Words by Manny N. de los Reyes
One venerated automaker has endeavored to elevate the concept of a ground-bound private jet to altogether new heights. That marque is Bentley and that executive jet is the incomparable Flying Spur — specifically the all-new third generation of the iconic British brand’s luxury grand tourer. This latest iteration has added a significant amount of sport in the mix — effectively transforming the Flying Spur into a four-wheeled Gulfstream.
The new Flying Spur showcases Bentley’s modern sculptural design language through elegant yet muscular proportions. With a wheelbase lengthened by almost six inches compared to its predecessor, the new Flying Spur now has an increased road presence and stronger, more muscular lines that sweep the full length of the car. Its sculpted surfaces and graceful character lines were created through a cutting-edge process called aluminum superforming, a process that pioneered on the latest Bentley Continental GT.
The Flying B mascot is available for the first time on a modern Flying Spur. It’s linked to the keyless entry system so the Flying B emerges from its retracted position as the driver approaches the car.
The cabin of the all-new Flying Spur showcases Bentley’s expertise in creating a modern interior of unrivalled luxury and comfort — and which can be rendered in 15 hide colors. Sweeping horizontal veneer flows across the dashboard and into the doors.
The industry-first Bentley Rotating Display is also now available on the new Flying Spur. When the engine start button is pressed, the veneer section in the middle of the dashboard rotates to reveal a 12.3-inch touchscreen, displaying three, customizable digital tiles. The second side of the display reveals three elegant analog dials showing outside temperature, a compass and a chronometer for a vintage feel. A complete digital detox can be selected on the third side, to simply enjoy the seamless wood veneer fascia continuing around the cabin.
I got to play with the new Touch Screen Remote, which allows access to a wide range of applications, including control of all blinds, rear seat massage function and rear climate control, and can be used to pre-store configurations such as Mood Lighting.
A choice of three audio systems is offered in the new Flying Spur, with the standard system featuring 10 speakers and 650 Watts. A Bang & Olufsen 1,500-watt, 16-speaker system with illuminated grilles is aimed at lifestyle-orientated customers. But a Flying Spur owner would do well to spring for the unique Naim for Bentley 2,200-watt, 19-speaker system with Active Bass Transducers built into the front seats.
Under the long hood of the Flying Spur is a hand-built 6.0-liter W12 twin-turbo TSI engine that produces 626 bhp and an amazing 664 lb-ft of torque, accelerating the supersedan from 0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds, and on to a breathtaking top speed of 333 km/h. There are few places on earth where one can explore such stratospheric top speeds, but we did manage to experience the scintillating forward thrust provided by the mighty W12 on some lightly traveled roads.
The new Flying Spur features active All-Wheel Drive, All-Wheel Steering and Bentley Dynamic Ride. It uses the same 8-speed ZF dual-clutch transmission as the Continental GT, delivering smooth and refined acceleration and quicker gearshifts in our 300-plus-kilometer drive over city and country roads as well as highways spanning the picturesque French Riviera.
The new Flying Spur shares the largest iron brakes in the world with the Continental GT, with 420mm front discs. Both front and rear calipers carry Bentley branding. Standard fit is gloss black, while gloss red is optional.
The new Flying Spur also sounds as good as it looks, thanks to an adaptive tailpipe control valve with variable position settings. The way exhaust gases flow into the rear half of the system has been tuned to provide a more discreet exhaust note inside the cabin for chauffeur-driven occupants. In Sport Mode, you’re greeted by a delectable growl whenever you press on the accelerator.
A host of new Driver Assistance Systems are fitted to the new Flying Spur, including Traffic Assist, City Assist, Blind Spot Warning. Night Vision and Head Up Display help the driver focus on the road ahead, while Top View Camera gives an eagle-eyed view of the car and its immediate surroundings, complemented by reverse traffic warning and self-parking features.
|Engine||W-12, 5952 cc, dohc 48V, Port & Direct Injection Intercooled Twin-Turbo, 8-speed AT|
|Max Power (bhp @ rpm)||626 bhp @ 6000 rpm|
|Max Torque (lb/ft @ rpm)||664 lb-ft @ 1350-4000 rpm|
|Top Speed||333 km/h (207 mph) manufacturer’s claim|
|0-100 km/h | 0-62 mph||3.8 sec.|
Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions
|Fuel Milage (km/l)||14.7 L/100km Overall|
|Price as Tested (PHP)||US$ 264,555.00|
|What's Great||Bentley’s greatest super luxury sedan.|
|What's Not So||Flawless.|
|C! Editors Rating||10/10|