The Continental GT is the driver’s Bentley, while the all-new Flying Spur is the Continental to be driven in. So what better way to experience the newcomer than from the back seats? We joined a development drive in Scandinavia to see what buyers should expect ahead of its arrival in the summer.
We love the elegant new design, especially in the metal. The Flying Spur now looks a lot like its own car, rather than a saloon version of the Continental GT. Bentley says there are major improvements to the way it drives, too, and there’s been a big effort to help it appeal to its prime market: China.
The average Bentley buyer in China is 25-35 years old and likely to be chauffeur driven. As a result the Flying Spur is now filled with cutting-edge technology.
That includes the ability to stream video to a tablet in the passenger seat, while the driver talks on the phone via Bluetooth, rear passengers watch different videos on different screens, and another passenger surfs the Web through the in-car hotspot – all at the same time.
Rear passengers can control all infotainment via a remote. They also have access to climate control, seat adjustment and heating, and can look at the speed and sat-nav directions.
The technology is impressive, but the comfort, refinement and quality from the back seats are all impeccable, too. Bentley has softened up the front suspension by 10 per cent and the rear by 13 per cent. There are softer anti-roll bars and improved noise-isolating doors and windows.
The result is a car that feels almost as quiet and comfortable as Bentley’s flagship £225,900 Mulsanne – it’s very relaxing for long journeys or stop-start commutes. And you can marvel at the fantastic build quality and luxurious leather, wood and metal trim while you’re at it.
To appeal to keen drivers, Bentley has hiked the twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12’s power to 616bhp. That’ll mean 0-62mph in only 4.3 seconds. The body is stiffer, and vehicle dynamics expert Andrew Unsworth said: “We’ve kept the direct responses, ensuring the Flying Spur does everything the driver asks it to.”
Prices have yet to be revealed, but a figure of around £150,000 is expected. And while the Flying Spur doesn’t have the opulence of the Mulsanne – which costs £75,000 more – it’s still one of the most refined, comfortable and advanced cars on the road.