Even more special than usual.
The all-new 2020 Bentley Flying Spur entered production in late-2019 and in the process became the company's flagship model. Less than one year later, the Flying Spur just hit an impressive milestone, with Bentley building the 40,000th example since the model's launch back in 2005. First known as the Continental Flying Spur, the current third-generation model takes over for the discontinued Mulsanne at the top of Bentley's lineup.
All three generations of the Flying Spur were designed and built at Bentley's home in Crewe, UK. Each car requires more than 100 hours of assembly from a 250-person team, who build each car by hand. Once completed, the team performs hundreds of quality checks before shipping to one of the 68 different countries that Bentley operates in.
Of the 40,000 Flying Spurs produced in the past 15 years, a whopping 50 percent of them were commissioned (split evenly between the two) in Bentley's two largest markets, the United States and China. Around ten percent of Flying Spurs ended up in Bentley's home market, the UK, while the remaining 40 percent went to Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific.
Though the Flying Spur as we know it dates back to 2005, the name was first used in 1952 when Chief Designer J.P. Blatchley, and engineer Ivan Evernden set out to build a new flagship Grand Touring model. The two introduced the R-Type Continental coupe with bodywork from H.J. Mulliner, which later morphed into the S1 coupe. Bentley eventually built a faster Continental version using lighter coachbuilt bodies.
Following the success of the S1 coupe, H.J. Mulliner believed there could be a small market for a coachbuilt four-door version of the S1 Continental as an alternative to Bentley's factory four-door model. His creation was named the S1 Continental Flying Spur by the company's managing director, Arthur Talbot Johnstone. The name came from the coat of arms for the Clan Johnstone of the Scottish Borders and even used the family's mascot on the grille.
Bentley built just 217 examples of the original S1 Continental Flying Spur. The company eventually revived the 'Flying Spur' name in 2005 for the four-door version of the Continental GT coupe as a fitting homage to the origins of the S1.