Open the Flying Spur's large and weighty door with its leathered side and capping of wood, and settle down into the large driving seat and all the Bentley's flaws are forgiven. The expanse of wood and leather – so much hide that you might feel guilty at the number of cows that have sacrificed their skin for your comfort – create an interior with an emotional reach far beyond that of its Teutonic rivals.
Wood, leather, chrome and old English charm may not be the latest in design sophistication, but when it’s done to a standard such as this, few themes can match its sense of occasion.
Look closer and you’ll notice the profusion of switches and control knobs (a slightly less English trait), and feel the rather hard and brittle black plastic that most of the buttons are made from – unfortunately this is Volkswagen parts bin engineering when Audi do it much better. But you can’t fault the overall effect, which feels like you’re sitting on the flight deck of a 1960’s British airliner from the early jet age.
In fact, where you really want to be is back down the cabin in one of the two rear chairs (the Flying Spur is strictly a four seater). These electrically powered seats that recline and adjust are separated by a long strip of wood veneer that houses individual climate control, electric seat buttons and their heating and cooling.
There is a fantastic sense of space and luxury back here, especially when the front passenger seat is sent forward, as the nearside rear passenger has the power to do from his control panel.