The big new 2016 Bentley Bentayga SUV has been given an unscheduled unveiling today, with a set of leaked photos surfacing in the Chinese press overnight.
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There’s a twist, however, with the new prestige SUV falling prey to the same fate that has befallen other models ahead of their official debut: enthusiastic marketing partners.

As with the new Discovery Sport and the latest BMW X5, the new Bentayga has been revealed in scale-model form, shown here through photos of the shrunken SUV in its enclosed display case.


The photos reveal that, as expected, the Bentayga’s styling has not strayed far from the familiar Bentley look.

Importantly, for those deterred by the more outspoken styling of the earlier EXP 9F concept, the Bentayga shares little with its show-car progenitor.

Up front, the scale model reveals a clear design connection with the recently updated Continental range, while the rear end evokes images of the Flying Spur sedan.


Through the profile, there’s a pronounced flaring of the rear guards, set beneath a sporting yet practical glasshouse design and a long D-pillar.

Further details on the new SUV are still to come, although Bentley has confirmed that buyers can expect a new-generation 6.0 litre W12 engine, which is understood to sit above 4.0 litre V8 and plug-in hybrid options - thanks to the Bentayga’s relationship with the new Audi Q7 and its MLB Evo architecture.

A recent promotional video also promises a respectable level of off-road capability for the new SUV, although few examples are likely to see action in the dirt.


Watch for the Bentayga to make its official debut at next month’s Frankfurt motor show, ahead of a 2016 market debut in Australia.