Bentley Motors is celebrating its centenary year this week, and over at the First Glance Paddock this weekend Bentley showcased its latest model: the all new Flying Spur.
The new Flying Spur made its public bow here at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard, barely four weeks after Bentley revealed images of it to the world.
For the 2019 car, Bentley is using the Volkswagen Group MSB platform and, compared to its predecessor, has another 130mm in the wheelbase. That produces a lot more interior space than before, particularly for the rear seat passengers.
Under the nose you’ll find the Bentley twin-turbo W12 we’ve become so used to in recent years. With four banks of three cylinders, the W12 is about the same length as a V6, allowing for more freedom with engine placement to deliver a better weight balance front to rear.
The W12 has, however, been updated for the new Flying Spur. It now produces 635PS and 900Nm of torque, sent to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, which means the Flying Spur can hit 60mph in just 3.7 seconds and carry on to a 207mph top speed. That’s despite the 5.3-metre long Bentley weighing more than 2.4 tonnes, although it sports a new aluminium and composite hybrid chassis.
Again, despite the weight, Bentley has sought to improve how the Flying Spur handles. The first step is to switch the previous permanent all-wheel-drive system to a clutched active system instead. The new Spur is rear-wheel-drive unless the wheels begin to slip and it sends torque to the front wheels, with the amount depending on the current drive mode – up to 480Nm in Comfort/Bentley modes.
Making a debut on the Flying Spur is all-wheel-steering. This turns the rear wheels in opposition to the fronts at low speeds, reducing the turning circle and making parking easier, switching to turn in the same direction as the steering wheel at higher speeds to make for more stable lane changes.
There’s a new air spring system, too, featuring three chambers which the car continually measures. Four sensors check the distance between axle and body, adding or removing air to keep the distance as close to normal as possible.
Exterior highlights include a gloss black radiator grille, LED matrix headlights with a cut-crystal effect and chrome sleeve to make them sparkle even when turned off, and a choice of 17 exterior colours. The Flying B mascot is both electronically deployed and illuminated – it will appear, lit, as you unlock the car along with the welcome lights.
With a Bentley, interior opulence is expected and the Flying Spur doesn’t disappoint. There are new seats, with 15 hide colours available and a new ‘three-dimensional’ leather style. They sport heating, cooling and massage functions too.
The Spur gains the rotating display from the Continental GT. This features a veneer section on one side, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with customisable digital tiles on a second side, and three analogue dials (showing outside temperature, time and a compass) on the third. While it shows only the wood – a choice of eight veneers, and further dual-veneer options – when the ignition is off, you can select from any of the sides when the car is in use. There’s a mood lighting system with seven colour options.
If you want more customisation options, Mulliner can provide them. There’s a number of additional pre-selected features available to customers, but the Mulliner personalisation service can adapt the car to any request.
Customers will be able to order the new Flying Spur in the autumn, when Bentley will reveal the prices, with first deliveries at the start of 2020.