Said to have been newly designed from the ground up, the Flying Spur becomes the latest model to ride on the Volkswagen Group’s MSB platform also used by the Continental GT and Porsche Panamera, with the exterior borrowing styling traits from the EXP 10 Concept that ultimately made into the GT’s final design.
Measuring 5 304 mm in overall length with the wheelbase being 130 mm longer than that of its predecessor, Crewe’s newest model now makes extensive use of aluminium in its design structure, with unique touches consisting of a cut-crystal-like effect for the Matrix LED headlights, standard 21-inch alloy wheels, a choice of 17 colours, a full-glass panoramic roof and, for the first time, the ‘Flying B’ logo on the bonnet.
Inside, the interior mirrors that of the Continental GT with the highlight being Bentley’s Rotating Display centre facia that places the infotainment display behind a veneer panel with three analogue dials for the outside temperature, compass and chronometer.
Available in a choice of 15 hide colours, the interior can be further customised from an assortment of single or double wood veneers, leather and piano key black finishes, the Flying Spur debuts with a 3D quilted leather insert on the door cards, as well as a so-called wing graphic that encompasses the entire cabin. A six-colour mood lighting system can be specified from the options list.
On the technology front, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster comes standard along with a 650-watt 10-speaker sound system, wireless smartphone charger and dual USB ports, though from the options list, buyers can opt for an upgraded 1 500-watt 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio or the flagship Naim unit with 19-speakers that provides 2 200-watts and which comes with Active Bass Transducers integrated into the front seats.
New to the Flying Spur are twin-flute designed seats with venting, cooled and massaging functions, while opting for the Mulliner range of personalisation features brings items such as 22-inch alloys with a choice of two finishes, an open-pore 3D solid wood veneer, a jewelled fuel filler cap, the Bentley wings embroidered on all of the seats and a Lofted diamond quilted leather upholstery option with 3D leather diamond inserts on the doors.
In the safety and driver assistance department, the Flying Spur joins the Continental GT in benefiting from tech such as Traffic Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, City Assist, Blind Spot Warning, Night Vision system with an infrared camera, Auto High Beam headlights and a surround view camera system.
The biggest share of the Flying Spur’s tweaks has however taken place underneath its new skin with the inclusion of a new electronic rear-wheel steering system, three chamber air suspension producing 60% more air than on the previous Flying Spur, and the Continuous Damping Control system with four height options.
In addition, the Flying Spur now sports the Drive Dynamics Control system with four modes; Comfort, Bentley, Sport and Custom, upgraded iron brakes finished in gloss black or gloss red with the front calipers measuring 420 mm which are claimed to be the largest ever fitted to a production road car, and the novel Dynamic Ride System that adjust the stiffness of the anti-roll bars via a 48-volt battery system.
Underneath its bonnet, the long serving twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre W12 engine has been kept, albeit now with the TSI moniker and cylinder deactivation to produce 467kW/900Nm.
Teamed to a brand-new eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox as opposed to the old six-speed Tiptronic, the Flying Spur sends its grunt to all four wheels via a new permanent all-wheel-drive system that varies torque output between the front and rear axles thanks to a Torque Vectoring system.
Tipping the scales at 2 435 kg, the Flying Spur will still complete the 0-100 km/h dash in 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 333 km/h. Later on, Bentley will also add a smaller V8 models as well as a plug-in V6 hybrid.
In the United Kingdom, pricing for the Flying Spur will reportedly kick-off at £185 000 (R3 449 539), although expect this to be dearer when it does become available in South Africa.