The diesel engine is dead. So you would think if you listen to government officials and if you look at the resale value of diesel engine motorcars. But that is only part of the story, because if we look at this car; a highly innovative V8 diesel powered engine with two turbochargers and a electric compressor sits below the hood. And in this car; the BMW M550D you will find a 6 cylinder diesel engine with not one, not two, not three but a total of 4 turbochargers. And that instantly makes it the strongest 6 cylinder diesel engine in the world. So the question is; is the diesel engine dead? The biggest and grandest of diesel powered motorcars; that is this car; the Bentley Bentayga SUV V8. You may recall that the Volkswagen group offered for sale a V10 powered TDI engine in some of its cars. But that engine was not really efficient, is was rather heavy and it also had the characteristic of breaking down. That engine is not offered anymore, but after that period came the trend of downsizing. Basically this is making an engine smaller but than adding technical parts which improves the breathing capacity, thus increasing the power output. This trend has reached the diesel engine as well and in this case; the Bentayga does not have a V10 but rather a V8 engine to which all kinds of mechanical parts are added to improve the “breathing” of the engine. And the combination of extra air and of course diesel improves the power output. Have a look at this; 700 rpm, and that is the stationary position of this engine. Then I change the gear selection to Drive and increase to 1.000 rpm And at this point, I have access to a astounding 900 Nm of torque. That amount of power is incredible, beyond belief. But the story continues; if I floor the pedal, then I will accelerate to 100 km/h in 4,6 seconds. And does that sound like a diesel? Oh, I already have reached 100 km/h. Do you know what we will do? We are in Drenthe, The Netherlands, and we will take the car to a circuit and drive at 200 km/u. No, I haven’t actually lost anything. I am listening to the sound of the engine which is amplified through the speaker system of the car. My son has that too; when he is sitting behind his PlayStation. I know; there are some French cars that have this technology too; that the engine sound is audible via the speakers. But hey, in a BMW? Ah well, the car is very good at this (full acceleration) I will make myself comfortable and tell you; the acceleration from 0-100 km/h takes 4,4 seconds. 4,4 seconds, just take note of that impressive figure. Because as you might recall, this was the exact figure that the previous generation BMW M5 took to accelerate from 0-100 km/h. So we might say that this is all the result of innovation, of progress of the technology as such. This BMW, powered by a diesel engine, is just as fast as the previous generation, petrol engine BMW M5. And that would exactly be the reason why you wouldn’t choose for a M550i or a M5 model of the BMW brand. The nature, the characteristic of this car is that it isn’t that nervous, so agitated, it has a rather more calm character. But if you need it, there is ample power available. Let’s have a look under the hood; because that’s where it all happens, right? Look at that signature; M Performance/ M Motorsport; and they have been updating a diesel engine. 6 cylinders; all in a row. 4 turbochargers placed around those cylinders, which result in a power output of 400 bhp and 760 Nm of torque. Let’s face it; that is a lot of power. And there we have it; but what exactly, because if you look at it, it isn’t obvious. But this is a V-sized engine, with the 4 cylinders at both sides leaning against each other. And then there are two turbos, which result in more fuel being pumped into the car’s heart; its cylinders. Extra air means extra fuel resulting in more power. But under the hood you will find an electric compressor as well. The good thing is; you won’t have to press any buttons. But this being a Bentley; you will hardly find yourself pressing any buttons anyhow. The compressor will already work with the engine at stationary speed and is operated by the engine management system. It all results in 435 horsepower and 900 Nm of torque at only 1.000 rpm. Let’s note that 1.000 rpm is actually the engine running stationary. So when you start the car and just press the gas pedal, virtually all the power of 900 Nm is instantly available. Four-wheel drive is an absolute necessity now, given the rainy weather. And in those conditions; you will have less traction, it’s that simple. So with the power being released to all the four wheels, you won’t have any wheelspin. Let’s just reset the electrical systems. The straight end of the circuit of Assen (The Netherlands) is just not long enough to reach 200 km/h. You might say; we simply haven’t got enough power. Eh, well that would not make any sense; we have got an enormous amount of power. We managed to get from standstill to 180 km/h in 15,3 seconds. And from standstill to 100 km/h in 5,0 seconds. Let’s pick the Bentley next. I have to stick the central measuring equipment to the glass sunroof of the car, since in a Bentley the front screen is fitted with a protective foil. Since the front screen has this purple foil fitted to keep out the direct sunlight, the measuring equipment can’t make a connection to the satellites above us. So I stuck the measuring device to the panorama sunroof above me. OK, let’s go ! It pauses a bit. It’s not that we haven’t got enough power, but the electronic engine management system protects the main parts of the engine getting damaged as a result of too much power being released. And don’t forget that the gross weight of this car comes at a staggering 2,400 kilograms. And so it takes a while before all that weight is moved to some speed. And it also takes a while before you come to a standstill. That has to be less fast than the BMW. From 0-100 km/h in 5,9 seconds, almost a second less fast than the official figure released by Bentley Motors. And then the figure from standstill to 180 km/h; 17,4 seconds. That is very fast indeed, but the BMW managed this in 14,0 seconds. It has all got to do with the weight of both cars, and the air resistance, since the Bentayga is a big car. The diesel is dead; that is how I started my story. But of course; it all has to do with what kind of car the diesel engine is actually fitted in. It is a comfortable car; this Bentley Bentayga, surely with the W12 engine. But it is fast too with the V8 diesel. The V8 diesel in the Bentayga adds even more comfort to the whole driving experience. It adds even more power, more souplesse and a higher mpg figure to an already comfortable car. Then the BMW; which is a very dynamic car, but less so than its predecessors. It has become a more comfortable car. But the diesel engine in the BMW M550D, with its four turbochargers can rightly be named a Performance diesel. The interesting point is that it is rather high revving; not 8.000 rpm but 5.000 rpm, which, for a diesel is remarkable. The BMW 550D is a very good car indeed, an excellent diesel. And so we can come the conclusion that the diesel is not dead; its days are not numbered yet. The point is; the electric car will come, in time, in let’s say fifteen years the majority of new cars sold will have an electric engine. And of course; the electric engine is more efficient, it is durable and, well it doesn’t emit poor air quality as a diesel does. Both of these cars are fuel efficient, but unfortunately, they do emit fuel particles. So, in time, the diesel engine as we know it will probably be dead. And until that day; it is still a great addition, a valuable asset, in cars like the BMW and the Bentley.