It depends on what you want from a luxury limo.
Dating all the way back to when it still wore a Continental badge, the Flying Spur has always been one of Bentley's lesser-known models. Sales of the Flying Spur have been dwindling for years, but Bentley has just revealed an all-new 2020 model that will look to revitalize the model's popularity.
With its new updates, the Flying Spur is a compelling alternative to another uber-luxury rival, the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Rolls-Royce is currently working on an all-new Ghost, which will reportedly be lighter and include all-wheel drive, but it's still interesting to see how the two cars stack up against each other in 2019.
Bentley still hasn't released pricing for the 2020 Flying Spur, though you can have fun configuring one online. Assuming pricing stays close to the outgoing 2018 model, the W12-powered Flying Spur should start at around $225,000. If Bentley decides to offer a new V8 model, the price could go as low as around $190,000. In either circumstance, the Bentley is far less expensive than the Rolls-Royce Ghost, which starts at $311,900.
With a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W12 engine under the hood, the Flying Spur produces 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque going out to all-wheel-drive through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The AWD grip aids the car in its 0-60 mph sprint, which takes a scant 3.8 seconds. Top speed is a dizzying 207 mph.
Rolls-Royce is far less concerned with how its cars perform in a straight line but if you do feel the urge to mash the pedal in the Ghost, you'll hit 60 mph in under five seconds with its 6.6-liter twin-turbo V12 developing 563 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. Bentley is far more concerned with traditional performance while Rolls-Royce wants to make the car as comfortable as possible. Since no one has driven the Bentley yet, it is tough to say how comfortable it is compared to the Rolls-Royce. But because luxury is equally important for this type of car, the Ghost gets a bonus point for ride comfort.
When it comes to visual styling it's difficult to find fault with either car. Bentley hit a home run with the refreshed designed Flying Spur but the Ghost has always looked more imposing in person than its fellow UK rival. Rolls-Royce cars all have a similar, flashy style and the Ghost is no exception. The massive grille begs for attention and the Spirit of Ecstasy hood ornament oozes class.
Bentley has tried to mimic the opulence of the Rolls with its own Flying B hood ornament, which is flashy in its own right. The Flying Spur's new grille design is as menacing as the Ghost's and the car's body lines look more athletic than the softer Rolls-Royce design. Rolls sell the Ghost with optional 21-inch wheels but Bentley is now offering 22-inch wheels on the Flying Spur.
Both interiors are among the best in the world in terms of materials and finish but there is a major difference between the two: technology. Rolls-Royce never seems concerned with including the most up-to-date technology in its vehicles and as a result, still uses an older version of BMW's iDrive. The new Flying Spur, on the other hand, uses a new interface taken directly from the Continental GT. Bentley has also offered the fabulous rotating display, which can switch between a wood panel, analog gauges, or the infotainment screen at the press of a button.
When paying over $250,000 for a luxury sedan, there's a strong possibility the owner will want to be chauffeured around in the back seat rather than sitting behind the wheel. The Bentley offers a nice little touchscreen to control various functions of the car and there is an option to get dual screens on the seatbacks. But the Flying Spur's back seat pales in comparison to the Ghost's with optional amenities such as folding tray tables, lambswool carpets, power-operated screens, mini refrigerators, and built-in umbrellas.
The Bentley Flying Spur appears to be the superior car, on paper at least. However, an all-new Ghost is on the way and could even the playing field. Choosing between these two cars isn't easy as they each offer a different flavor of luxury. Bentley builds a more sporty luxury car while Rolls-Royce dedicates maximum effort to make the car as comfortable as possible.