Riding on virtually the same platform since 2006, the Bentley Flying Spur is more than due for an update — and no, a minor refresh in 2014 doesn’t count as an “update.” But before the big Bentley does get completely reworked and hits the market in 2018, it needs to be put to the test. 

This Flying Spur mule was spied testing on public roads in the Germany doing its best Porsche Panamera impression. Since the two vehicles will be riding on the same MSB-F platform alongside the upcoming Continental, it shouldn’t come as a shock to see the Bentley wearing the cover. 

The vehicle is officially registered as a Bentley model in the U.K., and shows off some slightly bulkier fenders, a new engine (thanks to registration papers)… and not much else.

Bentley Flying Spur Mule
Bentley Flying Spur

While sharing a platform, the two are also expected to share a range of engine options; under the hood of this particular example is the same 4.0-liter biturbo V8 found on the new Panamera producing as much as 550 horsepower (410 kilowatts). But don’t expect Bentley to ditch the iconic W12 just yet — the top-of-the-range Flying Spur is still expected to get the same 6.0-liter powerplant out of the Bentayga SUV.

The final prototype should arrive sometime in 2017, with the release and sale date coming a year later in 2018. No word on pricing, but expect to pay a premium over the current $200,000 (€183,900) price tag — especially with a new platform and range of engine options.

Gallery: Bentley Flying Spur Test Mule

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