Ever since Bentley resurrected the Flying Spur name for its 4-door version of the Continental GT Coupe, it has been the embodiment of a true british-style luxury performance sedan. Well now, it’s time for a new chapter, with an all-new 3rd generation of the Flying Spur; and it looks to be a real page-turner.
There are luxury sedans, and then there are opulent extravagances that can barely be described as simple modes of transportation. This 2020 Bentley Flying Spur is one such example.
Let’s start with the interior. The moving pictures you’re seeing right now really don’t do this space justice; it is immaculate and luxurious, with materials that feel museum quality.
It’s all about the details here, from the diamond stitching, to the organ stop vent controls, and hand-fashioned steering wheel. Old-world craftsmanship, though not out of touch, as a 2,200-watt 18-speaker Naim for Bentley stereo, rotating display, and full navigation in the digital instrument cluster keep it more than relevant; plus all the connectivity options buyers now expect.
Rear seat passengers are treated special as well; with their own touchscreen, dark sunshades, and plenty of room to stretch out.
To the outside world, we may be just humble Public Television employees, but inside here, we felt insanely rich.
With the Continental GT Coupe that the Flying Spur is based on, recently revised and now roaming on the Porsche Panamera chassis; it was time for the Flying Spur to make the switch as well.
It also shares the Bentayga SUV’s 48-volt anti-roll bars that virtually eliminate body roll in corners, but do so without it feeling like an unnatural intervention; lending a surreal nature to the whole driving experience. Sort of like being on a high speed train, where the scenery is a blur, and you’re just floating along.
It was much the same more than 30-years ago when we got our first taste of the Bentley lifestyle, when in the late 1980s then parent company Rolls-Royce brought the Turbo R to the states.
It was a near spiritual experience, as the hydraulic self-levelling suspension allowed the Turbo R to tackle any road equally; from glass smooth highway to rough country lanes, without losing composure.
Back in the present time at our test track. After a brief “get to know you” phase with the light but precise steering; the Flying Spur handled exceptionally well for such a big car.
New rear-wheel steer cuts down on the amount of understeer, and we could really carry some speed through here with relative ease.
The best part of all however, is the living, breathing 6.0-liter’s worth of aluminum turbocharged W12 engine under the elegant hood.
Bentley calls it the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world. We just call it a velvet hammer of awesomeness; pounding the pavement, through an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission and all-wheel-drive, with 626-horsepower, and 664 lb-ft. of torque that is available at just about any RPM.
It’s all enough to move this 5,500 pound behemoth to 60 in just 3.7-seconds. It launches hard and fast, with plenty of grip; and the unrelenting sense of power never really subsides as you work your way down the track. You barely hear any engine noise at all; and what you do hear, sounds like it is coming from some other vehicle way off in the distance, not just a few feet in front of you.
Automatic shifts are fast and firm; and when the ¼-mile ends in 11.9-seconds at 119 miles-per-hour, the speedometer may be pushing 120, but the ride is so smooth and well-composed, it feels more like 20.
Though you’re reminded of the laws of physics when you hit the brakes. Still a 111-foot stopping distance from 60 is exceptional for a car this size.
There’s well over 17-feet of length here, with five more inches of wheelbase than before; all wrapped in gorgeously sculpted sheet-metal. Lots of unique details here too; from the chandelier-like headlights, to an all-new hideaway Flying B leading the way.
Our Moroccan Blue tester featured Blackline trim, but of course chrome is also available; and the standard 21-inch wheels were upgraded to 22s.
Government Fuel Economy Ratings are just 15-City, 19-Highway, and 15-Combined; with our average, 16.6 miles-per-gallon of Premium.
So it’s a much worse than average Energy Impact Score; 22.0-barrels of yearly oil consumption, with 9.9-tons of CO2 emissions.
With a starting price of $219,425, the Flying Spur is certainly not for everyone; and believe it or not, there are actually a few different ultra-luxury sedans to choose from at that price point, but none that exhibit the sheer power and gracefulness found here.
Engine: 6.0L V12
Torque: 664 lb-ft.
0-60 mph: 3.7 seconds
1/4 Mile: 11.9 seconds @ 119 mph
EPA: 15 City / 19 Highway / 15 Combined