Bentley’s Bentayga SUV is now less than two weeks away from its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show, but a prototype for a new variant appears to have just started testing. It was spotted at the Nürburgring earlier in the week and was seen wearing some new, never-before-seen upgrades that suggest it is a performance-oriented variant, perhaps even a Bentayga Speed.
As revealed in the spy shots, the new variant features a more aggressive front bumper with enlarged intakes and an extended front splitter. There are also chunky side skirts, a new rear diffuser and a large, roof-mounted wing.
It also appears that the ride height has been lowered, suggesting an aggressive tune for the suspension. And our photographer tells us it was much louder than previous Bentayga prototypes.
The oval exhaust tips at the rear suggest we’re looking at a W-12 model (Bentley’s V-8-equipped cars feature exhaust tips formed in a figure eight), which once again points to this being a Bentayga Speed or something along those lines. The current Continental GT Speed extracts as much as 626 horsepower and 607 pound-feet of torque from its twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12, and we’d expect something close to this in a Bentayga Speed.
Look for this performance-oriented Bentayga to arrive roughly one year after the regular versions. Because of its combination of performance, luxury and exclusivity, it won’t have many direct rivals. Interested buyers may also want to check out the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 and high-end versions of the Maserati Levante.