Bentley has pulled the wraps from its third generation Flying Spur, its first all-wheel-steering model.
Redesigned from the ground up, the new Flying Spur shares only its name with its predecessor, and boasts a new advanced aluminium and composite chassis, with a 130mm lengthened wheelbase.
Powering the luxury four-door grand tourer is an enhanced version of Bentley’s 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged TSI W12, mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission. Hand built in Crewe, this innovative ‘W’ configuration means that the engine is shorter than an equivalent V12, weighing less and maximizing cabin space. Making 626bhp and 900Nm of torque, the new Flying Spur can accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 3.7 seconds, and achieve a top speed of 207mph. Not bad for a car made for ultra-luxury?
Technology is prevalent throughout the vehicle, both in creature comforts and driver aids, all linked to the vehicle’s new 48V electronic architecture. The all-new electronic all-wheel-steering system, for example, promises to enhance stability at speed, steering the rear wheels in the same direction as the front at high speeds in order to make overtaking and lane-changes more concise. The system is equally useful at low speeds, making the luxury sedan more agile around town.
As with its predecessors, the model also features all-wheel-drive, albeit switchable (automatically) for the first time. While driving in standard road conditions, the engine will power the rear wheels only. When slip is detected the system simply moves the torque around, giving you all-wheel-drive security when the conditions get tricky, for example.
Also new to the four door sedan is Bentley’s Dynamic Ride, an innovative system which adjusts suspension stiffness to combat cornering forces and minimise body roll, thus improving both handling and ride comfort. Meanwhile, new three-chamber air springs allow a much greater range of suspension adjustment.
In the cabin, cutting-edge driver-focused technologies improve both occupant comfort and safety. Traffic Assist, City Assist and Blind Spot Warning all feature as standard, while a HD digital instrument panel display, unique rotating centre console (with an optional 12.3-inch digital touchscreen, analogue dials ‘or digital detoxifying veneer’), and rear seat remote control touch screen also feature.
To surround all of this tech, owners can choose from an extensive list of wood options, while the seats can be clad in either fluted leather seating or Bentley’s unique Mulliner Driving Specification diamond quilting. Completing the look, 3D diamond quilted leather door inserts and a full length glass sunroof can be specified.
The muscular body features unique, chrome-sleeved, cut-crystal effect LED matrix headlamps and new wrap-around rear lamps with ‘B’ motifs. New 22-inch wheel designs and a retractable ‘Flying B’ mascot add to the model’s elegance.
Of the new model, Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, commented: “As with the launch of the Continental GT, the new Flying Spur is a ground up development that pushes the boundaries of both technology and craftsmanship to deliver segment-defining levels of performance and refinement.”
The new Flying Spur is available to order from this Autumn, with customer deliveries beginning from early 2020. Suffice to say we would dearly love to get behind the wheel of one, or maybe have someone else chauffeur us around...