Bentley’s substantially new Flying Spur is now more of a luxury car. Customers wanted a more comfortable ride, a better rear seat and more features for owners sat at the back, and that’s exactly what Bentley has done. Now only known as the Flying Spur, as against the Continental Flying Spur, this car is different looking too.
Look at the nose and you realise that it is the outer rather than inner lights that are bigger on this car, there’s a new, stylised Bentley ‘B’ on the fender vents and the rear of the car has been made more stately and square shouldered. As with the Continental launched last year, this isn’t an all-new platform, but is comprehensively re-engineered. 50kg lighter, but more rigid, the new car also comes with an eight-speed automatic as standard.
In true Bentley tradition, it has massive amounts of poke and almost commercial vehicle-like low rpm torque, which makes it feel light and effortless behind the wheel. The blown W12 engine now makes 616bhp, making this the most powerful four-door ‘flying B’ ever. 0-100kph is dispatched in approximately 4.3sec and what gets you dizzy is that performance only gets stronger as you approach 200kph. Despite the fact that this car weighs in excess of 2.5 tons, the massive 81.6kgm of torque from a low engine speed of just 2000rpm just hurls the car forward as if it has been flung forward over-arm by King Kong. What also helps massively is just how well the eight-speed ZF gearbox integrates with the motor, instantly providing you a choice of two gears for any given situation.
The old Conti Flying Spur never really drove particularly calmly, so this time around the air spring rates have been dropped by 10 to 15 percent. The anti-roll bars have been softened and the bushes are significantly softer as well. And though it rides better, on its softer setup, you do get the occasional ‘thwack’ from the suspension over sharper bumps on the road due to the air springs. And body control only improves at speed or when you stiffen up the suspension.
As a result it does not willingly turn into tighter corners at low speeds, and the bulk of the car really becomes apparent here. High speed corners, however, are a real joy. The car feels perfectly poised, the suspension feels well in control of the mass and bulk of the car, and the big Bentley carves up the high speed sections with incredible agility.
The back seat is good enough for heads of state. You can stretch your legs out and only brush the front seats, the rear seat can be adjusted and the insides just look extra special with swatches of wood, leather and chrome that wouldn’t look out of place in a 17th century palace. Rear passengers get a superb phone-sized touchscreen controller that allows you to control every single function in the car. Seats, aircon, media, blinds and even navigation; it really does put the person in the back seat in control.
Bentley has improved the Flying Spur in almost every area and as a result has upped its appeal significantly. It is more comfortable and better equipped on the one hand, making it more of a luxury car, but is also brutally quick when you push the chromed accelerator into the tick pile carpet. Yes, it is eye-wateringly expensive at approximately Rs 2.4-2.5 crore (estimated) , but there’s little doubt that it’s massively desirable too.