After driving the new Bentley Bentayga diesel, we can’t help but wonder about the future of Rudolf Diesel’s powerplant. Diesel sales are down in Europe, but up in SA.

The smoke is still hanging in the air from Dieselgate but numerous scientists and, of course car makers, are of the opinion that diesel can clean up its act and continue to provide great consumption. The timing then of Bentley’s first ever diesel engine will seem to some a little odd. But then they haven’t driven it, as we did recently in the Western Cape. On paper it looks very strong, with 320kW available between 3,750 and 5,000r/min and a massive 900Nm of torque between 1,000 and 3,250r/min. But the figures are only half the story. Push the start button and you expect the usual clatter of a diesel engine before it warms up. There is none. Put it into Drive and pull away and there remains no sign of the traditional diesel noise. The level of soundproofing is immense, but then this is a Bentley, engineered to co...

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