Bentley Continental Flying Spur Review

Bentley Continental Flying Spur Review

The Bentley Continental GT is one of the best ultra-luxury coupes on the market, though it's only comfortable for two adults. For luxury car buyers who desire the option to share the opulence, there's the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, a four-door version of the GT with adult-sized rear seats. Just as with the GT, the Flying Spur provides meticulous craftsmanship, near flawless leather covering almost every interior surface and rich wood trim.

Naturally, the Continental Flying Spur also perpetuates the company's reputation for performance. Power is provided by a massive W12 engine and handling is surprisingly composed. For the rare individual who demands even more, the Flying Spur Speed, with its narrower focus on performance, should satisfy. Whichever Bentley Flying Spur wealthy buyers may choose, it's unlikely they'll find it lacking in any significant area.

Current Bentley Continental Flying Spur
The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is an ultra-luxury sedan available in a base version and the higher-performance Flying Spur Speed variant. Both versions of this ultra-luxury sedan are powered by a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W12 engine attached to a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is also standard. The base Flying Spur produces 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, which takes it from zero to 60 in 4.9 seconds.

The Flying Spur Speed features 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, getting to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. In addition to the bigger engine, the Speed version gets bigger wheels, bigger brakes, a retuned suspension and consequent improved handling dynamics. Despite these performance upgrades, the Speed retains every drop of Bentley civility.

Naturally, standard equipment is generous. Nineteen-inch wheels, an adjustable air suspension, four-zone automatic climate control, navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity and leather everywhere are all part of the package. Options include adaptive cruise control, front-seat lumbar massage, a full-length center console (that reduces seating capacity to four) and a 15-speaker Naim audio system. A Mulliner Driving Specification package includes special 20-inch wheels, alloy foot pedals, diamond-quilted leather and a choice of exclusive veneers. A further range of customization is provided via 17 leather color choices and an almost endless selection of exterior paints.

With its adjustable air suspension and sophisticated engineering, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur can float along the freeway, enveloping its occupants in quiet comfort, or just as easily zip through corners like a sport sedan that's half a ton lighter. In fact, in our testing it bettered the slalom speeds of the BMW 7 Series and matched the Bentley Continental GT coupe. Although hardly a sports car, the Flying Spur's steering is rock solid at speed and light when you need it to be around town -- exactly what most ultra-luxury sedan buyers are looking for. The Flying Spur Speed ups the performance ante considerably, but still retains its status as a posh luxury cruiser.

Used Bentley Continental Flying Spur Models
The Bentley Continental Flying Spur debuted as an all-new model for 2006. That original year featured an antiquated CD-based navigation system that was updated to a slightly more up-to-date DVD-based system the following year, along with Bluetooth and the Mulliner Driving Specification package. Satellite radio became standard the next year, while a rearview camera joined the options list.

The Continental Flying Spur Speed was added to the lineup for 2009. At the same time, the regular Flying Spur received sound insulation, retuned suspension and steering, and minor styling updates. The Naim audio system and an improved iPod interface were also added. Even so, these older Flying Spurs (prior to 2012) were fitted with an outdated infotainment interface that didn't match the level of luxury expected in this class.