1/18-scale model reveals Bentley Bentayga

The full-size Bentayga will be presented in Frankfurt next month.

Low-resolution images of what appears to be a 1/18-scale model have prematurely revealed the 2016 Bentley Bentayga. The company's first-ever utility vehicle is scheduled to make its official debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Taken in China, the images confirm that there are not many visual links between the Bentayga and the oft-criticized EXP 9 F concept that previewed it. Instead, it adopts a more streamlined look that borrows styling cues such as twin oval headlights and a large, slanted radiator grille with mesh inserts from the Continental GT and the Flying Spur.

The story is the same around back, where the off-roader's muscular haunches and rectangular tail lamps are directly inspired by the GT and the Flying Spur. A rakish D-pillar, a roof-mounted spoiler and large five-spoke alloys help give the Bentayga a sportier appearance.

Official technical details have not been released yet, but an earlier report suggests the Bentayga will share its MLB 2 platform with a long list of current and upcoming Volkswagen Group models including the new Audi Q7 and the next-gen A8. Mechanically, it will be available with a recently-announced 6.0-liter W12 engine that will deliver 600 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and up to 663 lb-ft. of torque from 1,500 to 4,500 rpm in its initial state of tune.

A smaller 4.0-liter V8 engine will be offered later in the production run, and industry rumors indicate the Bentayga will earn the honor of being Bentley's first-ever gasoline-electric plug-in hybrid model. At the time of writing, it doesn't sound like the off-roader will be available with a turbodiesel engine.

Stay tuned, the Bentley Bentayga will be officially revealed in the weeks leading up to its public introduction in Frankfurt. It is tentatively scheduled to go on sale next spring with a base price of over $200,000.

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