It makes a statement, alright. At 5.5 metres long, with a gorgeous rear overhang, long bonnet, Flying B badge and massive grille, it’s not a car for retiring wallflowers. All the 'brightware' (Bentley’s name for the polished chrome bits) is tinted for a meaner appearance. There are Speed wing vents, headlamps and “B”-shaped taillights. The word “Speed” is also engraved on the tread plates.
Inside, this is still one of the most extraordinary car interiors. That gigantic footprint means there is acres of legroom for rear passengers (goodness knows why you’d feel the need for the Extended Wheelbase version, unless you’re planning on holding actual conferences in the back instead of telephone ones). There’s a huge boot, and the footwells get the option of deep-pile Wilton carpets, into which one’s feet sink imperceptibly.
Our test car was a festival of red, in stark contrast to the sober grey (Meteor) exterior paintwork. Strident Fireglow quilted leather adorned the seats, dashboard, door linings and A-pillars, with a dark stained burr walnut veneer on the fascia. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but the result is nonetheless an extraordinary display of craftsmanship once again from Crewe.
While this is nominally a driver’s car, it’s still a wonderful place to sit in the back, where an optional chilled Champagne cabinet, complete with bespoke crystal tumblers, lies behind a frosted-glass screen between the two rear seats. IPad-style screens containing every function under the sun rise silently from the backs of the front seats, and seat function and climate control are independently operated via a central squab.