No oil-burner for VW's premium brand
22 August 2008

Bentley has said it is unlikely to produce diesel models, even though key competitors such as Porsche are bringing them to market.According to a senior company source, Bentley has been conducting customer clinics to ask buyers what they think of diesel models - and most have been opposed to the idea. He added that the company is also opposed to the idea for business reasons: “a lot of our cars are sold in the US and Asia and these are not diesel markets. We cannot make it stand up just developing a diesel model for Europe.” Instead Bentley is forging ahead with plans to have its entire range capable of running on called second-generation biofuels made from waste material, rather than food stocks, by 2012. The company is currently developing an all-new engine which will power the next generation Arnage and Continental models.

Chas Hallett

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Join the debate


22 August 2008

I remember a similar statement made by Porsche once upon a time!



It's all about the twisties........

22 August 2008

TYPE-R: Snap! Exactly what i thought.

If porsche can have a diesel in their range, anyone can. Especially when they are part of the mighty VAG group. Just a shame Porsche used such a run of the mill engine - 3.0 V6 TDi - they should at least have fettled with it and upped the power output or something and it would have had more credibility then. What next a 2.0 TDi Cayman?

As for Bentley: There are two engines which would be perfect additions to their range already available to them: the 5.0 V10 TDi from the VW Toe-rag or 6.0 V12 TDi from the Audi Q7/R8. Watch this space....

22 August 2008

I don't really see why Bentley would want to/need to produce a diesel model, doesn't really fit with the brand.

I don't really see the comparison with Porsche, the cheapest Bentley currently on sale is 118k, more than all the current Porsche range apart from GT2. Porsche are being forced more and more into the mass market world of Audi, BMW and Mercedes- therefore for cars like the Cayenne and Panamera to compete they need diesel engines.

I am sad to say i think it only a matter of time before we see a 911 with a diesel engine especially if we see a R8 TDI.

Bentleys marketplace is Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and a lesser degree Ferrari and I don't see them producing diesel engines, plus if you can afford to buy and run a Bentley you can afford 10mpg!!

23 August 2008

Why would Bentley bother? Diesel's advantage has all but disappeared. Here's some new evidence.....

The fuel consumption figures for the latest versions of the BMW 330i and 335d appear deep in the International press release for the new BMW 3 Series. The 330i is about to get a direct injection petrol engine. If both cars have an automatic transmission, the 335d is only 0.1 seconds quicker than the enhanced 330i to 62 mph, and is only 7% more economical overall. But, with diesel fuel now costing as much as 12% more than petrol, the 335d is going to be more expensive to run. Who will want to pay extra for the less refined and 'dirtier' diesel if there are no real savings in fuel costs? And the 330i produces slightly less (~3%) CO2 than the 335d, which should finally convince everyone that the diesel option will soon become irrelevant in choosing a new car in this country.

Consequently, it's hardly surprising that the proportion of diesel cars sold in Germany is predicted to decline, given that the price of diesel at the pumps is now roughly the same or more than petrol in Germany, where it was taxed less until recently. In the UK, diesel now costs an average of 12% more than petrol. Watch the 'pub experts' gradually accept that diesel is no longer the smart choice, once they understand that a new direct injection 330i costs less per mile to fuel than a 335d. In France, the 'playing field' is still tilted in favour of diesel by the French government, but all the governments of the EU have committed to move to tax parity, so the 'retreat from diesel' could soon turn into a rout.

For the full picture, see:

25 August 2008

[quote Chris E]the proportion of diesel cars sold in Germany is predicted to decline[/quote]

I think this is a long way off. The BMW 123d Coupe, 635d coupe/convertible and AUDI TT 2.0TDi have all become the top sellers in their respective ranges - immediately after their release.

Diesel is not just about fuel economy - residual value will always be better in a diesel than the respective petrol; even a slightly lower co2 output can much much less company car and road tax; in many cases having diesel also means cheaper and less frequent servicing; lastly, the current taxation policy making diesel so much more expensive than petrol may not last. Plus, dont forget the superior torque of a diesel.

25 August 2008

[quote Maj1c]if you can afford to buy and run a Bentley you can afford 10mpg!! [/quote] I never buy that argument. Just because you have an expensive car, it doesn't mean that you are happy to piss money up the wall. People who buy these cars are smart people and like to look after their money. They are more used to investing money and making the most of it rather than depreciating it or handing it over for no benefit. I actually think if Bentley could produce a powerful diesel it would suit the GT / cruising nature of their cars very well. A massive amount of torque to waft along on.

25 August 2008

Quattro 369:

I suggest you read my e-mail again. The 330i produces LESS CO2 than the diesel 335d, as well as less of most other emissions. The durability argument has long been obsolete, particularly for BMWs. Typically in our climate, the body will rot before the engine fails. Diesel residuals WERE higher because of lower running costs - they're history too. Perhaps you've just bought a diesel? Oh, and on torque, it's all about the transmission. High power combined with a good dual clutch transmission will satisfy most customers better than less power but more torque low down and a manual gearbox. Ultimately, it's power that satisfies, not torque. Torque is just power divided by rpm. The trasmission does the division. Just look at the lengths the Le Mans authorities had to go to to let diesels win (37% more capacity, higher boost pressures, etc). Diesel's over over here.

Now read:- on predictions for European diesel market share - it's already happening. And note what many German diesel owners say they will buy next. Yes, a petrol-engined car......

26 August 2008

Chris E:

I seem to have upset you. This was not my intention as I was merely giving my opinion based on various factors, including reliable sources. Check out Glasses or Blacks CURRENT price guides - or indeed the back of any good car magazine - and see if you can find a large petrol engine that holds its value better than the equivalent diesel model. You wont. Surely their opinion is the most reliable?

On that point, why are you comparing the 330i with the 335d? Surely you are aware that it is not BHP which makes a Diesel engine comparable with a Petrol one? Both on price and Torque levels the 335d is in another league to the 330i. I think a farer comparison would be the 330i/330d or 335i/335d.

I agree the Diesel emits more of certain other pollutants but this is irrelevant to most buyers and indeed residual values, as the goverment only tax based on CO2 output.

On the driveabilty aspect I am not sure if you have driven a modern Diesel engine? The low down torque on offer is a world away from a high revving petrol. In stop/start town driving comes into it own. A high revving petrol DCG equipped car is not really designed for this sort of driving. However, if you spend most of yours hours behind the wheel driving around country roads flat-out i can see your point but dont forget that many people (myself included) dont like any kind of Auto-Box, especially when driving for pleasure. Also, DCG/DSG etc are not even available in many car ranges. Thirdly, this kind of transmission generally adds around £1400 to the price - a sum you will never get back come resale time, which will hurt Resdiual Values even further.

I dont doubt that Diesels popularity is currently waning slightly on the continent, but that has alot to do with current fuel tax policies - which may not last. Also,lets not forget that on the continent Diesel cars account for over 50% of all new cars whilst in the UK its just over 40%. Many company car buyers dont even have the choice of having a petrol engined car and this is likely to be the case for some time with current CO2 based taxes.

27 August 2008

[quote Maj1c] I am sad to say i think it only a matter of time before we see a 911 with a diesel engine especially if we see a R8 TDI.[/quote]

Sadly you're probably right Maj1c. It only seems like a few months ago when I read a senior Porsche spokesman re-stating that they would never get into the diesel market. The new range of petrol engines will soon find its way over the whole range of cars according to my local dealer, and they produce more power whilst using less fuel, so why spread your R and D budget even more thinly by introducing diesel power into the equasion?

More and more Porsche is becoming two companies under one umbrella, and should be split into two separately marketed ranges. Maybe it's my problem but I don't feel entirely comfortable at the dealers when there are 2 tonnne mock off-roaders and (soon) saloons and diesels around. By the way, is the Panamera really going to be another oversize Porsche with the generic Porsche sports car front end on?


27 August 2008

When you take the hidious depreciation of a Bentley Azure or Continental into account the extra cost of 10mpg doesn't even register. People who buy Bentley or any other Luxury car do so for the luxury motoring experience and the prestige associated with owning a Bentley, no Millionaire buys a modern bentley as an investment. I don't think that putting Diesels in Bentleys is appropriate at all, if I had that kind of money I'd want a proper petrol fuelled Bentley not a glorified truck engine.

If you look at the major markets for Bentley (the middle east and america), and even with current fuel price rises a bentley would be cheap to run.

An old friend owns a Dodge 1500 Laramie with the 8.2Ltr V10, it costs him less to insure, maintain and run in Canada that it does for me with a 1.6 civic in the UK! Diesel Bentleys would only make sense in places like switzerland and the UK, where fuel is outragiously expensive.

End of Rant

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week