New 2019 Bentley Flying Spur marks brand’s centenary

Advanced engineering meets luxury as the third-generation Bentley Flying Spur makes its official debut

Bentley claims to have developed the world’s ‘most advanced luxury Grand Touring saloon’ with the all-new Flying Spur. Launched, in part, to mark the British brand’s centenary, the Mk3 goes on sale this autumn.

The Flying Spur has been designed and developed at Bentley’s base in Crewe. It has undergone a ground-up redesign over the outgoing car, switching to the MSB platform that also underpins the Porsche Panamera.

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While the latest model is only 17mm longer than the previous version at 5,316mm and is actually shorter in height at 1,484mm, the wheelbase has increased by 130mm, giving the third-generation car greater proportions without drastically altering its footprint. It rides on 21-inch alloys as standard, but buyers can spec larger 22-inch rims if desired.

The front end is dominated by a larger new vertical-vane grille, a nod to the 1957 S1 Continental Flying Spur, that is flanked by new crystal-cut LED matrix headlamps. On the nose, the ‘Flying B’ is retractable for the first time on a modern Bentley.

The cabin has been carried over wholesale from the new Continental GT. A high-definition digital instrument cluster sits behind the steering wheel, while a three-sided rotating central display gives the driver the option of having a 12.3-inch touchscreen, analogue dials or a plain wooden veneer.

Buyers can choose between eight wood and four stone veneers for the cabin, while Bentley’s Mulliner programme allows for individual personalisation. The leather in the Flying Spur is offered in 15 colours, with up to 10 hides being needed to trim the entire cabin. Three-dimensional quilted leather, the first in a production car, also appears on the door cards.

Bentley has integrated a new Touch Screen Remote into the centre console so that passengers in the back can alter the climate control and adjust the seat massager and lighting.

The Mk3 Flying Spur is powered by Bentley’s 626bhp 6.0-litre W12 engine that develops 900Nm of torque. Power is sent to the road via an eight-speed automatic gearbox and new adaptive four-wheel drive that is able to transmit 100 per cent of its power to the rear axle. That torque is then managed between the rear wheels thanks to the new model’s torque-vectoring technology.

Bentley claims the 0-62mph sprint takes 3.8 seconds, before the car goes on to a top speed of 207mph. In fact, the Flying Spur will hit its top speed in sixth gear – the seventh and eighth ratios are there to allow ‘economical grand touring’, the firm says.

All-wheel steering also arrives for the first time in a Bentley, and is designed to help improve agility at low speed and stability at high speed. Three-chamber air suspension, which is fitted as standard, allows the firm’s engineers greater scope to vary the stiffness of the Flying Spur’s suspension through the car’s various driving modes.

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