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The third-generation Bentley Flying Spur will represent a “quantum leap in technology, performance and innovation” over its predecessor, according to the Crewe-based maker. 

Bentley hopes to establish itself as the leader in the ultra-luxury saloon market ahead of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost’s arrival next year and says it has created a car that “maintains Bentley DNA” to appeal to loyal customers while offering contemporary design to entice a new generation of buyers. 

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The goal for the model – which follows the Bentley Bentayga and Continental GT in the sales rankings and makes its public debut at the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed - is to offer sports saloon agility paired with limousine refinement so that it caters to both drivers and those being chauffeured. The latter is a crucial selling point for the Flying Spur in China, which is the largest market for the model alongside the US. 

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Bentley claims that the new Flying Spur “owes only its name to its predecessor” – alluding to its new chassis, suspension, W12 engine and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Much of the new Flying Spur’s set-up and componentry is shared with the Continental GT, launched last year

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However, despite the Flying Spur and Continental’s identical underpinnings, including the MSB platform that is also shared with Porsche’s Panamera, Bentley has sought to differentiate the two cars not only through the difference in body shape but also a number of finer design details both inside and out. 

The Flying Spur will launch with Bentley’s familiar range-topping twin-turbocharged W12 engine, reworked for this generation. The 6.0-litre unit produces 626bhp and 664lb ft of torque, accelerating the car from 0-60mph in 3.7sec, 0.7sec faster than its predecessor. The top speed is 207mph. It is mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission promised to deliver “smooth and refined acceleration, quicker gearshifts and improved fuel economy”. 

The engine combines high-pressure and low-pressure fuel injection, intended to maximise refinement, lower particulate emissions and optimise power and torque delivery. The new model reaches a peak torque of 664lb ft at 1350rpm, compared with the previous generation’s 590lb ft at 2000rpm. The unit also uses a variable displacement system that can shut down half the cylinders, making it more efficient below 3000rpm. 

After the W12 launches, an entry-level V8 will be added to the range. A V6 petrol-powered plug-in hybrid will complete the powertrain line-up. This, Bentley’s second hybrid, will follow the Bentayga Hybrid, which launches in August. 

The Flying Spur pioneers all-wheel steering for Bentley, a system that is promised to enhance stability at high speeds and manoeuvrability around town. The rear wheels are steered in the opposite direction to the front wheels at low speeds, reducing the turning circle and making parking easier. At higher speeds, the rear wheels stay in the same direction as the front wheels, as a means of improving stability. 

While the second-generation Flying Spur had all-wheel drive, the new model introduces an active system that favours rear-wheel drive to improve the car’s handling but will also send torque to the front axle automatically as needed. Bentley said the front end of the car feels “much lighter” as a result. 

Other features already seen on the Continental include Bentley’s Dynamic Ride System, a 48V electric active roll control system and three-chamber air springs containing 60% more air volume than the previous single-chamber springs, resulting in a chassis set-up for all types of driving. 

Torque distribution varies according to the drive setting. In Comfort and Bentley modes, up to 354lb ft is sent to the front axle. In Sport mode, torque to the front axle is limited to 206lb ft to achieve a more dynamic feel. The model also has a torque-vectoring-by-brake system. 

The Flying Spur gets a longer wheelbase than its predecessor – the front wheels move forward by 130mm, creating a shorter overhang and more interior space – but its overall proportions are similar to the outgoing car’s. 

While the outgoing model and the new Continental have a matrix grille, the new Flying Spur adds vanes to the grille “to make the car look more majestic”, said design director Stefan Sielaff, and to pay homage to WO Bentley’s 8 Litre model from 1930. The matrix remains behind the vanes for cooling purposes. 

The Flying B mascot has been redesigned for Bentley’s centenary year. It is the marque’s first-ever electronically powered, retracting Flying B – the existing emblem on the Mulsanne is manually adjusted – and even gets illuminated wings.

The headlights and ‘B’ graphic tail-lights have the same crystal-cut-effect LEDs as found on the Continental. Standard wheels are 21in, but 22in Mulliner rims – the biggest yet offered on a Flying Spur – are available. 

Inside, the Flying Spur has the familiar double-wing theme in the front, and uses the well-received rotating display including the 12.3in touchscreen first launched on the Continental. The second side of the display has three customisable digital dials and the third side continues the wood veneer around the cabin. 

There is a different central console to the Continental featuring two air vents with optional diamond-cut edges sitting between a clock, wireless charging capability, USB ports and more compartments. 

Sielaff said there is a “focus on both front and rear” as the Continental GT and Panamera share new model’s MSB platform car needs to appeal to both drivers and passengers. There is an option for darker front seats and lighter rear seats, and Sielaff added the rear has a “lounge-like feel”. 

Bentley’s newly designed detachable, magnetic tablet enables rear passengers to control mood lights, media features, vehicle information, massage functionality and the deployment of the Flying B ornament. 

The Flying Spur introduces all-new quilting in the door card, which features three-dimensional, textured leather upholstery that was inspired by the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept and is claimed to be a world-first. The seats have optional “cathedral window quilting”, a progression of the diamond quilting in the Continental that is intended to differentiate the two Bentleys. 

First deliveries of the Flying Spur will be early next year, with prices expected to start at £185,000 for the W12, a premium of £15,000 over today’s car. The entry-level V8, which will arrive later, will cost from £165,000.

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Comments
26

11 June 2019

Those swage lines - especially the one over the rear wheel - look overdone to me. I know Audi is very proud of its metal stamping capabilities, but just because something is technically possible, doesn’t make it desirable. A simpler, less adorned shape would look more authoritative in my view.

11 June 2019

No, just becasue it can be done does not make it desireable, HUH, it is harking back to past cars with wheel guards that used to be a seperate item, and it has nothing to do with Audi at all, the designer of this car is a Bentley designer, as is all the team associated with it - just because it is owned by another company does not immediately make it that car, thats the difference between Bentley and RR, the Rollers are BMW's underneath, and having spent a vast amount of time in an early Phantom and the owner of the last Bentley Arnage LWB RL in the UK, for the 2001 model year, you can clearly see the difference, the RR is all show and no go, the Bentley is both go and show and totally awesome.

11 June 2019
jonboy4969 wrote:

No, just becasue it can be done does not make it desireable, HUH, it is harking back to past cars with wheel guards that used to be a seperate item, and it has nothing to do with Audi at all, the designer of this car is a Bentley designer, as is all the team associated with it - just because it is owned by another company does not immediately make it that car, thats the difference between Bentley and RR, the Rollers are BMW's underneath, and having spent a vast amount of time in an early Phantom and the owner of the last Bentley Arnage LWB RL in the UK, for the 2001 model year, you can clearly see the difference, the RR is all show and no go, the Bentley is both go and show and totally awesome.

 

I think you are falling for marketing spiel. The creases may 'hark back to past cars with wheel guards' but it is the fact that VW have developed high pressure hydroforming that allows such creasework, along with the excessive creasing in the Polo, various Audis etc. 

For what its worth, I think this is the best looking modern Bentley, and the Bentayga is one of the ugliest vehicles of the 21st century.

11 June 2019
Bob Cat Brian wrote:

jonboy4969 wrote:

No, just becasue it can be done does not make it desireable, HUH, it is harking back to past cars with wheel guards that used to be a seperate item, and it has nothing to do with Audi at all, the designer of this car is a Bentley designer, as is all the team associated with it - just because it is owned by another company does not immediately make it that car, thats the difference between Bentley and RR, the Rollers are BMW's underneath, and having spent a vast amount of time in an early Phantom and the owner of the last Bentley Arnage LWB RL in the UK, for the 2001 model year, you can clearly see the difference, the RR is all show and no go, the Bentley is both go and show and totally awesome.

 

I think you are falling for marketing spiel. The creases may 'hark back to past cars with wheel guards' but it is the fact that VW have developed high pressure hydroforming that allows such creasework, along with the excessive creasing in the Polo, various Audis etc. 

For what its worth, I think this is the best looking modern Bentley, and the Bentayga is one of the ugliest vehicles of the 21st century.

Polo panels are not hydroformed.

12 June 2019

I think the new Continental is very attractive, but the hard creases and new taillights are a detriment to the smooth lines of the previous series. I probably won't replace my 2016 GT coupe with this new style it just doesn't look as good to me.

11 June 2019
jonboy4969 wrote:

thats the difference between Bentley and RR, the Rollers are BMW's underneath,

Absolute rubbish - the Phantom is built on a bespoke platform, (only the Ghost is 7 series underneath, for now, the new one wont be). And ALL non Mulsane Bentleys use shared VW group platforms too, including this one, as stated in the article.

11 June 2019

you talk rubbish as usual, all the electrics are BMW, the switchgear is BMW, engines majority are BMW, lighting BMW, carpets made by BMW, Bodies built by BMW and transfered to the UK, if you actually took the time to read posts rather than posting tripe as usual, i never mentioned chassis or floorpan, i said "the Rolls are BMW's underneath", which they are, and that is a fact.At least Bentley build their own engines, their own electrics, have a proper leather and wood dept, and so on and so on - until you actually know what your on about dont say what i talk is Rubbish, i own these cars, or have owned them, and have forgotten more about them than most will ever know, so you go back to your Nova S and leave real cars to those that know about them.

11 June 2019
jonboy4969 wrote:

you talk rubbish as usual, all the electrics are BMW, the switchgear is BMW, engines majority are BMW, lighting BMW, carpets made by BMW, Bodies built by BMW and transfered to the UK, if you actually took the time to read posts rather than posting tripe as usual, i never mentioned chassis or floorpan, i said "the Rolls are BMW's underneath", which they are, and that is a fact.At least Bentley build their own engines, their own electrics, have a proper leather and wood dept, and so on and so on - until you actually know what your on about dont say what i talk is Rubbish, i own these cars, or have owned them, and have forgotten more about them than most will ever know, so you go back to your Nova S and leave real cars to those that know about them.

There is a ‘proper’ wood and leathershop at Goodwood. The new Spur is almost a Porsche in terms of its chassis and electrical systems, so you sound a little hypocritical. 

The carpets aren’t made by BMW by the way...

11 June 2019
jonboy4969 wrote:

you talk rubbish as usual, all the electrics are BMW, the switchgear is BMW, engines majority are BMW, lighting BMW, carpets made by BMW, Bodies built by BMW and transfered to the UK, if you actually took the time to read posts rather than posting tripe as usual, i never mentioned chassis or floorpan, i said "the Rolls are BMW's underneath", which they are, and that is a fact.At least Bentley build their own engines, their own electrics, have a proper leather and wood dept, and so on and so on - until you actually know what your on about dont say what i talk is Rubbish, i own these cars, or have owned them, and have forgotten more about them than most will ever know, so you go back to your Nova S and leave real cars to those that know about them.

Jonboy is very entertaining. It's fun to see people who don't know what they're talking about rant about other people not knowing what they're talking about. Nothing like ignorance bolstered by arrogance. Several of his quotes are amusing, but this one is my favorite in this thread. So, Bentley build "their own" engines, says jonboy. To me, "building" it doesn't make it your own. The Mulsanne's 6.75 V8, maybe, though that was really a Rolls-Royce engine. But let's tell the truth. The Conti/Flying Spur does not use a Bentley engine. The V8 is an Audi engine. The W12 is a VW engine. Bentley can call itself the home of the 12 cylinder engine within VW/Audi all it wants -- the W12 was and always will be VW's doing. And before (and after) you scream that the newest W12 is "all new," it's extensive evolution from previous versions is just that -- an evolution. According to jonboy, a Bentley with a shared VW/Audi Group platform and a shared VW/Audi Group engine is a real Bentley, but the Phantom with its own unique platform but a shared engine is not a Rolls-Royce. People are amazing...

12 June 2019
scrap wrote:

Those swage lines - especially the one over the rear wheel - look overdone to me. I know Audi is very proud of its metal stamping capabilities, but just because something is technically possible, doesn’t make it desirable. A simpler, less adorned shape would look more authoritative in my view.

+1

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