SPYSHOTS: Bentley Flying Spur Speed to go hybrid?

With a new generation of Bentley Continental GT and its contemporary Flying Spur four-door sibling, an even higher performance Speed variant follows, and so the case remains with Crewe’s latest iteration of its limousine. This time around, however, it appears that speed won’t be derived from a twin-turbocharged 6.0 litre W12 as before, as there appears to be an additional ‘filler’ flap on the left rear fender.

A plug-in hybrid powertrain from the wider Volkswagen Group inventory will certainly deliver the goods in terms of performance, as luxury electrification comes in the guise of a 4.0 litre twin-turbocharged V8 mated to a 136 hp electric motor for a total system output of 680 PS and 900 Nm of torque, as delivered in the Cayenne Turbo S E-Hybrid. All in, expect the Speed to improve upon the 333 km/h top speed and 3.8-second 0-100 km/h figures of the Flying Spur.

In the more potent Cayenne state of tune, this engine offers 45 PS more than the W12-powered Bentayga Speed and the ‘regular’ Flying Spur, with an identical peak torque figure. Assuming this powertrain does take over Speed duties from its W12-powered predecessor, this is reflected in the rear bumper as well, where the development car’s quad oval exhaust outlets are located.

SPYSHOTS: Bentley Flying Spur Speed to go hybrid?

Previous 12-cylinder Speed variants wore one oval outlet on each side, as with the Continental GT Speed test mule sighted in September 2018. The V8 versions have been distinguished with quad tailpipes finishers, be they a Continental GT, Flying Spur or Bentayga. Of course, prior to its offical debut, visual details may yet change.

Beyond the V8 biturbo plug-in hybrid powertrain and eight-speed automatic transmission, the more potent Flying Spur can be expected to receive its own calibration for its AWD, rear-wheel steering and Bentley Dynamic Ride systems that controls the three-chamber air suspension, as befitting its Speed label.

The Crewe luxury carmaker may also take the opportunity to give this electrically augmented Flying Spur a host of updates to its interior, possibly with Speed variant-specific trim elements. Overall, the exterior of the Flying Spur Speed appears production-ready, if virtually unchanged from that of the regular car, and should be approaching readiness for a debut later this year.