Bentley celebrates its centenary with a stunning and sophisticated Flying Spur.
This is Bentley’s centenary year, and the elite carmaker is determined to let everyone know about it, with festivals and motor shows taking place in every corner of the world.
For motoring enthusiasts one of the highlights of the celebrations will be the launch of the third-generation Bentley Flying Spur, described by its maker as “a unique fusion of breathtaking performance, contemporary design and intuitive technology”. This beautiful beast’s beating heart was designed and hand-built at the company’s Crewe headquarters – a six-litre, twin-turbo-charged W12 TSI petrol engine linked to a dual clutch eight-speed automatic gearbox. The car will transport you in the lap of luxury from rest to 60mph in a mere 3.8 seconds and on to a “wonderfully pointless” top speed of 207mph, as Steven Dobie puts it in Top Gear.
Volkswagen acquired Bentley in 1988 and started building new cars in 2002. Since hitting the road in 2005, more than 37,000 modern Flying Spurs have been sold. But it’s the Chinese market’s importance to the Spur – up to 60% of production will end up there – that has been a key factor in the car’s development and, ultimately, its ride. “China likes soft-riding cars and it’s the only market to have a model combining the most powerful Supersports engine with the softest suspension,” says Autocar.
The exterior is “sophisticated and captivating” and inside the central display features a 12.3in HD display while a touchscreen remote sits in the rear console, allowing passengers in the rear access to the “infotainment” functions, to adjust the ventilation and open or close the sunroof. The bespoke Naim for Bentley audio system offers 2,200 watts of power through 18 speakers. But most of the time “you’ll just sit back, relax and be swept along by the whole Flying Spur V8 experience”, says Jethro Bovingdon in Evo. “It’s a pretty glorious way to get around.”
Bentley’s car customisation programme lets you mould the car to your liking. There are 15 different colours of leather and seven different wood veneers on offer, for example. Bentley will begin taking orders for the new Flying Spur in the autumn, with first deliveries early next year.
Engine: 6-litre, twin-turbo W12; Power: 635hp; Top speed: 207mph; Price: £165,000 (estimated)