Well, it’s big. And unimaginably luxurious. It’s a week since I drove our new Continental Flying Spur away from the Jack Barclay dealership in west London after a couple of hours of pre-ownership pampering – and 1000 miles have passed since – but I couldn’t remotely claim to have settled into any kind of a routine of Flying-B ownership.
You’ll be able to read the full story in the ‘Our Cars’ section of the magazine, but we’ll be running our ‘new’ Continental Flying Spur for six months as a very upmarket ‘nearly-new’ alternative to an S-Class or 7-Series.
Our Conti is already two-and-a-half years old, but has barely 13,000 miles showing. Rumour says it’s spent its previous life in the hands of the royal family, although the blokes at JB were to discreet as to actually name the names who travelled in the back – or occasionally slipped behind the wheel.
Our Flying Spur is pretty much identical to the car in which Andrew Frankel once broke the 200mph barrier in, four-up, around the Nardo test track in Italy – confirming that it’s the world’s quickest saloon.
The issue for us is whether the compromises necessary to keep a big saloon stable at nearly three miles a minute are reflected in the way the car drives in suburban London.
First impressions are overwhelmingly positive. The beautiful tan interior impresses everyone – and the enormous boot has to be the biggest on the market. The smooth start-up hum of the W12 turns every head within earshot, too – and fuel economy (up to 20mpg under gentle use) isn’t as disastrous as I had expected.
There’s more road-rumble than I’d expected, although I’m sure I’ll get used to it, and parking would be helped by the reversing camera that more modern luxury saloons get as standard.
But what a great way to spend half a year’s motoring…