certainly, you can still discern the distinct clatter of the diesel when you strain your ears while standing outside the car, but once you are inside where you should be, it is a different story.
It sounds just like what a decent V8 should – bassy, throaty, gorgeous – like Zeus roaring after stubbing his toe on the nightstand. I was surprised to learn that, unlike the actions of other manufacturers that cheat, none of this is artificially piped in through the speakers. It is all natural.
Did I mention over-engineered solutions? The other party trick of this V8 is its triple chargers: two turbos and a special supercharger powered by the car’s 48V system (an electrical circuit, separate from the traditional 12V one, that supplies juice to the car’s many gadgets, including the active anti-roll bar) that spools up within 30 microseconds.
That is 30 millionths of a second; in other words, approaching the speed of light, which all but eliminates the lag between prodding the accelerator and the turbos catching up.
Here on our road test in New South Wales, where the number of Gatsos per kilometre rivals the number of sheep to people, the instantaneous throttle response – all 900Nm of torque available at just 1,000 rpm – makes it a doddle to deftly execute overtaking manoeuvres. No need for a long lead-up to build speed, which can mean getting caught out by a camera. Despite having to keep to the strictly enforced and otherwise tedious 100kmh limit, I found the Bentayga Diesel relaxing to drive, with the V8 suiting the laid-back character of a long-haul cruiser to a T.
The big snag, though, is that diesels are now being demonised after having been championed for yonks as more environmentally friendly than petrols. The conventional wisdom is that such engines, with its lower carbon emissions, contribute less to global warming and is hence kinder to the planet. But recent studies have shown that while polar bears love diesels, they emit more particulate matter, which tends to hang around in urban air and hurt us folks.