What is it?
An updated version of the luxurious Flying Spur that was first unveiled to the world in 2005. Many hours have been spent working on a new iden- tity for the model that doesn’t shy too far from the iconic yet-understated lines of a Bentley but adds a modern edge to keep it abreast of rivals from the UK and Germany.
What’s under the bonnet?
The same almighty 6.0-litre twin- turbocharged W12 unit that can be found in the outgoing model but with a few technological tweaks that reduce fuel consumption by 13.5 per cent and boost performance figures. Top speed is now 200mph, with Bentley marketing the car as ‘the world’s fastest saloon’. That becomes apparent when the right pedal is pinned to the carpet as, despite weighing nearly three tonnes, it can get to 60mph in just 4.3 seconds.
A basic Flying Spur will set your customers back £140,900, so naturally specification is going to be on the generous side but, if one goes wild with the options list, prices can easily tickle £170,000. Basic W12 models come with swathes of hand-stitched leather and wood veneers. The W12 Mulliner version adds bespoke interior hide colours, diamond quilting and embroidered Bentley logos on the seats.
What’s it like to drive?
Effortless power is the name of the game here, the big Bentley whisking its occupants to high speeds without those inside the leathery cocoon knowing any different. But the real surprise comes when you actually slide behind the wheel and take control of the Spur. It’s in no way a Lamborghini but the three-tonne cruiser handles with little body roll and has blistering pace.
What to the press think of it?
The Telegraph questioned its ‘World’s fastest saloon’ status, saying: ‘It’s highly impressive and wonderfully opulent but I’ve a feeling that if the Flying Spur hadn’t been engineered for 200mph, it might have been a much different and altogether better car.’
What do we think of it?
It is very difficult to find fault with such an expensive vehicle that is lavished with Bentley levels of attention to detail and there is no denying this is one very beautiful, very accomplished machine. Slight niggles would surround the additional tech elements with many of the menu screens proving fiddly and unintuitive. The Bluetooth phone connection requires too many stages to operate fully and we struggled with the on-board Wi-Fi. Eagle-eyed customers may also notice that a large amount of technology is carried over from other models in the Volkswagen group and those parting with £160,000 probably don’t want the sat nav from a lesser car. Tech aside,
it is classic Bentley, boasting understated yet elegant looks and impressive power.