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BENTLEY CONTINENTAL FLYING SPUR | 2020 Flying Spur Unveiled | WhatCar! - Review
While most of the auto industry regards a model reaching its seventh anniversary as being ancient, the lifecycles of luxury sedans are on more leisurely timescales. The Bentley Flying Spur was launched in 2005, predating the iPhone and even most social media platforms. There was a heavy facelift in 2013 that overhauled the bodywork and the interior, but the Spur's core structure remained unchanged, as did much of its electrical architecture. By our reckoning, that meant it made it to an impressive 98 in dog years. So it seems highly likely that this all-new version, which we're seeing here for the first time, will still be with us in the 2030s.
After introducing the latest-generation Continental GT Coupe in 2017 and its droptop sibling in 2018, Bentley is now completing the family portrait with their four-door sibling. Developed from the ground up, the all-new Flying Spur is targeting those who want more luxury and finesse than the Audi A8 W12 can offer and are willing to pay the premium of owning a fullsize luxury sedan from Crewe.
Think of the new Flying Spur as the sedan version of the new Continental GT coupe, which also rides on Volkswagen’s MSB platform like the Porsche Panamera. Where that car pushed to be more sporty, so does the Flying Spur.
It’s debut W12 engine, a tweaked version of the same engine you find in the old Flying Spur and current Bentayga SUV, is a twin-turbo, 6.0-liter absolute unit now making 626 brake horsepower, or approximately 635 horsepower, and 664 lb. ft. of torque mated to a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, throwing the car at a top speed of 207 mph.
Like the Panamera, the Flying Spur now gets a rear-wheel steering setup to help it feel a little more agile in the corners, and to help with the turning radius in the golf course parking lot. It also gets a rear-biased all-wheel drive system, where the previous system was a fixed ratio, with full rear-wheel drive capability in normal driving and power going to the front wheels when things get slippery.
In the looks department ... it certainly has a Bentley-appropriate level of visual presence, with a vertically barred chrome radiator grille that must challenge the enormous schnozz of the BMW 7-series for surface area—we're told that the vanes are playing a respectful homage to the 1957 S1 Continental Flying Spur. The lower grilles can be finished in either black or bright chrome. Another traditional touch is the available "Flying B" mascot on the hood, which is now illuminated at night, electrically deployable, and capable of meeting pedestrian impact requirements. LED matrix headlights similar in style to those of the Continental are standard, while the LED taillights incorporate a B motif.
The new car also gets adjustable air suspension, a 130 mm, or about 5.2 inch, longer wheelbase, and a front axle that’s been pushed forward for greater cabin space. The Flying Spur also gets a heads-up display, a night vision camera, blind sport warning, traffic assist, which is a lane and distance-keeping advanced cruise control, automatic braking, self-parking, and a top view camera for a 360 view around the car.
Inside, the interior gets a new configurable 12.3-inch infotainment screen that’s on a three-faced rotation, with the two other faces either analog dials with a clock, compass and chronometer, or just a blank matching wood panel. There’s also Bentley’s new “3D” leather treatment on the doors, diamond-knurled metal on the dashboard and dials, and eight different optional veneers.
Most importantly, the Flying Spur and its engine will be built in Crewe, England, and gets a new “Flying B” mascot that can disappear under the hood. You may want to retract it if you’re going for that top speed number.
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