2013 NYIAS Unveiled: Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley’s Flying Spur Makes North American Debut at New York International Auto Show

Aside from the chassis, Bentley has pretty much thrown everything from the old model in the trash — including part of the name. What was once the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is now the Bentley Flying Spur. This has been done to differentiate the new car as a luxury sedan from its Continental GT siblings.

The Continental Flying Spur has been around since 2005 and used a 6-liter W12 engine allied to a 6-speed ZF gearbox, similar to the drivetrain found in the Audi S8. The new model gets a revised version of the W12, but the new gearbox is an 8-speed ZF unit.

The engine produces 616 hp and 590 pound-feet of torque. That makes it the most powerful 4-door Bentley ever. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and its top speed is 200 mph. The Flying Spur gets four-wheel drive (don’t call it a quattro though), which is split 40:60 front to rear. It also returns 19 mpg.

The body and interior have been completely redesigned. The Flying Spur is a big car and the new bodywork hides its bulk somewhat. The lower door and shoulder creases work well to dispel the vast swathes of aluminum that make up its flanks, the tapered rear comes together nicely, and the front end is a very modern interpretation of how a Bentley should look.

The interior is opulent as only Bentley (and it’s divorcee Rolls Royce) can be, with four or five seat configurations; premium-quality leather using a softer, more durable hide than in the previous version; and individual heating to every seat.

In addition to its luxury interior, the Flying Spur features high-level technology, including an 8-inch touch screen interface, Bluetooth, voice-controlled infotainment, a top-spec Naim for Bentley stereo, a touch screen in the rear and in-car WiFi.

The Flying Spur is only 110 pounds lighter than the outgoing model (5450 pounds), but the suspension has been softened by 10 per cent at the front and 13 per cent at the rear — more in line with a luxury sedan than a GT. However, the rate of stiffness increase during hard cornering has been increased, which means it won’t roll through corners.

The Flying Spur comes with all the latest driver aids, including ESC, adaptive damping, variable assist steering and variable ride height. The entire car is lowered in two stages, at 121 mph and at 149 mph, in order to reduce drag.

The Bentley Flying Spur has a base price of $200,500. Order books are open now with arrivals to begin during the second quarter.