Bentley Continental Flying Spur review

Our Rating: 
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

Hand-built Bentley Continental Flying Spur is a luxury saloon that adds space to the performance of the Continental GT

Huge performance, supreme luxury, Britsh built
Huge running costs, Merc S-Class just as comfortable

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The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is Bentley’s ‘small’ four-door limousine. It uses an extended version of the Continental GT’s platform, so it comes with four-wheel drive and Bentley’s 6.0-litre W12. This gives the Flying Spur a 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 194mph, while the more powerful Flying Spur Speed hits 200mph exactly. As with all Bentleys, the Flying Spur is beautifully finished inside with the finest wood and leather trim, so occupants can be carried in absolute comfort at high speeds. The downsides? Well, prices are north of £100,000, and that big W12 will be costly to run even if you take things easy.

Our choice: Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed



Bentley has a distinctive style, and the Flying Spur sticks to the proven formula. The Flying Spur is 486mm longer than the Continental GT to make room for the extra pair of doors, and the end result looks smart. The big mesh grille and quad headlights are straight from the Conti GT, as is the smooth rear end. Inside, the cabin is as luxurious as you’d expect, with deep carpets, soft leather and beautifully finished trim.



On the road, the Flying Spur is quiet and refined when you want it to be, yet it handles surprisingly well for such a big car. The 6.0-litre W12 has lots of power, and gives the Flying Spur a 0-60mph time of 4.9 seconds. The engine itself is smooth when cruising at motorway speeds, but interior comfort can be spoilt by larger 20-inch alloy wheels, which send bumps and shakes into the cabin.



The Flying Spur has been on sale for a while now, and the running gear is used across the Bentley range, so any problems have been ironed out. Standard four-wheel drive will help traction in slippery conditions, while stability control is standard, too.



The Flying Spur is a big car, but there is only two seats in the back, so it’s a strict four-seater. However, there’s lots of room in the back and the front, while all occupants get their own climate controls, and there’s an optional rear entertainment system which costs more than £5,000. There’s a 475-litre boot at the back, but a Mercedes S-Class has a bigger boot, at 560 litres.

Running Costs


Any car with a 6.0-litre W12 is going to be costly to run, and the Flying Spur returns 16.6mpg, although you’re unlikely to get close to that. Emissions of 396g/km are sky-high, too. What this car needs is the new twin-turbo V8 from the second generation Continental GT, although that will probably arrive with the next Flying Spur.

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Practicality........give this car at least another half star, as youre telling lies, or someone is. Why exactly does a "strict 4-seater" need 5 seat belts?? I can count 3 clear seat belts in the rear. Hmm, and a 6 litre Benz brick will be significantly cheaper to run?? Dont think so, and as if it matters to CFS buyers. Not favouring the big Bentley is a pretty awful Emissions number. But they certainly dont occupy that sullied ground alone. Everything is relative......

Last updated: 11 Jun, 2012

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