Luxury car maker Bentley has celebrated its centenary by launching the “world’s most advanced luxury Grand Touring saloon”: the new Flying Spur.
The third-generation Flying Spur is designed to blend sports sedan agility and modern limo refinement, according to the manufacturer.
It has been developed in part to mark the anniversary of 100 years when August 1919 when Walter Owen Bentley registered Bentley Motors Ltd with his brother Horace.
Bentley’s engineers at Crewe where - like all Bentleys - the car is hand-crafted and built, have completely redesigned the Flying Spur.
It is in essence the four-door, saloon version of the more driver-focussed two-door Bentley Continental GT sports model.
To this end, the cabin has been carried over from the Continental GS, so most of the innovations are on the outside, under the bonnet or involve technology.
For instance, the Flying Spur gets All-Wheel Steering, a first on a Bentley, and a retractable "Flying B" bonnet mascot, another Bentley first.
The design language is new for the Flying Spur, with muscular but still elegant proportions, the brand’s latest generation of unique, cut-crystal effect LED matrix headlamps - now enhanced by chrome sleeves - and new wrap-around rear lamps with ‘B’ motifs.
Huge new 22-inch wheel designs are also specced to show off the new Flying Spur’s “unique personality and prowess”.
The manufacturer says the Flying Spur is the “most advanced luxury Grand Touring sedan available today” and that it boasts a host of cutting-edge technologies thanks to its “totally new and advanced aluminium and composite chassis and 48V electronic architecture”.
An Electronic All-Wheel Steering is coupled with Active All-Wheel Drive and Bentley Dynamic Ride with new three-chamber air springs to deliver enhanced suspension adjustment options.
At the heart of the new Flying Spur is an enhanced version of Bentley’s 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine, mated to a dual-clutch eight-speed transmission said to deliver faster, smoother gear changes.
This new TSI engine delivers 626 bhp of power and 900 Nm of torque. The car will do the sprint from 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds before cruising on to a top speed of 207mph.
A 130mm longer wheelbase gives the (already roomy) car even more space, and there’s a huge 12.3-inch touchscreen at the centre of the dash (there’s a remote control for rear passengers).
If a touchscreen isn’t to your taste, you can replace it with a plain wooden veneer or analogue dials.
Talking of wood, the new Flying Spur has an extensive list of Single and Dual Veneer wood options, plus new fluted leather seating and the unique Mulliner Driving Specification diamond quilting on the seats.
Bentley is also boasting of an automotive world-first: “three-dimensional diamond quilted” leather door inserts.
Bentley boss Adrian Hallmark said: “As with the launch of the Continental GT, the new Flying Spur is a ground-up development that pushes the boundaries of both technology and craftsmanship to deliver segment-defining levels of performance and refinement.”
The new Flying Spur is available to order in the autumn for delivery in early 2020.