Diesel cars remain a popular choice for drivers seeking fuel efficiency, longevity, and high-torque performance. Despite the prevalence of petrol engines, some brands continue to offer performance vehicles with diesel engines, including the Trident Iceni, recognized as the world’s fastest diesel supercar.
In the past, diesel cars were often seen as slow, noisy, and economical, but we’ve compiled a list of our top favorite vehicles that showcase impressive performance and are among the fastest models available on the market.
An automotive engineer explains, “Torque is the amount of weight you can lift. Horsepower is how fast you can lift it.”
There are numerous diesel cars available, but the following are our favorites.
- Engine: Sequentially turbocharged, supercharged, and inter-cooled diesel V8
- HP/TQ: 429hp / 664 ft-lb
- 0-60mph: 4.8 seconds
The Bentley Bentayga, the epitome of luxury and performance, is the first car on our list. It is powered by a triple-boosted V8 engine, boasting impressive horsepower and torque.
The V8 engine with a displacement of 4.0L features sequential turbochargers and is further enhanced by an electric supercharger after the intercooler, minimizing turbo lag for a smooth and powerful acceleration.
With its leather interior, which includes wood veneers for comfort, adaptive air suspension, and top-notch craftsmanship, the Bentayga provides a luxurious driving experience. Its blend of high-end performance and craftsmanship makes it a dream car for diesel enthusiasts.
Audi S5 3.0 TDI
- Engine: 3.0 TDI V6
- HP/TQ: 347 hp and 516 lb-ft
- 0-60mph: 4.6 seconds
The Audi S5 3.0 TDI represents the pinnacle of V6 diesel engines.
Its 3.0L V6 TDI engine is a turbocharged diesel engine that offers a combination of impressive performance and sophistication, delivering a potent mix of torque and efficiency.
Equipped with Audi’s renowned Quattro AWD system, the S5 provides exceptional traction and handling, making it suitable for daily driving and weekend adventures in various weather conditions.
Available as a coupe and sportback, the S5 combines luxury, performance, and fuel efficiency in a sports-performance vehicle.
Mercedes CLS 400D
- Engine: 3-litre 6-cylinder turbodiesel
- HP/TQ: 340hp / 516 ft-lb
- 0-60mph: 5.0 seconds
The CLS 400D is an elegant saloon powered by Mercedes’ 3-litre inline six-cylinder diesel engine, producing a solid 516lb of torque between 1200 and 3200 rpm.
With all-wheel drive and a 9-speed transmission (9G-Tronic), the CLS 400D is designed for performance. The standard AMG trim includes 15mm lower sports suspension, multi-link suspension, and passive selective dampeners, providing a smooth and comfortable ride.
Offering an estimated fuel consumption of around 6L/100KM, the CLS 400D delivers exceptional engine performance without requiring frequent refueling.
Alpina D4 S Gran Coupe
- Engine: 3.0L V6 turbodiesel
- HP/TQ: 355hp / 538 ft-lb
- 0-60mph: 4.8 seconds
The 2023 D4 S Gran Coupe from BMW’s renowned tuning division, Alpina, is described as the “ideal companion for high-mileage drivers who value low fuel consumption without compromising on performance and dynamics.”
With its remarkable torque of 538 ft-lb and a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds, combined with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive, the D4 S delivers impressive performance on the go.
All the power is transmitted through an 8-speed transmission, providing excellent throttle response in the lower RPM range.
Porsche Panamera 4S
- Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
- HP/TQ: 416hp and 627 lb-ft
- 0-60mph: 4.3 seconds
Porsche’s diesel-powered Panamera 4S is lauded for its performance, thanks to its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 diesel engine. Paired with its eight-speed PDK gearbox, it delivers 627 ft-lb of torque to its all-wheel drive system.
Weighing a mere 2100kg, the Panamera 4S can reach 0-60 in just 4.3 seconds. With a claimed fuel economy of 41mpg (5.7L per 100km), it offers exceptional power in exchange for the fuel efficiency of a Honda Civic.
Although the Panamera is less popular than other models in Porsche’s lineup, it remains a formidable vehicle in the diesel segment and is worth considering.