Not everyone wants the W12.
The Bentley Flying Spur has been around since 2005 and the third-generation model debuted for the 2020 model year. Like before, it came powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12, albeit with a total of 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque on tap. But that big engine is a heavy lump of metal, a fact Bentley is well aware of, hence last month's reveal of the 2021 Flying Spur V8. With 542 hp and 568 lb-ft on tap, it may be a bit slower than its W12 sibling, but it weighs 220 pounds less. That fact alone is a huge attraction for many because it offers improved weight distribution and better overall agility.
Today, Bentley has announced Flying Spur 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 production is officially underway. The automaker says each car requires over 100 hours to build across 84 individual assembly stages.
This is no ordinary production process. For example, it takes 141 people using nearly two miles worth of thread to create the car's 350 unique leather pieces that combine to form the 60 components for the interior. Bentley also reiterates its factory remains at 100 percent capacity thanks to strict Covid-19 protocols to keep all employees safe and healthy.
Like the W12 model, the V8 Flying Spur has an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission sending power to all four wheels. Zero to 60 mph happens in 4 seconds flat and cruises to a top speed of 198 mph. To compare, the W12 reaches 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and can hit a top speed of 207 mph. That isn't a major difference as some drivers favor weight loss over outright speed.
Bentley says that over the past decade a growing number of owners prefer to drive themselves, rather than use a chauffeur. Flying Spur V8 customers can also equip their cars with the company's 48-volt electric drive anti-roll technology and an all-wheel steer system. The V8 can also turn off four of its eight cylinders when no more than 173 lb-ft of torque is needed and the engine drops below 3,000 rpm.
That might be convenient for saving fuel money, but it's not like Bentley customers are worried about money. The 2021 Flying Spur begins at $198,725 including destination.