The front end will be familiar to current Flying Spur owners, with the twin headlights and bold chrome grille benefiting from only minor tweaks. The outer headlamps are now larger than the inner ones and the imposing grille is more upright than on the previous model.
There’s a new, lower roofline and more muscular, Mulsanne-inspired rear wheelarches. Most distinctive is the revised tail, which includes a sloping bootlid and horizontal lights, making it look completely different to the Continental GT.
Inside, the Flying Spur has 600 brand new parts, but features the same high-quality materials and hand-crafted touches as the old model, such as the wooden dashboard that curves into the wooden panels on the doors.
Buyers can order the Flying Spur with two individual rear seats or a three-seat rear bench. Passengers in the back can adjust the climate control and infotainment systems with a new touchscreen remote placed in the rear centre console.
There’s an optional multimedia specification that comes with an on-board Wi-Fi hotspot and two 10-inch screens in the seatbacks. These can play media from DVDs, SD memory cards and iPods.
Bentley has worked to improve comfort and refinement through the addition of new sound-insulating glass, underfloor panels that reduce road noise and redesigned doors with better seals. New mufflers help dampen exhaust noise while special tyres – along with softer suspension settings at the front and rear – aim to improve ride comfort.
The new Flying Spur features the same 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine as before, with power boosted from 552bhp to 616bhp.It’s 50kg lighter than the old car, so now sprints from 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds – that’s three-tenths quicker than the previous model.
A new eight-speed auto box with optimised ratios helps improve fuel economy by 13 per cent, taking it to 19.2mpg. And CO2 emissions drop from 396g/km to 343g/km.
The Continental GT’s 4.0-litre V8 won’t be offered initially, but should appear later this year. Although prices haven’t been confirmed, the Flying Spur should cost around £140,000 – which is £85,000 less than the Mulsanne.