Having debuted both the initial W12 and the subsequent V8 versions of its redesigned Flying Spur at the Geneva Motor Show over the last two years, Bentley will complete the model line-up there this year. The new Flying Spur V8 S slots between the two existing models and is the sportiest of the three.
Bentley says the V8 S has been "tuned for power and performance" and delivers a "more focused, precise driving experience" than its siblings. Its engine sends 528 PS (521 hp) to the all-wheel-drive system, compared to the 507 PS (500 hp) of the plain V8. In addition, it produces 680 Nm (502 lb-ft) of torque from 1,700 rpm.
All of this means that the V8 S accelerates from to 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.9 seconds and tops out at 306 km/h (190 mph). Despite this, it has a range of 837 km (520 mi), as well as a reasonable fuel economy of 10.9 l/100 km (25.9 mpg).
Such figures, for a car that weighs 2,475 kg (5,451 lb) before any fuel, occupants or luggage are added, require some pretty serious engineering. Among the features that contribute to the engine's performance are high pressure direct injection, low friction bearings and advanced thermal management.
Its efficiency, meanwhile, is aided by tricks like energy recuperation and variable displacement, which shuts down four of the eight cylinders when cruising to reduce fuel consumption and brings them back online when when more power is requested. Elsewhere, new responsive suspension tuning is employed to improve handling.
Bentley says it's given the V8 S a "dramatic and purposeful" style to in line with the performance enhancements. There's a black radiator grille and rear diffuser, for example, as well as 20-inch open-spoke painted wheels. Inside, as you'd expect, the cabin is designed to be luxurious and spacious, with black wood veneers, but also a three-spoke sports steering wheel and gear shift paddles reflecting the car's sporty focus.
Customer deliveries of the V8 S are expected to begin in the middle of this year.