When an Audi A8 simply isn't good enough.
Back in 2017, Bentley revealed its redesigned Continental GT coupe. Its convertible sibling came a year later. Today, the circle is now complete as Bentley has taken the sheets off the uber-luxurious sedan variant, the 2020 Flying Spur. Like its predecessor, the new Flying Spur is aimed directly at buyers who desire the ultimate grand touring experience the Audi A8 cannot provide them with. Now in its third generation, the Flying Spur is slightly longer than its immediate predecessor and its wheelbase has been lengthened by 5.1 inches for improved legroom for rear seat passengers.
At first glance, the new Flying Spur may look an awful lot like the previous generation, but Bentley insists it's an all-new design. Like the Continental GT, the exterior lines are sleeker, more muscular, and more refined. It's a signature design language that's been augmented. The 2020 Flying Spur receives LED matrix headlights featuring a cut-crystal effect with chrome surrounds and "B" motifs.
Big 21-inch wheels are standard but Mulliner also offers optional 22-inch rims – the largest ever offered on a Flying Spur. For an additional cost, there's also a massive, glass-to-glass panoramic roof available featuring an electronically tilting front panel that slides rearwards over the top of the fixed back panel. For the first time ever on a new Bentley, the "Flying B" mascot statue is retractable. Also take note of the gloss black radiator matrix featuring bright chrome surround and vertical vanes that are a direct tribute to the 1957 S1 Continental Flying Spur. Bentley says the standard exterior paint colors has been extended to a class-leading 17 options. The lower front grille can be finished in either black or bright chrome.
Step inside and you'll experience Bentley's finest handcrafted cabin to date. For starters, there's an incredible 15 hide colors for the seats, an industry-first three-dimensional diamond quilted leather on the door cards, and several veneer options, such as piano black and wood. There is even a dual veneer option for additional customization.
A large 12.3-inch touchscreen adorns the dashboard which, like in the Continental GT, can be completely hidden behind the veneer. Analog dials can also be made visible, featuring a chronometer, compass, and outside temperature gauge. A 10-speaker sound system comes standard but this can be upgraded to a 16-speaker, 1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen unit. If that's still not good enough, there's even a 19-speaker, 2,200-watt Naim system with active bass transducers built into the front seats.
And then there's the twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 resting under the hood. Producing a total of 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque – just like in the Bentayga Speed – power is directed to all four wheels through an eight-seed dual-clutch transmission. Bentley claims a 0-62 mph time of only 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 207 mph, which is extremely impressive for a vehicle that weighs a porky 5,368 pounds.
Bentley says the Flying Spur is sportier than before thanks to improved weight distribution and all-wheel steering, a first for a Bentley vehicle. The all-wheel steering system steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels, which Bentley says has the effect of shortening the wheelbase, thus reducing the turning circle, increasing agility, and making parking easier than before.
While the previous Flying Spur sported a 60:40 power split, the new model boasts a clutched system which delivers two-wheel drive to the rear axle. Depending on road conditions, the system automatically sends power to the front axle when deemed necessary. Think of it as an active all-wheel-drive system. This results in improved turn-in response and the near elimination of understeer. Thanks to the suspension's three-chamber air springs with 60 percent more air volume than before and various tweaks to the dampers, the new Flying Spur promises an even smoother ride than before. It also shares the Continental GT's 420-mm front disc brakes for incredible stopping power.
Bentley didn't release official pricing but says orders for the 2020 Flying Spur will begin this fall and the first customer deliveries will get underway early next year.