Bentley Bentayga SUV will feature diesel, hybrid plug-in options

Here’s an interesting notion. Can you picture a Bentley pumping out thick, truck-like black smoke from its exhaust as it huffs away? Luckily, modern diesel cars are more refined these days, but my point stands.

Bentley will release a real-life diesel-powered “Bentayga” SUV come 2017, and with that awful name will come a ton of intrigue as the company spreads its roots.

If you’re wondering about the unfortunate name tag, it was confirmed (along with the engine choices) at the Detroit Motor Show currently keeping Motown busy. We’re not sure we like it, and I think its ghastly, but perhaps the 4000-odd customers who are showing interest in purchasing it have shaken it off.

Here’s the strange story behind it:

Crowning the Northern Hemisphere, to the north of Bentley’s birthplace in England, is the dramatic beauty of the Taiga, the world’s largest transcontinental snowforest. To the south, the rugged peak of the Roque Bentayga in the subtropical Canary Islands draws attention from all directions and a challenging climb rewards with spectacular panoramic views of a rich and diverse landscape.

Nevertheless, judging by previous spy pictures and from its initial Geneva Motor Show unveiling back in 2012, the Bentayga wasn’t quite a looker either. If anything, it resembled a wealthy owner’s terrible DIY project, but a move towards diesel power for the off-roader is a firm hat-tip to the unforgiving grounds. Bentley has also done a lot since to improve the design language.

It will also house the first diesel engine fitted to a Bentley, arranged in a V8 or V12 formation (probably from the Volkswagen Toureg). Even more exciting is the fact that the company will be launching a plug-in hybrid variant of the monster, featuring either V6 or V8-petrol range extenders which will add to the 50km electric-only mileage.

The car will be unveiled officially in 2015, and the W12 version will go on sale a year later. We can’t speculate on price, but it will probably cost a pretty penny.

Andy Walker, former editor


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