Bentley’s iconic grand touring sedan has been reimagined and redefined for its third iteration. We first saw the Continental Flying Spur in 2005, and this time around, it has dropped the Continental moniker and is now known simply as the Bentley Flying Spur.
The simplicity is only in the name, as the rest of the car is an exercise in luxury and pushing boundaries.
UNDER THE HOOD
It’s a familiar powerplant. The 6-litre W12 engine with twin-scroll blowers still makes 626 horses like the outgoing Continental Flying Spur W12 S, but it gains a healthy 80 Nm of torque and now makes a whopping 900 Nm of twist.
For the first time ever, it is coupled to an 8-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power can go to all four wheels, but it is sent to the rear most of the time and only to the front when the situation calls for it.
There’s also a new Electronic All-Wheel Steering system, which should make the big grand tourer feel a little smaller on tight city streets. To keep occupants in absolute comfort, it has a new 48V electric anti-roll system called Bentley Dynamic Ride, and it sits on three-chamber air springs all around.
All of this is housed on a new platform, which moves the front axle further forward and extends the wheelbase.
The extra length is noticeable too, and lends an elegant proportion to an otherwise muscular-looking car. It gets cut-crystal effect LED matrix headlamps which are nothing short of stunning, while the rear has wrap-around rear lamps with a familiar ‘B’ motif.
Of course, we can’t talk about the exterior without going into the retractable Flying ‘B’ mascot. It is an option for the first time since the 1950s, and has been redesigned for our modern times.
Usually, it is polished to a silver shine but with the Blackline Specification, it is painted black, along with some trim around the car.
Finally, this particular car sits on 22-inch wheels. It is part of the Mulliner Driving Specification.
Move inside, and there is an unmistakeable flow to the design language. The wood trim moves from door to dash and across the other door, while the leather trim also flows from the door and down across the footwells. It’s just so cohesive.
The aforementioned Mulliner Driving Specification brings with it seats that feature a tactile and appealing diamond-design quilting on the seats and a similar 3-dimensional motif on the door panels, as well as the embroidered Bentley emblems on the seats.
These sumptuous appointments are mirrored at the rear as well, and for a price buyers can have two detachable Touch Screen Remotes to operate major functions like the blinds, climate control, rear seat massage functions, and the optional mood lighting system.
Like the exterior, the centrepiece of the interior is also a transforming object. The Bentley Rotating Display has three faces: the standard wood veneer finish, a 12.3-inch digital touchscreen, and three analogue dials. The last is our favourite and it brings back memories of the good old days.
SAFE AS CAN BE
In terms of safety, the new Flying Spur is up there with the best. Front passengers have four airbags, while the rear occupants have two. Drivers get assistance systems like the Heads-up Display, Night Vision, Lane Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition, to name a few.
And of course, like every car made by the marque, the Flying Spur is highly customisable, especially when it comes to appearance and trim. There are 17 standard and 13 extended range colours, and 15 hide colours (hide sounds a little chilling except when you say it with a British accent).
As for the wood finish, there are 7 veneer species from which to choose should you eschew the standard one, with dual veneers also being an option.
This means that it is highly likely that no two Flying Spur will ever be the same. In these pictures, the car is priced at RM840,000 before duties and taxes, meaning it will be close to RM2 million on the road.