Used Bentley Continental Flying Spur
A history lesson…
Although the Bentley Continental Flying Spur was launched in 2005, its name dates back to the 1950s. It was developed as an update to the Continental GT, sporting a longer wheelbase and plenty of components under the skin that hint at its relation to the VW Phaeton. While its underpinnings may be German, the Flying Spur still maintains the regal British looks that help it to hark back to classic models.
An update in 2007 brought with it the option to add the Mulliner Driving Specification pack to the Flying Spur, increasing the alloy wheels to 20 inches in diameter and also making the interior look sportier with a wealth of noteworthy little details.
Bang for your buck
The performance stats on the Flying Spur are undeniably impressive. It is outfitted with a six litre W12 engine that can pump out 552 horsepower. This grunt is delivered to all four wheels via a gearbox that can be controlled with paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
This setup gives you enough torque to tow a block of flats, which means that the Flying Spur is a great high speed cruiser. It is designed to face off against the likes of the Mercedes S65 AMG and leave competitors looking severely lacking in most departments, which is something it certainly achieves.
What you'll pay
This car slips into Insurance Group 20 and has the kind of running costs you would expect from a high end luxury model. Used examples from 2005 can fetch upwards of £53,000 and you can add £7000 to that asking price if you want a newer 2006 edition.
What to check
While you could deride the Continental Flying Spur for its links with more mundane German vehicles, this does mean that it is a lot more reliable than some other boutique motors. The workmanship is exemplary both inside and out, so you need only look out for aesthetic issues like damaged alloys, worn tyres and paint which has been polished too regularly. Apparently this causes swirls in the surface that can be an eyesore.
The German engineering comes into play once again when it comes to the parts, because the Flying Spur shares plenty of components with the Phaeton. You will pay £159 for a starter motor and other essential yet uncomplicated parts, but anything that Bentley has created exclusively for this model will be much costlier. You might feel the sting when having to pay £1285 for a new windscreen, for example.
How it drives
The Bentley Flying Spur may be long and large, but it features a sleek body that allows it to slip through the air without making much of a disturbance. There is no limiter on the engine, so you can push it right up to 195mph and hit 60mph in under five seconds, which makes it no performance slouch and allows it to eat Porsche 911 Carreras for breakfast, at least in a straight line. Although of course no Bentley owner would need to demonstrate the power of this car in such a crass way.