Whether you adopt the appellation alehouse or sedan, the traditional, four-door, three-box car it refers to seems to be a dying breed. With so abounding new car buyers opting for SUVs and crossovers, it would assume the alehouse car should anon authorize for the endangered breed list.
Luxury automakers, however, are still captivation strong. Be it a BMW 7 Series or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class, if you acquire a fair bit of banknote to spend, there are still a cardinal of abundant sedans to acquire from. And at the tippy-top of the exceptional space, there are cars like the Bentley Flying Spur, which has been absolutely redesigned for 2020. With this new model, Bentley wants you to bethink not aloof that sedans still acquire their abode in the avant-garde automotive market, but that they can additionally represent the best of all worlds.
Previous Flying Spurs suffered hardly from appropriation too abounding architecture touches from the two-door Continental, authoritative it attending like a continued adaptation of that coupe. (It didn’t advice that, for a while, the car was accepted as the Continental Flying Spur.) Its dull looks — not to acknowledgment the ability that it was based on the Volkswagen Phaeton — did little to accession the pulse.
The new Flying Spur, however, not alone makes bigger use of Bentley’s new architecture language, aboriginal launched on the Continental GT, but takes the alternative of absolutely applying the company’s latest signatures to a appearance added apparent as sedan, and a handsome one at that. The ability curve bottomward the ancillary draw your eye to able-bodied haunches at the rear, finishing off an unapologetically able-bodied silhouette. Spec the alternative 22-inch auto and the car has an arty presence, whether curbside or bit-by-bit up in your rearview mirror.
The Flying Spur keeps its alien badging subtle, with a neatly hidden W12 adumbration forth the side, and the company’s logo accompanied by alluringly able “Bentley” in calligraphy on the rear. Up advanced there’s a restyled Flying B awning accessory that now, for the aboriginal time, can abjure into the awning the aforementioned way the Spirit of Ecstasy can retreat into a Rolls-Royce. Although far from a sleeper car, the administration is attenuate abundant to canyon beneath the alarm of the accidental observer.
The autogenous administration is, as one would expect, beneath subtle. The aforementioned awe-inspiring leather, metal and copse that acquire been the hallmarks of Bentley for 100 years are absolutely present. My analysis car has the new, alternative “3D leather” in the doors, a accomplishment that gives abyss and curves to an contrarily collapsed surface. It’s firmer to the blow than I’d like, but it’s absolutely an absorbing advantage — abnormally if you appetite to acquire article that no added Bentley currently offers.
If you acquisition that, on occasion, you’d adopt to be apprenticed in your Flying Spur rather than drive it yourself, the rear-seat acquaintance is appropriately exquisite. If anything, the rear seats are alike added adequate than the front, with headrests so bendable they feel like they’re blimp with angel feathers.
In accession to disposable tablets army on the headrests, there’s a new disposable touchscreen alien ascendancy that can acclimatize a lot of the car’s capital settings, including aeronautics abstracts and the adopting and blurred of the awning ornament. An onscreen action shows you what position the accessory is in, which is good, aback you can’t absolutely see the adumbration from anywhere central the car.
The infotainment arrangement looks amazing, with a abounding touchscreen interface authoritative around everything. It’s the aforementioned bureaucracy as you’ll acquisition in the Continental GT — itself a reworked adaptation of the Porsche Communication Management infotainment tech you’ll acquisition in a Cayenne or Panamera. Of course, the Bentley one-ups its Porsche ancestors with the three-sided, revolving fascia that can bear a alleged “digital detox,” ambuscade the awning abroad in favor of a accomplishment to bout the blow of the dashboard, or a set of analog dials.
Another accustomed bit is the engine. The 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 delivers 626 application and 664 pound-feet of torque, which is absolutely all-important because the Flying Spur’s not-insignificant 5,373 pounds of mass. From a continuing alpha the Flying Spur can advance to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and it will accumulate on activity all the way up to 207 mph.
Power is delivered to all four auto through a ZF-sourced, eight-speed, dual-clutch automated manual — one that’s additionally acclimated in the Continental GT, and the aforementioned as the PDK gearbox you get in the Porsche Panamera. That’s not the alone affinity to its Stuttgart sibling, apperception you. The Panamera, Continental GT and Flying Spur all allotment the aforementioned chassis.
The Flying Spur gets the 48-volt alive anti-roll tech aboriginal apparent on the Bentayga SUV and after the Continental GT, as able-bodied as a new, three-chamber air suspension. On the whole, then, the Flying Spur looks to acquire actual little accouterments developed aloof for itself, and rather has taken all of the best $.25 of its stablemates in adjustment to reinvent this four-door package. In the Continental GT, these improvements acquire fabricated a absolute advance to the active experience, and I’m animated to address the aforementioned goes for the beyond Flying Spur.
My drive started in Casino Square in the affection of Monte Carlo. Possibly the best applicable abode to drive a $200,000-plus affluence sedan. The Flying Spur seamlessly fits in amidst the absurd abundance on display. The abysmal blubbering of the W12 agent announces your attendance after shouting about it too much, and the absurd complete insulation keeps the babble of the tourists out of the cabin.
The Flying Spur is adequately large, at over 17 anxiety in length, but the rear-wheel council — a aboriginal for Bentley and one affection that is different to the Spur — helps out massively aback negotiating the abundantly awkward and arced anchorage of the tiny principality. With the rear auto counter-steering at apathetic speed, the car absolutely feels no best than the Continental GT, finer ambuscade the aggregate of the Flying Spur. Once out in the mountains, the rear-wheel council makes hairpins a breeze. It seems ironic: The one affair that’s absolutely different to the Flying Spur absolutely makes it feel added like a Continental.
The engine’s abounding torque can bump the Flying Spur off the band against the border effortlessly, and the weight of the car is all but abandoned until it’s time to hit the brakes. There’s a acumen this car comes with the better animate brakes anytime adapted to a assembly car; the Flying Spur uses every aftermost bit of its stoppers to calmly accompany its aggregate to a halt.
The 48-volt anti-roll tech keeps the Flying Spur controlled admitting faster, bound corners, but my alternative is to punch aback the abeyance to one of its softer modes to advice administer the about-face of accumulation aback absolutely active hard. The council has abundant weight to accomplish a arduous drive feel able-bodied managed, but it’s ablaze abundant beneath accustomed active to accomplish the acquaintance effortless.
Under aggregate but the best active of drives, the B drive approach (“B” for Bentley) gives a altogether counterbalanced and adequate ride. Leave the car in that ambience and you’ll rarely be disappointed, as the Flying Spur reacts to your inputs and gives you Bentley’s best estimation of what you need.
The alteration from Continental GT auto to Flying Spur auto reveals a slight accident of activating capability. There’s a little beneath acknowledgment from the steering, a little added activity beneath braking. In general, however, it’s arresting how agnate the two cars feel — which ability be the better acclaim I can give.
The Flying Spur has aerial best of its new appearance from the blow of the Bentley stable, and the aftereffect is a car that feels acutely familiar. This can’t be apparent as annihilation beneath than a acceptable thing, aback the cars it borrows from — the Continental GT, Bentayga and Porsche Panamera — are all so great.
But while those three cars do feel actual audible from one anther, the Flying Spur seems like it’s aggravating to bear the aforementioned antithesis amid a activating ride and acute comfortable abundance as the Continental GT. And while it avalanche hardly abbreviate of absolutely accomplishing that, the added advantages of a comfortable rear basement acquaintance added than accomplish up for it.
The best amid the Continental GT and Flying Spur would assume be absolutely bottomward to whether or not you would charge to accomplish use of its rear seats. But with newfound athleticism and a appearance all its own, the 2020 Flying Spur makes a stronger case for itself than anytime before.
Editors’ note: Travel costs accompanying to this affection were covered by the manufacturer. This is accepted in the auto industry, as it’s far added economical to address journalists to cars than to address cars to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multiday agent loans from manufacturers in adjustment to accommodate denticulate beat reviews, all denticulate agent reviews are completed on our accommodation and on our terms.
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