First and foremost, we were looking for outstanding isolation from the outside world and beautiful rolling comfort here.
A passenger in the back of the Flying Spur should be able to do whatever takes his fancy – repose, reflect, video call, shop online, watch a film or similar – and travel 200 miles in a bubble of opulence, without ever suddenly being made aware that he’s moving. Dynamic poise and driver involvement matter, but not nearly as much.
The last Spur satisfied that primary requirement well enough, and this one does it even better – although it still isn’t quite the last word in refinement. The car glides along unperturbed 95 per cent of the time.
Bentley's air suspension deals with most UK surfaces very well. Low-frequency lumps and dips are soothed away so smoothly that you’d barely know they were there. The damping isn’t quite clever enough to deliver a perfectly flat body at the same time, but the primary ride still feels nicely resolved in the softest settings on that air suspension set-up. And there are, of course, firmer settings if you want a more tied-down feel.
But then there’s the remaining five per cent of your journey – when sharp, broken surfaces begin to dismantle the cabin’s aura of calm. Particularly bad surfaces upset this car – simple as that. There are plenty of air-sprung alternatives – from Range Rovers to Rolls-Royces – with far better outright shock absorption.
There’s one caveat, though: we've only tested one fitted with Bentley’s optional 21-inch alloy wheels. The Flying Spur is now offered with 20-inch rims with more compliant tyre sidewalls as standard, which may address some of the criticisms about its ride.