A more focused V8-powered Bentley Continental Supersports, based on this test mule, will await the production go-ahead from new company boss Wolfgang Dürheimer when he returns to Crewe in June.
The hotter Supersports model is being developed as a potential marketing spin-off of Bentley’s return to motorsport in GT3 sports cars, with a race car revealed at Paris in 2012.
The road car idea has evolved since then - when it was understood to be planned as a W12-engined variant with a possible 700bhp output - to being a more usable everyday car based on Bentley’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.
Months before the GT3 was revealed, then-boss Dürheimer moved to Audi, before being sidelined in a political spat, and he is now due back at Crewe in two months’ time, with projects like the Supersports in his in-tray for sign-off.
Although Bentley says the extreme variant was never planned, Autocar sources have reported that the GT3 road car was under consideration alongside the race variant, with a 2015 launch date pencilled in.