Bentley claims to have increased the performance of the Continental Flying Spur and improved refinement
Jim Holder
19 April 2013

The new Bentley Continental Flying Spur will receive its Asian premiere at the Shanghai motor show this week. The new car is faster, more powerful and more efficient than before — and company bosses say they have resolved the refinement issues that hindered the outgoing model.

The 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 now delivers 616bhp at 6000rpm (up from 552bhp) and 580lb ft from 2000rpm (up from 479lb ft). It is linked to a new eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox that shifts in under 200 milliseconds. The top speed remains 200mph but economy and CO2 emissions have improved by 13 per cent to 19.2mpg and 343g/km. It will go on sale this summer.

The styling has been tweaked inside and out. The focus has been on making the exterior look lower, wider and more aggressive. details such as LED headlights also contribute to this, as do the new lines, which Bentley design boss Luc Donckerwolke says are among the boldest and sharpest it has ever created.

Extensive use of new, stronger, lightweight materials also means that the new Flying Spur weighs 50kg less than the outgoing model despite being four per cent more rigid. The more rigid body is also said to provide a better foundation for noise and vibration suppression. Additional sound-deadening materials have also been used, including underfloor acoustic panels, acoustic glass, new exhaust mufflers and new door seals that better reduce wind and road noise.

New 19-inch tyres have higher sidewalls to improve ride comfort. The air suspension’s spring settings are significantly softer to improve ride comfort further and the anti-roll bars are softer to improve single-wheel impact absorption, while the suspension lever bushes are 25 per cent softer. In harder cornering, however, the spring stiffness is increased, to reduce heave, pitch and roll. drivers can select from four suspension settings.

Our Verdict

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is a vast and potent luxury car, but its refinement isn't good enough

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“We have put a big focus on comfort,” Bentley head of engineering Rolf Frech told Autocar. “We have looked at everything to reduce noise and ensure the cabin is as good a place to be as it can be.”

Inside, only the sun visors, grab handles, armrests and some front console and controls have been carried over from the outgoing car. The focus has been on improving comfort and sound isolation, especially in the rear seats, which can be adjusted in 14 different directions and are heated and cooled. The car is available in four-seat and five-seat configurations.

Bentley has also greatly improved the in-car technology on offer. Front seat occupants have an eight-inch touchscreen, through which they can control the sat-nav, Bluetooth and entertainment systems. Rear seat passengers can use a new remote control for all the car’s systems, from the climate controls to the entertainment systems.

Customers can also spec a connectivity unit that allows them to connect to the car’s onboard wi-fi and work using two 10-inch screens fitted to the backs of the front seats.

Click here for more Shanghai motor show 2013 news.

Join the debate


20 February 2013

Where's the ISO FIX points, this just isn't going to cut it as a family car!!!


20 February 2013

Don't Like the back of it, kinda has a whiff of Audi A7 about it. Could be just me though.

20 February 2013

I like it. It has more presence, however the rear end looks like it's trying to be more cutting edge and agressive, a departure from the understated elegance of the previous model.

20 February 2013

You're all being a bit negative, Bentley should be applauded for their extensive use of lightweight materials which has resulted in an astonishing 1.988071570576541% weight loss.

20 February 2013

... but no effort put into design. Just horrific.

20 February 2013

The new Bentley design language is starting to mature a bit, and this, along with the newest Conti looks really good I reckon. The old model never looked as expensive as it was, but this does. And the efforts to improve refinement and ride quality should move it closer to the RR Ghost experience.

6 March 2013

Nice to see that the registration number from my 1996 Turbo R has been put to good use.  They have generally improved the appearance from the current Flying Spur and not ruined it with the bulky rear quarters that are to be found on the Mulsanne. 


20 February 2013

I agree that the design language is more cohesive, however it seems a shame that VW doesn't use Bentley to showcase more modern drive trains. A hybrid system utilising the V8 and an electric motor would seem made for this (and the Continental), not that I suppose the potential owners (drivers or passengers?) really give a fig about that. Still it might help Bentley appear more relevant in today's world...... 

20 February 2013

"Ve haf procured das gut parten-usen die-sets for the rear Ende from der Maybach, as Mercedes no longer had need of these, Herr Doktor Marschz".

"Zer Gut, Herr Smitherz, zat will be a valuable Costen Saving and vill make ze neu modell even more attraktiv".

20 February 2013

i have to say i quite like the look of this. Better looking than the Mulsanne, which took some time getting used to

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