New Bentley Flying Spur set for Geneva debut
Spurious Bentlivius, latin for a large flying machine of bespoke origin, Bentley’s Flying Spur has been one of those top shelf luxury items reserved for those of Grey Poupon-loving origins. Famous for its old world mix of natural materials and current day performance technology, the British marque is set to debut its new Flying Spur at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
The new Spur’s signature rear-haunch lines bracket a rakish rear window that rises subtly before trailing off. It's difficult to tag a car like this as "sporty" – best to work off an "aggressively styled" aesthetic superlative. Sharp feature lines characteristic from the most beloved GT are recognizable across the front of the Spur, carrying over seamlessly to the B-pillar, where they break down and become their own signature elements.
The Spur’s body elements are configured of a steel monocoque, super-formed aluminum front fenders, aluminum hood, and composite boot-lid with integrated antennae. The new design sports a lower, wider stance, lower roof line, sharper accent lines and deeply sculpted panels. Most notable from the rear corners, the car's precise feature lines and muscular rear haunches all conjoin as one to give the Flying Spur a more aggressive and powerfully dynamic stance. Front fenders feature a new wing vent complete with the signature Bentley “B," which may or may not stand for big or bespoke, or both.
As expected, inside the Spurious it gets all blinged-up. Bentley’s interior designers – yes they have their own interior designers – have created a land yacht environ of stereotypical wood veneers and hand-crafted leathers. Leathers are derived from bespoke English cattle fed a strict diet of Grey Poupon, Belvedere and Tuscan breads.
Crafted entirely by hand, clear-lacquered and cured for 72 hours, the Spur’s ten square meters (32.8 sq.ft) of sustainably sourced woods offers a range of seven veneers as an option. Two are offered as standard fare; burr walnut or dark fiddleback eucalyptus. Yes Fiddleback Eucalyptus.
Rear passengers are treated to individual temperature controls, acres more of fine hand-crafted leather, dedicated entertainment suite and a new hand-held touch screen remote allowing those in the back to control an array of individual features.
Two 10-inch LCD screens are installed on the headrests of the front seats, while top-loading multimedia players sit in pockets fitted beneath. Passengers can then upload and enjoy video, photo, and the latest Katy Perry album from a variety of media, including; DVDs, SD cards, USB devices, iPods, iPads, and HDMI devices.
The aural experience wouldn’t be complete without an 8-channel, 8-speaker audio system with Balanced Mode Radiators. An 1,100 W Naim premium audio system for Bentley is also available as an option.
Light and fluffy the Spur is not, nor is it designed as such. Actually the term flying is almost an oxymoron in this instance given the car's three ton plus weigh-in figures. Hitting the scales at a British portly 2,972 kg (6,546 lbs), the Spur needs all the engineering assistance it can get to keep from succumbing under its own weight.
Thankfully Bentley’s shared and proven Audi-derived 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 powertrain, tied to a ZF eight-speed transmission brings about a very much welcome 616 HP and 590 lb. ft of torque to the big 19-inch 265/45 ZR20-rated rubber bits. This new iteration delivers a 14 percent power to weight ratio improvement over the previous model.
Weight management is kept in check via Bentley’s permanent all wheel drive system. A 40:60 rear-biased torque split works to keep the Spur in check under slick road going conditions, while also ensuring optimal performance characteristics.
On the actual performance side of things Bentley is proud to report the Spur hammering the sub-five-second mark with a 0-60 mph (100 km/h) time of only 4.3 seconds. Getting to 100 mph (160 km/h) happens in only 9.5 seconds. Late for lunch in the Hamptons, the Flying Spur will get you there at 200 mph (320 km/h) with the assistance of automated ride height control. A four-position suspension setup is in place to optimize the ride comfort vs performance as needed.
Mileage on the other hand is not so eco-awesome, but appropriate given the massive context of the situation. Bentley reports 12.6 mpg (22.4 liters/100 km) in the city and in the country (what Bentley calls "extra urban") it delivers mileage figures of 27.8 mpg (10.2 liters/100 km). A green investment the car is not.
Presented as the ultimate luxury-performance sedan, the new Flying Spur is set to bring with it more comfort, more refinement in the fastest four-door Bentley to date.
Price to be announced at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next month.