Diesel cars are great. They return excellent fuel economy and are kinder to our environment.
However, the kind of people that buy supercars aren’t usually the type of person to be interested in either of those things. This is probably why we don’t see diesel supercars or many diesel performance cars. Plus, they don’t sound very cool either.
That being said, there are many fast diesel cars out there that a lot of people don’t know about, and with Audi recently announcing that their future S4, S5, S6 and S7 models will be exclusively hybrid diesels, we may be seeing more fast cars in the future that only drink from the black pump.
In fact, you may not have known, but Audi once announced that they would make a V12 diesel R8. Of course, this was back in 2008, a time where governments still recognised diesel as the fuel that would destroy our ozone layers slightly slower than petrol does. It was set to be the world’s first diesel supercar and a fast one at that, with a 0-60 mph time of just 4.2 seconds. Unfortunately, the car never made it to production for reasons largely unknown, so we honour it here as what would have been the fastest car on the list if it had been produced.
In order of fastness, here are the 10 fastest diesel cars:
Porsche Panamera 4S Diesel
Probably the closest thing to a supercar you will see on this list is the highly-rated Panamera 4S Diesel. It has a supercar badge on it and if you look at it directly from the front, it could even be mistaken for a 911.
Despite it being a rather weighty (2050 kg) 4-door luxury car, it’s the fastest diesel road car in history. It can do 0-62 mph in 4.5 seconds and has a top speed of 177 mph, making it the fastest in both acceleration and top speed. All thanks to a meaty 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that makes 416bhp and 627Ib ft of torque!
Alpina D4 Biturbo
The D4 Biturbo is a car that many forget about, which is hard to understand considering the sheer power of this machine. 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 173 mph – these aren’t the kind of figures that make a car forgettable.
This is a BMW 4 Series on steroids, fitted with a 3.0-litre inline-six engine that produces 345 bhp and 516lb ft of torque. Nowhere near as mighty as the Panamera 4S Diesel, and yet it’s only a fraction of a second slower. This is likely due to the difference in weight, with the D4 weighing in at just 1585 kg.
BMW 435d xDrive
The next fastest car on the list is yet another 4 Series, although this one is unmolested by those crazed mechanics over at Alpina. The 435d xDrive is powered by a 3.0-litre straight-six engine that produces 309 hp.
It can accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds and has a standard limited top speed of 155 mph. The xDrive 4WD system will not only help with difficult terrain such as snow but also helps this handsome saloon accelerate with great speed.
Audi A8 4.2 TDI
Like the 435d just mentioned, the Audi A8 also features 4WD. Unlike it, though, the A8 4.2 TDI is fitted with a 4.2-litre V8 and produces an impressive 326bhp and can accelerate to 62 mph in just 4.7 seconds. Again, this car is limited to 155 mph but with the extreme level of comfort you’ll find inside the A8, why rush your journey anyway?
Even though this car came out in 2005, it’s still a force to be reckoned with in terms of diesel performance. In a straight line, that is.
BMW 335d xDrive
Basically the same car as the 4 Series just mentioned but in 3 Series guise. This car features the same engine and therefore produces the same horsepower as the aforementioned 4 Series, but the 0-62 time is a little slower at 4.8 seconds.
With more room in the back and two more doors than the 4 Series, this slightly slower time is to be expected.
Bentley Bentayga Diesel
Bentley’s first-ever diesel car is the Bentayga and boy did they set the bar high for themselves. The engine inside is the same one found inside of Audi’s SQ7 SUV, which is a 4.0-litre V8 with twin sequential turbochargers for minimal turbo lag.
Despite it essentially being a castle on wheels, the Bentayga Diesel can sprint from 0-62 mph in just 4.8 seconds thanks to the engine producing 429bhp and 664lb ft of torque. Furthermore, unlike most of these other cars, the Bentayaga is sold without a speed limiter meaning that the top speed is 168 mph.
Audi SQ7 TDI
Another SUV to join the list and the very one that shares the Bentayga’s engine, the SQ7 can do 0-62 mph in just 4.9 seconds thanks to the 4.0-litre V8 engine that makes 429bhp. It costs £76,400 which is much less than the Bentayga’s £135,800 price tag.
Audi A6 3.0 BiTDI
With 309 hp and a 3.0-litre V6 engine, the A6 3.0 BiTDI manages a 0-62 time of just 5 seconds. This car was the first to have the option of this particular engine and is paired with an 8-speed Tiptronic box to help tame the increased torque output.
BMW 740d xDrive
You were probably wondering when you’d see the 7 Series make it onto this list, and here it is…near the bottom. But what more could you expect from such a large ultra-luxurious saloon? 0-62 mph in 5.2 seconds certainly isn’t bad at all! Again, mostly thanks to the 4WD xDrive tech. The 3.0-litre straight-six produces 320 hp and it’ll return around 47 mpg.
You can call it ugly, but you can’t call it slow.
Audi A4 3.0 TDI
Last but not least, yet another Audi. The A4, despite being smaller than the A6 and the A8, has somehow made it to the bottom of the list with a 0-62 mph time of 5.3 seconds.
It features a slightly weaker 3.0-litre TDI engine that produces just 268bhp and 442lb ft of torque, which of course is still nothing to scoff at. It’s still faster than any diesel Maserati has ever made!
So, there are the top 10 fastest diesel cars money can buy, with some obviously costing a lot less than others. If you’re looking for highly respectable performance, just know that you’re not limited to a petrol car. However, if you’re looking for a rich, hearty sound, you best look elsewhere.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below!
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