RAC Cars News


A New Bentley Flying Spur

By raccars Published

Bentley are one of those brands which always provoke excitement with a new release. Whether you love them or hate them or think the prestige of the marque has been ruined by becoming a footballers' favourite, there's no denying that the Bentley name is synonymous with quality, luxury and performance.

Next month's Geneva motor show sees the introduction of the most powerful Bentley saloon yet, taking orders for release later this year and priced around the £140,000 mark. It's not pocket change.

Pictures of the updated Flying Spur have been seen, revealing a smoother but more muscular shape than its predecessor, with a full-width, low-level air intake and LED running lights on an aluminium front end. This material, added to the composite polymer boot lid, has shaved 50kg of weight off the previous incarnation.

The new Bentley Flying Spur runs on 19" alloys with 20 and 21 inch-ers available as an option. Inside you can choose from four or five-seat versions, with all the luxurious comfort and convenience features you would expect in a Bentley as standard kit – leather and wood veneer trim, touch-screen instrument panel, integrated satellite navigation, voice control, a comprehensive rear seat entertainment system and options including a drinks cooler.

More interesting is what's under the bonnet. The new Flying Spur boasts a very satisfactory return of 616bhp from its mighty 6.0 litre twin-turbocharged W12. Gear changes are accomplished in a miniscule 200 milliseconds by an eight-speed ZF automatic box, for a 0-60mph speed of 4.3 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 200mph. It is eye-wateringly impressive.

Velvety handling is accomplished by a self-adjusting four-wheel drive system, directing 40% of power to the front wheels and the remaining 60% to the rear in standard conditions, correcting to up to 85% of power to the rear wheels or up to 65% to the front, as conditions demand.

The initial release of a W12 should shortly be expanded by a V8 variant with about 500bhp and a comparably tardy 0-60mph time of 5.0 seconds. However, this slower model will improve slightly on the W12's rather painful 19.2mpg and 343g/kg of CO2 emissions. There are further rumours of a plug-in hybrid variant but, let's be honest, who buys a Bentley for its fuel economy?

Expect to see the new Flying Spur belting it down the UK's motorways at the hands of playboys and minor royals towards the end of this summer.

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