Bentley is bringing its Flying Spur down to earth (a little anyway) with a new entry-level model. Acclaimed as a real drivers’ limo in 12-cylinder form, you can now order the Flying Spur with a V8 under the bonnet.
Outward looks are the same but four fewer cylinders and 2.0-litres less under the expansive bonnet mean less of everything, while stopping well short of making it the eco option among luxury cars.
Power is down 85PS to 542PS, torque down 130Nm to 770Nm, the top speed down 9mph to 198mph, and the edge is taken off acceleration, so now 0-62mph takes 4.1 seconds instead of 3.8. As may be clear, there is still enough of everything to keep most people happy.
Some good things are reined in as well with the Flying Spur V8. CO2 emissions are yet to be confirmed but are sure to be down on the W12’s 337g/km. Equally fuel consumption is down – expressed in fuel economy terms, it’s gone from 19.1mpg to 22mpg – and also weight is down by a hefty 100kg. With all that mass missing from over the front wheels, Bentley claims the V8 is a more agile Flying Spur, offering a more driver-centric experience along with a sportier exhaust note.
Price, yet to be confirmed, will also be trimmed – there is speculation around the £160,000 mark, £8,300 less than the W12 – although with the trick 48-volt active anti-roll system and four-wheel steering of the W12 model on the options list.
One good thing is going up and that is the car’s touring range – from 378 miles to more than 400, says Bentley. The V8 still rides on air springs and has four-wheel-drive.
The Flying Spur V8’s twin turbo 4.0-litre engine and its eight-speed dual-clutch transmission are already familiar from the Continental GT two-door. Like the coupe, and also the W12 Flying Spur, the V8 comes with cylinder deactivation so half the engine shuts down when not on full load. Bentley says that this system in the V8 can cut fuel consumption by up to 16 per cent.
Giving the V8 game away on the outside are V8 badges, a new design of 20-inch painted alloy wheel and quad exhaust pipes (rather than the W12’s two whopping oval pipes). Otherwise, inside and out, it’s all Flying Spur business as usual: hand-crafted and luxurious but also sporty and hi-tech.
The car is available in either four- or five-seat configurations and (unless you pay extra) in seven paint finishes. The V8 can also come in new Blackline spec – Bentley’s take on Rolls-Royce’s Black Badge – which brings a dark finish to all the brightwork, including a dark version of the optional illuminated electric Flying B.