PAUL WILLIAMS, Head of Powertrain and Chassis
“Our latest engine technology means the difference in carbon emissions and fuel consumption between our 12-, 10- and 8-cylinder engines has narrowed significantly compared with a few years ago. Our customers still want big 12-cylinder engines and those will meet the next round of emission regulations.
“I’ve been building diesel prototypes for the last eight or nine years. The Bentayga as an SUV gave us the right opportunity once we got the refinement up to standard.
Bentley’s first diesel engine is fitted with an electric supercharger. It operates for very brief periods at a time. The power draw is huge (120 amps off a 12 V system) but the Bentyaga debuts the 48 V system.
“The 48 V system also runs the active roll bars. This motorised mechanism is equipped with a high-powered gearbox in the centre, which enables us to put counter-active forces on to that bar. For off-roading it can de-couple, so the wheels can behave independently.
“Having links into the (Volkswagen) family is an enormous advantage, but we also act inde- pendently, taking existing designs and modifying them to suit our needs. This includes engines and the group’s scalable MLB platform.”