2019 Bentley Flying Spur
Opulent. Decadent. Luxuriant. All are apt descriptors for the Flying Spur, a full-size sedan built to Bentley's highest standards of craftsmanship and elegance. Closely related to the last-generation Continental, the Flying Spur packs extravagant power along with boatloads of old-fashioned British luxury.
It may not be the largest, most expensive sedan in Bentley's lineup - that distinction belongs to the Mulsanne - but few buyers are likely to find the Flying Spur lacking in size or sumptuousness.
Outside, a formal roofline and traditional Bentley radiator grille give the Flying Spur a regal air, while raised rear hips, vertical taillights and upswept character lines add a hint of athleticism that's more than backed up by what lurks under the long hood.
Although technically the Flying Spur's base motor, the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 isn't exactly down on power: maximum output is 500 horsepower and 487 lb-ft of torque. That's enough for a zero-to-60 mph sprint in 4.9 seconds.
With six liters of displacement and twin turbochargers, the Flying Spur's W12 motor is capable of a supercar-like 616 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque, enabling a dash to 60 mph from a dead stop in 4.3 seconds.
Shifting duties for both motors are handled by a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission, with output put to the pavement through an all-wheel-drive system featuring a 40/60 torque split for engaging, sure-footed driving dynamics.
Fuel economy, rarely a consideration in this vehicle segment, is rated at 12 mpg in the city and 20 mpg on the highway for the W12, while the V8 is comparatively abstemious at 14/24 mpg.
An adaptive, computer-controlled air suspension ensures that the Flying Spur delivers the cushy ride expected of a Bentley while also ensuring limited body roll should the driver wish to test the handling limits.
The Flying Spur's cabin shares an attractive dual-cowl dashboard design with Bentley's Continental range, complete with a touchscreen infotainment system that that boasts Google maps compatibility. Integrated WiFi and an 1,100-watt Naim audio system are available.
As one would expect, copious amounts of high-quality leather and wood are present throughout, and the rear passenger compartment is positively palatial. Naturally, countless interior and exterior design options are available, including the bespoke Mulliner Driving Specification trim with its own leather and wood choices diamond leather quilting for the upholstery and door panels.
Both five- and four-passenger variants are available, and the rear seats can be enhanced with extras like dual 10-inch entertainment screens and a nine-liter bottle cooler. The champagne has to go somewhere, after all.
Buyers unsure if the Flying Spur should be the latest addition to their car collection can cross shop the Bentley against the posh Rolls-Royce Ghost, the stylish Aston Martin Rapide S, and the absurdly powerful Mercedes-AMG S65.