Passengers can manage temperature, massaging, and audio settings from a single interface.
This year, Bentley's flagship sedan - the majestic Mulsanne - bids farewell with no sign of a direct replacement. That means that the all-new Flying Spur takes over as the brand's sole ultra-luxury sedan, competing with Rolls-Royce and preserved for a well-heeled clientele that wouldn't be caught dead in something as commonplace as a Mercedes-Benz S-Class or BMW 7 Series.
Because Bentley model lines often stay on the market for many years - the outgoing Mulsanne was first unveiled back in 2009 - they often fall behind the pack in terms of technology, no matter how finely crafted their leather interiors are. Bearing this in mind, Bentley wants you to know that not only does the new Flying Spur uphold the marque's reputation for exceptional craftsmanship, but it's also loaded with thoroughly modern tech, most notably the new Touch Screen Remote (TSR) system for rear-seat occupants.
Deploying from the rear console, the remote has a five-inch screen and is a tactile delight like every other part of the cabin, being finished in polished metal and with diamond knurling. Using the remote, occupants can adjust the 14-way power-adjustable backrest/cushion, seat heating and ventilation, massaging, and even the heating of the armrests. The standard four-zone climate control system affords two rear passengers their own climate zone - this can also be managed via the remote. Haptic feedback is incorporated to make the system more intuitive to operate.
It doesn't end there, of course. TSR is also linked to features like the panoramic sunroof, the powered blinds, and the ambient lighting. The available 18-speaker Naim for Bentley audio system has 2,200 watts of punch and, whether you want to torture your chauffeur with some classical Mozart or something more appropriate like 'U Can't Touch This' by MC Hammer, it's all easily done with TSR.
Of course, this level of rear-seat control isn't new to luxury sedans. BMW and Mercedes-Benz have had this functionality in their flagship sedans for a few years now. But until now, Bentley hasn't had a thoroughly fresh sedan offering to do the same. And it's made all the more special when you're sitting in the magnificently crafted Flying Spur's cabin, where everything feels a cut above even an S-Class.
As a final flourish, TSR can also be used to retract or deploy the famous Flying B mascot on the hood whenever you're in the mood. Why you'd need to do this remains a mystery, but like so many other aspects of the Flying Spur (not least the price), one doesn't ask why - just sit back and soak it all up.