Diesels may be getting a bad wrap these days, but German automakers aren’t giving up on them just yet. They just keep getting more powerful, more luxurious, and more expensive.
Take for example these latest from the Volkswagen and BMW groups. They pack big oily muscle behind upscale badges, and they can swallow up the miles without breaking the bank on the premium unleaded stuff at the pump. Just watch how they handle the Autobahn in this latest video.
In one corner, we have the new Bentley Bentayga Diesel – a British vehicle with German engineering behind it. Instead of the gasoline V8, W12, or hybrid, the diesel version adopts the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 from the Audi SQ7 TDI – with 429 horsepower (320 kW) and a massive 664 lb-ft (900 Nm) of torque on tap. That’s enough to send it rocketing to 60 mph (97 km/h) in just 4.6 seconds (4.8 to 62/100) before topping out at 168 mph (270 km/h).
Under the Bavarian umbrella, the new Rolls-Royce Cullinan and upcoming BMW X7 may be the more direct competitors to the big Bentley. But neither of those are available (yet) with diesel engines. So the fellas at AutoTopNL lined the Bentayga up against the X5. Specifically the M50d model, with its 3.0-liter tri-turbo straight six. It may not be quite as potent as the Bentley’s, but it still boasts an impressive 376 hp (280 kW) and 546 lb-ft (740 Nm) of torque. It’ll run up to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 5.3 seconds and top out at the customarily limited v-max of 155 mph (250 km/h).
What the Bimmer gives up to the Bentley in power and performance, though, it more than makes up for in price. Where the Bentayga Diesel carries a list price in Germany of nearly €175k, the X5 M50d will set local buyers back barely more than €92k. That’s barely more than half. But you then the SQ7 is available for a more directly comparable €94k, and packs the same engine as the Bentley, with a quicker 0-62 time (at 4.9 seconds) and same top speed as the X5. So given the opportunity, which would you take?