It’s very hard to fault a cabin that’s as lavish and tactile as the Flying Spur’s. Owners of the Continental Flying Spur may expect a more obvious architectural reappraisal in here than they’ll actually find, but Bentley insists that it has changed 600 individual pieces of cabin trim.
It would also probably point out that super-luxury saloons are design classics, like tailored suits and fine timepieces. As such, they don’t need the major design overhauls from generation to generation that you see in volume cars. Hmm.
True or not, we’ll let that ride, if only because there’s so little wrong with the Flying Spur’s cockpit anyway. For a machine so large, there certainly ought to be a touch more front headroom, more reach adjustment on the steering column and a lower driving position available for those who’d prefer one. That apart, the news is all good. In some departments, it’s quite wonderful.
The wide front seats are beautifully stitched, tastefully coloured and very comfortable – as well as heated, ventilated and massaging in the case of our test car’s. The steering wheel is very large by modern standards and requires plenty of arm-twirling, but a smaller three-spoker is an option.
The column-mounted indicator wands and gearshift paddles are a little too close for instinctive, idiot-proof operation. But you get used to them, in time.
Overarching everything is the sheer material substance and sumptuousness of this environment, which looks and feels hugely special. It’s also underpinned by Bentley’s familiar authenticity and hand-assembled attention to detail. The 2015 facelift saw a number of light updates to the interior, chief among which, was modern graphics for the infotainment and instrument cluster, and the inclusion of a wi-fi hotspot.
So the walnut burr veneer really is made of almost 10 square metres of tree, and if you don’t like it, there are six other real veneers you can have. Meanwhile, a thin layer of foam is blanketed under every leather-upholstered surface, just to add pleasing softness to the touch.
Earlier this year the Flying Spur range was increased to include a third model - the V8 S - which gains an extra 21bhp over the base V8 Flying Spur and gained sportier details inside and out, including 20in alloys, a rear diffuser, piano black veneer dashboard and a three-spoke sports steering wheel.