Modern diesel-engined cars are quiet, provide lots of torque, get great gas mileage and are much cleaner than diesel engines of yore. 

Prejudice, however, not to mention some old-fashioned snobbery amongst Rolls-Royce customers, means that the Sprit of Ecstasy is unlikely to throb to the sound of an oil-burning engine any time soon.

Speaking with Autocar, an un-named source at the luxury British automaker said that it had asked customers for feedback on a potential diesel-engined car.

It was told, in no uncertain terms, that no-one would buy one. 

“They wouldn’t entertain the idea,” Autocar was told. “They said absolutely not, don’t bring diesel anywhere near a Rolls-Royce, we won’t buy it.”

Steeped in years of tradition, Rolls-Royce isn’t seen as a brand at the front of automotive innovation.

Rolls-Royce Ghost by A. Kahn Design

Rolls-Royce Ghost by A. Kahn Design

But thanks to parent company BMW, the luxury automaker has access to everything from diesel and hybrid engine technology through to pure-electric drivetrains. 

Sometimes, it has even experimented with them.

Back in March 2011, Rolls-Royce wooed the audience at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with an all-electric 102 EX Phantom Electric

After a world-wide tour however, it announced that the 102 EX would never make it into production

The reason? 

Rolls-Royce said its customers believed the all-electric Phantom’s charging time and range per charge were simply not good enough. 

In other words, Phantom customers were unwilling to have a car that inconvenienced them by requiring a lengthy recharging when its battery pack ran flat.

It’s the same sense of being inconvenienced, of giving up a given luxury, that Rolls-Royce blames for the frosty reception to the idea of a diesel Rolls. 

“A diesel has a lot of low end torque, but customers are not going to cop it,” the un-named source said. “It’s the perception of compromise.”

What do Rolls-Royce customers expect a diesel engine would compromise? 

We’re not sure, but guess it has something to do a worry that a diesel engine won’t be as quiet, refined, or as sweet-smelling as a V-12 six-liter gasoline engine. 

But what do you think? 

Let us know in the Comments below.


Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.