Bentley’s Flying Spur carries itself with a regal presence, and the test car’s white sand paint and polished 21-inch wheels drew even more attention because it glistened like a diamond in the sun. Keeping a low profile just isn’t possible with a car like this.
The styling is simple and elegant, with tight panel gaps and tasteful chrome trim.
Riding in the back seat of the Flying Spur is a perfect way to experience its serenity. The 120.7-inch wheelbase is as long as a minivan and that results in a cabin that is spacious in every dimension. Legroom is more than generous, and amenities abound. The rear center console contains a removable remote about the size of an iPod that enables the passenger to monitor speed and navigation as well as control the climate and audio. Power shades provide privacy and keep the sun out.
The all-wheel-drive Flying Spur is available in V-8 and W-12 models with eight-speed automatic transmissions. The 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 delivers 500 horsepower where the 6.0-liter W-12 pumps out 616 horsepower. The V-8 is no performance slouch, however. It scoots to 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds and has a top track speed of 183 mph. Its base price is $201,000. Visual cues for the V-8 include red in the center of the emblems and tail pipes whose four outlets resemble a horizontal figure eight.
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The twin-turbo V-8 delivers its power with a smooth, steady surge of torque that presses you back into the seat. Speed builds like a jet on takeoff. The ride is compliant but well controlled, with driver-adjustable settings. Crossing the country behind the wheel of a Flying Spur would feel like having a private jet.
In spite of the performance pedigree it seemed more appropriate to drive the Flying Spur sedately in order to soak up the lusciousness of the interior. Upon entering the car you’re immediately coddled with glove-soft leather and beautiful wood veneer. The test car’s white, diamond-quilted seats and door panels were beautifully accented with dark, Fiddleback Eucalyptus wood and deep brown leather. Each car comes with a metal sunglass case lined with leather that matches the instrument panel and topped with the veneer that is used throughout the cabin. A Breitling clock sits between air vents that are operated by push-pull levers like stops on an organ. Small wooden trays fold out from the back of each front seat.
Bentleys are bespoke automobiles that personify handcrafted excellence, and each one is made to order. That means buyers can tailor the vehicle to their exact taste and specification. There are 17 standard exterior colors, 12 interior hide colors and four wood veneers. Choosing the Mulliner specification expands choices to 120 exterior colors, 17 hide options and nine veneers in addition to the diamond-quilted seats and door panels, knurled gear lever, 21-inch two-piece alloy wheels and drilled alloy sport pedals. The company says it will make every effort to accommodate any request for color, wood and leather.
Dealers have cars in stock but each one is uniquely specified to ensure exclusivity.
Bentley is a British company with a proud performance history. W.O. Bentley built his first car in 1919. A Bentley won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1924 and from 1927 to 1930. In 2003, 70 years after the last victory, a Bentley again won Le Mans. The Volkswagen Group took ownership of Bentley in 1998.
The base price was $201,000. Options included the white sand paint, carpet mats, trunk carpet, Mulliner package with 21-inch polished wheels, solar sunroof, heated steering wheel, seat piping and veneer picnic tables. The sticker price was $234,710.
Three years with unlimited mileage.
Tom Strongman’s e-mail is email@example.com
2015 Bentley Flying Spur V-8
Engine: 4.0-liter, 500-horsepower twin-turbo V-8
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Wheelbase: 120.7 inches
Curb weight: 5,341 pounds
Base price: $201,000
As driven: $234,710
MPG rating: 14 in the city, 24 on the highway