Pricier alternative to Mercedes-Benz S-Class will get Continental GT tech with softer focus
Sam Sheehan
20 February 2018

Bentley is testing its upcoming Flying Spur in Scandinavia before the car is launched in 2019 as its latest answer to the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The new four-door, which is larger and more expensive than the S-Class but smaller and less extravagant than the Rolls-Royce Ghost in the ultra-luxury saloon segment, will share much of its technical make-up with the upcoming Continental GT.

That means it will be built on the same Porsche-developed MSB platform, bringing with it large improvements to structural rigidity and insulation, but the Flying Spur will trade sporting performance for ride comfort.

Bentley was involved in the MSB’s development from the very beginning, so its requirements to enable maximum ride comfort – more than any Porsche model needs to offer – will have been designed into the structure from the off.

As the GT has demonstrated with its big stride forward in ride quality, the Flying Spur is expected to deal with bumps and undulations with even more confidence than its good-riding predecessor.

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Much of this will be possible thanks to the car’s high-tech anti-roll system, which is based on air suspension and can effectively eliminate unwanted body roll while also providing enhanced composure over rough surfaces. The active tech is based on the structure’s 48V electrical system.

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The new and larger underpinnings will also provide more room inside, particularly for rear passengers. The focus on the rear segment is clear with the Flying Spur’s large back doors, which provide easy access and also emphasise the leg room on offer – clear to see on the test car.

Inside, expect a dashboard that is nearly identical to that fitted to the Continental GT, but passengers in the rear of the Flying Spur will gain infotainment controls, independent climate settings and picnic trays, among a long list of added features.

Power will come from a choice of two engines that are shared with the GT. At the entry level will be a twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8, while the brand’s new 6.0-litre W12 engine will also be offered. Bentley has yet to reveal the output of its latest V8 engine, which will be introduced via the GT first, but the W12 is already offered with that car where it produces 626bhp.

History suggests that the Flying Spur will follow in the year after the GT. The GT is due on roads in March, suggesting the Flying Spur will be shown for the first time in early 2019 before arriving on roads before the middle of that year.

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Comments
8

20 February 2018

I don't see many buyers going for the extra front lights...

Citroëniste.

20 February 2018

Theres always a market for the more pretentious of Daylight Running Lamps.... especially the bonnet mounted version

yeah, the back just ran away from me

wmb

20 February 2018

...some of the new GT's exterior and interior styling as well as its platform as most believe, then it will be a force to be review with (I'm looking at you Mercedes-Maybach)! What I still do not understand, is why Bentey has yet to produce a direct competitor for Rolls-Royce? VW Group uses Audi to go head-to-head with BMW and their Mini brand, yet with Bentley and the BMW owned R-R, not so much. Is there so kind of non-compete 'Gentlemen's Agreement' at work between the two automakers with these two brands?

That being said and on a different note, I've mentioned it before, with Mercedes, Range Rover and now BMW (and eventually R-R) offering full size crossovers, the absence of both Audi and Bentley from this space only becomes more clear. But with VW Group's incessant desire to spread the costs of new vehicle platforms across model lines, it seems that they would have the solution right here with their Porsche-developed MSB architecture! With Porsche Panamera already having a model with a wagon-ish body style, along with the fact that the MSB platform itself already being designed to accommodate all wheel drive, it seems that very little additional engineering work would be needed to transform this architecture into an SUV for both brands. 

20 February 2018
wmb wrote:

...some of the new GT's exterior and interior styling as well as its platform as most believe, then it will be a force to be review with (I'm looking at you Mercedes-Maybach)! What I still do not understand, is why Bentey has yet to produce a direct competitor for Rolls-Royce? VW Group uses Audi to go head-to-head with BMW and their Mini brand, yet with Bentley and the BMW owned R-R, not so much. Is there so kind of non-compete 'Gentlemen's Agreement' at work between the two automakers with these two brands?

That being said and on a different note, I've mentioned it before, with Mercedes, Range Rover and now BMW (and eventually R-R) offering full size crossovers, the absence of both Audi and Bentley from this space only becomes more clear. But with VW Group's incessant desire to spread the costs of new vehicle platforms across model lines, it seems that they would have the solution right here with their Porsche-developed MSB architecture! With Porsche Panamera already having a model with a wagon-ish body style, along with the fact that the MSB platform itself already being designed to accommodate all wheel drive, it seems that very little additional engineering work would be needed to transform this architecture into an SUV for both brands. 

Although Rolls Royce cars are pricier than Bentleys, they do have direct competitors to one another. The Flying Spur and Contintental family rival the Ghost (and Wraith) while the Mulsanne competes against the Phantom. However, Bentleys are sports orientated in the way they feel and drive while Rolls Royce focuses on comfort. Either way, both the Flying Spur and Ghost do luxury in a way that a S Class can never compete with while the Mulsanne and Phantom are simply on a different level to the gauche Maybach S Class which is simply outclassed compared to the exquisite, regal and utterly classy Bentley and Rolls Royce which show what ultimate luxury should be about. Not a tarted-up and stretched version of a smaller car which then has a laughably inflated price tag in a vain attempt to make it appear special.

20 February 2018
How little you know. I drive all three quite regularly and in terms of ride comfort the S class reigns supreme every time followed by the Ghost and the crashy Flying Spur. The only car to beat the S class is the Phantom.
poon

wmb

21 February 2018

I agree with uch of what you said, but what I meant by directly Bentley directly competing with Rolls-Royce had to do with price. Obviously, with individuals in this price point money is no object. And while the asking price for Bentley's may start considerably lower than their counterparts at Rolls Royce, options and other coach built extras can certainly balloon the 'out-the-door to price considerable well beyond that of their competition. But when you look at the way Audi competes with both BMW and the Mini brand, pound for pound, the VW Group gives up nothing to and is in lock step with their competition on the type of vehicle, its dynamics, luxury appontments and price! Where does that type of thinking go for Bentley, when compared to R-R? Rolls Royce spaces their sedans apart so that there are wide margins between each vehicle, and it seems that Bentley purposely stays within those white spaces. Maybe it's me and I'm reading more into it than what it then what it actually is, but even though the two marks are no longer owned by the same company, it still seems that Rolls Royce is set up to be the better of the two brands!

20 February 2018

.... in goes another nail.

27 February 2018

Bentley should nisch itself with a Bentley 488 competitor for the future.

Should call it a Bentley Five with an 5 Litre motor with a superblower.

 

Cheers!

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