Unless you’ve had an atrocious past that should be buried for good and never mentioned again, throwbacks are really pleasant things. You don the rose tinted glasses and think of the good old days; as bonus, the relic, person or memory doubles up as a marker to show how far you’ve come.

The carmakers are like us too – they love these “through the generations” displays when debuting a new model, more so if the car in question has a long and proud lineage. BMW Malaysia, for one, never fails to bring the old metal out for launches of core models.

Here, Bentley Kuala Lumpur gathered two previous Flying Spurs to welcome the new one at its Jalan Pinang KLCC showroom. It was an open invitation for a gallery post, so here you go.

Bentley’s entry limo (only if you compare it with the super luxe Mulsanne) is now called the Flying Spur, but it first surfaced as the Continental Flying Spur in 2005 – the new model’s roots spelled out clearly in the name. The first-generation FS was a spinoff of the original Continental GT that changed the game for Bentley in 2003. The first FS’ design also made it clear that it was a sedan sister to the Conti GT.

Still handsome, the 2005-2012 Continental Flying Spur was powered by a 6.0 litre W12 engine shared with the Volkswagen Phaeton. Here, the twin-turbo 12-pot – paired to a ZF six-speed automatic – made 560 PS and 650 Nm of torque, good enough for a 0-100 km/h time of 5.2 seconds and a top speed of 312 km/h.

Crewe also gave the model a Speed version (2008 onwards, 610 PS and 750 Nm) as well as the Series 51 focusing on design. The latter offered a three-tone cabin.

The template was successful enough for a sequel, and the second-generation Flying Spur came along in 2013. This time, there was no Continental in the name, so the saloon was free forge its own, more luxurious path. Still based on the Volkswagen Group’s D1 platform, the length and wheelbase (5,299 and 3,066 mm respectively) remained almost the same, but it’s noticeably wider, the shape more organic and less upright, in contrast with the more vertical grille.

While the original FS looks its age today, the just-replaced model still appears very contemporary and we suspect that some might even prefer its “grander” look over today’s car. The example you see here wears a tasteful two-tone brown suit and its cabin is “very Bentley” with the continuation of the twin-cowl dashboard. Lots of quilted leather and wood too, of course.

It continued to have a 6.0L W12 heart, now with 625 PS and 800 Nm. In 2014, Bentley offered a V8 engine in the Flying Spur for the first time; also boosted by two turbos, it made 507 PS and 660 Nm of torque. In 2016, S models boosted the W12 to 635 PS/820 Nm and the V8 to 528 PS/680 Nm. All second-gen cars came with a ZF eight-speed auto with steering shift paddles.

Fast forward to 2020 and we now have the third-generation Flying Spur. Totally unrelated to the previous car, today’s saloon sits on an all new platform (the Volkswagen Group MSB platform also underpins the current Continental GT and Porsche Panamera). The overall length of 5,316 mm is slightly up, but the 3,194 mm wheelbase is a full 130 mm longer, which means shorter overhangs. The latter is just one of the many more sporting design details. There’s also a new Blackline pack that swaps out all chrome trim for black.

It’s not just the new proportions and appearance that are more dynamic, Bentley is calling the latest FS a “super-luxury sports sedan”, for the affluent man who – besides needing a limo to be driven in – likes a spot of driving himself when the opportunity arises.

The latest 6.0L W12 makes 635 PS and 900 Nm, propelling the 2,437 kg limo to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds. Top speed is a heady 333 km/h.

The supercar speed is supported by new tech such as active all-wheel-drive, all-wheel steering, three-chamber air springs and the Bentley Dynamic Ride electric anti-roll system. New novelties include the cool rotating central display, detachable touchscreen remote control and retractable Flying B mascot. Lots of new leather techniques used here, too.

More on the third-generation Bentley Flying Spur – now in Malaysia and priced from RM840k before tax – here.

GALLERY: First generation Bentley Continental Flying Spur, 2005-2012


GALLERY: Second generation Bentley Flying Spur, 2013-2018

GALLERY: Third generation Bentley Flying Spur, 2019 onwards