Details and images of the all-new Bentley Flying Spur have emerged ahead of the car’s world debut at next month’s 2013 Geneva Motor Show. It succeeds the original Continental Flying Spur the world first saw in 2005, but drops the Continental name to distance it from the marque’s two-door entry-level range.
Clearly more dynamic looking than before, the Flying Spur “combines traditional Bentley styling cues with a sporting stance and contemporary details,” says Crewe. It appears lower and wider, with prominent feature lines and a muscular rear haunch. The front fenders sport a new wing vent complete with a “B” motif.
Up front, a more upright chrome grille sits between the pairs of “jewel-like” LED headlamps. The outer lamps are the larger of the two, for a more conventional face than that of big brother Mulsanne. The lower intake is now full width with no vertical divisions.
At the back, there’s a longer and lower boot lid, horizontal single ellipse LED tail lamps, plus a new interpretation of the Bentley “Horse Shoe” feature line, now running the full width of the car.
Under the hood is Bentley’s 6.0 litre, twin-turbo W12 engine, coupled to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission. Developing 625 PS and 800 Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm, the new Flying Spur features more power than any other Bentley four-door in history. A 14% improvement in power-to-weight ratio over the outgoing model delivers a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time of just 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 322 km/h.
In modern Bentley tradition, power is delivered to the road via AWD with 40:60 rear-biased torque split. Weight savings in the body structure and throughout the car mean that the Flying Spur is 50 kg lighter than the original, despite additional refinement measures, enhanced spec and a stronger structure.
On the move, the computer-controlled air suspension is redesigned to maximise impact absorption and isolation. Compared to the outgoing car, spring rates are softened front and rear by 10% and 13% respectively for improved ride comfort in the normal operating region.
On the other hand, the rate of stiffness increase during harder cornering has been increased for improved control of heave, pitch and roll. Anti-roll bars are softened by 13% and 15% to improve single wheel impact absorption. Suspension lever bushes are softer by at least 25% for reduced road surface-induced NVH.
As the car approaches its top speed, ride height is automatically lowered to compensate for aerodynamic forces. This helps not only to improve vehicle stability, but also reduces drag, with benefits both to top speed and CO2 output. The lowering strategy is two-stage, first by 5 mm at the front and 10 mm at the rear at 195 km/h, then by a further 8 mm and 13 mm at 240 km/h.
Customers can choose from a range of 17 standard exterior paint colours including Dark Cashmere, a new addition. The extended paint range of over 100 colours is joined by Damson, inspired by the extremely rare purple diamond, and complemented by an optional matching hide colour. A new 19-inch Classic wheel is fitted exclusively to the Flying Spur, either bright-painted or with a diamond turned finish.
Not enough? Opt for the Mulliner Driving Specification, which includes five additional hides, expanding the number of available shades to 17, and five further wood veneers. Bentley’s traditional diamond quilting is incorporated to the seats and door panels, together with indented leather headlining and embroidered Bentley wings to the headrests.
Mulliner spec cars also come with drilled alloy pedals, a knurled sports gear lever, jewel filler cap and 21-inch two-piece five-spoke alloys in painted or polished finish. Take note, lotto winners.