New Bentley Flying Spur
It gets a cleaner, more aggressive design that's sleeker than the car it replaces. The grille is more upright and the lower intake now spans the full width of the car, while a Bentley 'B'-style vent has been added to the front wings. The LED headlights and tail-lights incorporate LED daytime running lights.
The materials that have been used are lighter than those of the previous car. The bonnet and front wings are made of aluminium, while the bootlid is made from a composite polymer. Overall, the new Flying Spur is 50kg lighter than the first-generation car.
It is available in a wide range of colours and has 19-inch alloys that have been designed to improve ride comfort. The options list also offers 20- and 21-inch wheels.
Inside, buyers have the option of four- or five-seat layouts with all seats getting heating and ventilation as standard. The cabin is covered in hand-crafted leather and 10 square metres of wood veneer.
The Flying Spur comes with an eight-inch touch-screen, sat-nav, Bluetooth and voice control as standard. Options include the Bentley Connectivity Unit, which has 64GB of storage for music and videos. Rear-seat passengers get LCD screens to watch DVDs and a wireless remote to control audio and visual media, along with the sat-nav and temperature. Buyers can also choose a drinks cooler that fits behind the rear armrest.
The Flying Spur is powered by a 616bhp 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine that's mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox that completes gearchanges in 200 milliseconds. It covers the 0-60mph dash in 4.3 seconds and has a top speed of 200 mph. It is the most powerful four-door Bentley to date.
The Flying Spur comes with a four-wheel-drive system that transfers 60% of the power to the rear wheels and 40% to the front in normal driving. Depending on road conditions, up to 85% of the power can be transferred to the rear and 65% to the front.
The Flying Spur does an average of 19.2mpg and emits 343g/km of CO2.
The W12 will be the first version of the Flying Spur to appear, but is likely to be followed by a V8-powered model later on. This will produce around 500bhp and get from 0-60mph in around 5.0 seconds. The V8 car will offer improved fuel economy and a lower price and is expected to be shown at the Frankfurt motor show later in the year.
Bentley is also expected to release a plug-in hybrid version of the Flying Spur, but there is no word yet on pricing or on-sale date.
Prices of the Flying Spur will be released at the Geneva motor, show but expect a starting price of around £140,000. Bentley will open the order book at the Geneva show, with first UK deliveries from late summer - in time to compete with the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class.
By Matthew Burrow