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Bentley Kuala Lumpur has just pulled the covers off the new RM1.8 million (before options), 322 km/h Bentley Flying Spur in Kuala Lumpur recently. This very high-end offering from the iconic, one-time proud and proper English motoring house (they’re under the Volkswagen group now) made its debut in Geneva only in March this year, and the name is about the only thing that remains unchanged on this sleek four-door saloon.

The clue to the changes is in the dropping of the Continental name, denoting a model in its own right rather than a four-door version of the Continental GT coupe. So, the fastest and most powerful four-door Bentley has its own unique set of tricks. Under the bonnet is a development of the 6.0 litre W12 engine used in last year’s Continental GT Speed, but tuned for torque and quieter performance.

Power stands at 616 hp and there’s 800 Nm of torque, all helping to make this the fastest Bentley saloon ever, even though it weighs a massive 2,475 kg! Even with all the bulk, it gets to 100 km/h from standstill in just 4.3 seconds, all the way to a 322 km/h top speed.

Of course, laying all that power to the tarmac is a 40:60 rear-biased all-wheel drive system. Bentley claims it is also one of the most economical models in its class, achieving an EU Combined consumption figure of 6.7 km per litre and CO2 emissions of 343 g/km. This is in part due to the latest ZF eight-speed transmission, which replaces the old six-speed unit.

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Fine performance does sometimes comes across as harsh in nature so noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) have been subdued to a bare minimum by means of a new slippery and more aerodynamic exterior design offering better insulation all around, and an upgraded computer-controlled self-levelling suspension system.

The outgoing Flying Spur, launched in 2005, is the most successful four-door in Bentley’s history, with 22,000 units sold in seven years. But it was also something of an accidental success. “The first Flying Spur was a four-door GT,” said Katya Zavialova, Bentley’s Dealer Marketing Manager for the Asia Pacific region at the launch, “it was never intended to be a limousine, but its owners defined that role.”

Zavalova goes on to say that American and Chinese customers (the latter take 50% of the outgoing model’s production), bought most Flying Spurs and it is for them that the new car has been designed. “This [new] car is a limousine,” says Paul Williams, Bentley’s powertrain director, “and that’s what the customer always wanted.”

The most dramatic change is the shape of the aluminium and steel coachwork, which is far more sporting and dynamic even though the new car is only marginally longer and actually higher than its predecessor. The bonnet line has been changed, with the larger of the twin headlamps moved to the outside of the body. The wheelbase is longer and the rear side windows are reshaped to give the impression of a longer cabin and a lower boot line.

Things continue to look up for rear passengers, who now have a new Touch Screen Remote (TSR), which allows them to control a variety of different car systems from climate controls to multimedia devices. The cabin is virtually all new, with more than 600 new parts and, while the traditional Bentley mix of wood veneers and soft leathers is still present, there’s a new seat design and a wraparound shape to the dashboard where it meets the doors.

There are also two 10-inch LCD screens installed into the backs of the front seats. But of course, as with most things that costs an arm and a leg, customisation opportunities are abound. There’s a whole lot more that can be fitted to your Bentley Flying Spur – and we could go on for days about it.

So once you’ve called up your finance department to okay some splurging, why not get in touch with Bentley Kuala Lumpur for the substantial list of individual customisation options? The quoted RM1.8 million price is just a starting point of course, and with a few extras it would go well past the two million barrier.