In the world of sky-high budgets, luxury grand tourers, baller presence and impactful driving experiences, there is one name that comes to mind before all others: Bentley. They literally have a car called the Continental GT which is extremely good for doing cross-continent grand tours while enjoying a sporty driving feel. It even has a convertible version. But in case the latest Continental isn’t special or luxurious enough, there is an alternative – the all-new Bentley Flying Spur.
The Flying Spur is probably one of the best sports limousines made today. Now in its third-generation, the new Flying Spur looks drop-dead gorgeous. It has these muscular character lines around the arches, an elegant roofline and an imposing front end with Bentley’s latest LED matrix headlamps with a cut-crystal effect in their details. The rear is tapered but well proportioned and tastefully simple in its design. It has the familiar-looking wrap-around taillamps with the timeless Bentley ‘B’ graphic when lit. The new Flying Spur sits on its 22-inch Mulliner specification wheels with a sort of athletic composure — calm when still but always ready.
Under the gloriously long bonnet lies the Flying Spur’s core – a 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine. It offers 626bhp and 900Nm under the driver’s right foot. Pin the throttle to the floor and Bentley says the new Flying Spur can soar take off from standstill to a 100kph in just 3.8 seconds. If you see no need to take your foot off the throttle, it will soar to a top speed of 333kph. That’s pretty good for something that weighs close to 2.5 tonnes by itself. Power is put down to the tarmac via an 8-speed ZF dual-clutch transmission. Those acceleration times are achievable thanks to the AWD system with a fixed 60:40 power split to the rear/front axles while in a sporty driving mode, much of the torque is sent to the rear wheels only. Stopping power is aided by 420mm front brake discs for the world’s largest iron brakes.
The third-gen Flying Spur is built on a new platform with modern chassis technologies for increased body-stiffness that will improve its handling and rigidity. It’s bigger too with wheelbase 130mm longer than before now measuring 3.19 metres while the whole car is 5.31 metres long.
If it weren’t obvious already, the Flying Spur is a BIG car and it needs to be driveable in cities and around some twisties too. So, Bentley fitted it with all-wheel steering for improved manoeuvrability and its dynamic ride technology. The front axle is further ahead which improves its weight distribution too. It features continuous damping control too which can dynamically regulate the dampers, adjusting the ride height on all four corners of the car. The dynamic ride suspension system uses a 48-volt system to control an electronic actuator which manages the adjusts the stiffness levels to combat cornering forces and keep the Flying Spur as level as possible.
The Bentley Flying Spur cabin is a blend of new-age technology with a classic luxury feeling. It gets the new three-side rotating section in the centre of the dashboard which is the main cool feature in the front. When you press the engine start button, the veneer section in the middle of the dash rotates to reveal a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. This screen can be used as a single display, split 2:1 or show three different functions at the time, it’s all user-configurable. Not in the mood for screens? Rotate the middle of the dashboard again to reveal three beautifully crafted analogue dials – one shows the outside temperature, the middle one is a compass and the last one is a chronometer. If you just want a plain dashboard, rotate it again and you can have the wood veneer fascia that gives it a seamless look.
Under the rotating dashboard element, the Flying Spur features a few dials and buttons for the infotainment system. These sit above the AC vents that flank the Bentley clock. There is fine bronze detailing around the clock and the switches to give all the switchgear that extra refinement. Meanwhile, the dials and the clock feature diamond knurling. It is also equipped with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a host of driver assistance systems like Traffic Assist, Blind Spot Warning, Night Vision along with a head-up display as well. There is a top-view camera as well for a bird’s eye surround view of the Flying Spur as well as self-parking features.
The all-new Flying Spur gets all-new seats that feature a twin-flute design with increased functionality, including heating, ventilation, multi-mode massage, adjustable bolsters and top tilt. For extra plushness, the optional Mulliner Driving Specification offers the new three-dimensional leather combined with Bentley’s traditional stitching and embroidery work. In the back, the rear seats are equally luxurious with added comfort to provide a ‘ cosseting travelling environment’.
The rear passenger gets his/her own touch screen remote for various controls including all blinds, rear-seat massage function and rear climate control. It can also be used to pre-store configurations such as Mood Lighting. This screen sits flush into the panel above the rear AC vents but can be easily removed to use remotely which sounds better than having to lean forward every time.
No Bentley-baller-GT is complete without an epic sound system and the third-gen Flying Spur is no different. The top option here is a Naim for Bentley, 2200W, 19-speaker audio system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats and eight sound modes. If you want something a bit more flashy, there is also the option of a Bang & Olufsen, 1500W, 16-speaker system with illuminated grilles.
If you’re smitten by the new Bentley Flying Spur, you’d need to put aside around USD 260,000 with options. Personally, it is one of my favourite sports limousines out there and if I had a million dollars, I’d get one for sure. What do you make of the new Flying Spur? Would you pick it over something German? Share your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more cool updates from the car world.