New Bentley Flying Spur. REVIEW. Dubai, UAE


Engine Power Torque 0-100kph Top speed Weight Basic price
W12 / twin-turbocharged / 5998cc 616bhp @ 6000rpm 590lb ft @ 2000rpm 4.6 secs 322kph 2475kg $217,800
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Naturally the big Bentley’s acceleration is pretty formidable, with ferocious pick-up when the loud pedal is stamped. Twin turbocharged oomph means there’s little lag, and the sense of speed is outstanding. Indeed, so keen is the W16 to keep going, that acceleration continues very briefly even when your foot is taken off the pedal. Significant developments to the ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox means shifts are achieved in under 200 milliseconds, offering further bean-giving capability. I still question the decision to mount the gearshift paddles/stalks on the steering column where only the tips of your fingers can reach them, but suffice to say the big luxury saloon can shift.

A newer, lighter and more rigid bodyshell may threaten to spoil the ride, with the high-strength steel/aluminium/polymer composite amalgamation offering greater rigidity than the previous gen Flying Spur. Thankfully though ride comfort is still ridiculously good, give or take the odd jostle over rougher asphalt. There’s limited road and wind noise, acoustic levels in the cabin broken only by the eight-speaker Naim audio system. In an ironic twist though, the wonderful dulcet tones of the W12 are almost completely muted, and only when you listen intently will you hear the warble on the overrun.

Another thing to mention is that my driving position is a little higher than ideal. While at first this is irksome (and results once or twice in knocking my head on the handle above the door frame), it also makes sense. Powerful and fast as the Flying Spur is, this is no hoon-mobile, and sitting lower would only encourage me to fling the saloon around by the scruff of its bumper. The steering for instance is light, albeit just heavy enough to keep a connection to the front wheels when barrelling along at eye-watering speeds. Through the corners, feedback is a little vague, the electric steering taking most of the hard work for itself and making it difficult to feel where the front wheels are. Through the tyres there’s an impressive amount of grip, though a 2475kg kerb weight and a high centre of gravity means there’s enough body roll to keep you from really nailing the W16 through the corners. Weight also plays an issue when braking, since bringing 2.5 tonnes of luxury car to a halt is hardly the work of a moment.

So, how does the new boy stack up? It’s luxurious, comfortable, well-stocked, handsome, fast and more manoeuvrable than a vehicle of its size has a right to be. Given the levels hit by its predecessor, it’s difficult to see the new Flying Spur as anything other than an evolution of the old model, and while that may sound a little negative, it’s certainly not intended to be. As a new addition to Bentley’s line-up, the Flying Spur is a superb and beautiful example that will surely rake in the dollars. Just don’t be surprised if the GT3 and the SUV grab the headlines as the lead contenders in Bentley’s new guard.

Enjoy our Bentley Flying Spur test drive?

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Bentley Flying Spur
Engine: W12 / twin-turbocharged / 5998cc
Power: 616bhp @ 6000rpm
Torque: 590lb ft @ 2000rpm
Transmission: ZF eight-speed automatic with Quickshift / Block Shifting / wheel-mounted paddleshift
Front suspension: Four link double wishbones / computer controlled self-levelling air suspension / anti-roll bar
Rear suspension: Trapezoidal multi-link / computer-controlled self-levelling air suspension / anti-roll bar
Brakes: Ventilated discs / 405mm (front) / 335mm (rear)
Wheels: 9.5J x 19-in front and rear
Tyres: 275/45 ZR19 front and rear
Weight (kerb) 2475kg
0-100kph: 4.6sec
Top speed: 322kph
Basic price: $217,800

Categories: Car Review


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