The Bentley Continental Flying Spur is a four-door sedan version of the British auto manufacturer’s Bentley Continental GT performance luxury coupe. The Bentley Flying Spur was introduced at the Geneva Auto Show in 2005, and went into production in 2005 as a 2006 model year vehicle. It is manufactured at the Bentley Crewe assembly facility in Crewe, England, and is a competitor to the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The Bentley Flying Spur is a longitudinal front-engine vehicle. Because Bentley is controlled by the Volkswagen Group, the Bentley Continental and Flying Spur shared their platforms with the Volkswagen Phaeton luxury sedan, lending the short-lived VW model an element of prestige. The Flying Spur features a permanent four-wheel drive system. The drivetrain in the Bentley Flying Spur is a 6-liter W12 twin-turbo, paired to a six-speed Tiptronic automatic gearbox, capable of producing 552 horsepower to the brakes. The Bentley Flying Spur accelerates from 0-62 miles per hour in 5.2 seconds, and boasts a top speed of 194 miles per hour. The drivetrain is related to the Audi A8 and S8, thanks to Audi’s relationship with Bentley’s parent, Volkswagen.
Like other Bentley vehicles, the Flying Spur (and Continental) became known for high-quality luxury features. Every interior surface is finished in wood, leather or metal; an exception would be the lambswool carpeting offered in the top trim level. Buyers can order the Flying Spur with illuminated service trays and a backseat entertainment system mounted in the back of the front headrests. The driver’s seat features adjustable massage, thigh support and headrest height. Updates for the 2007 model year included a satellite navigation system, Bluetooth wireless integration, new exterior color options, and contrast stitching on the upholstery. The Flying Spur was updated again for 2009, and changes included a new, more vertical grille design, a new rear bumper design, insulated underbody lining, a retuned exhaust system, acoustic side window glass, updated suspension components, new alloy wheels, updated power steering, a fade-resistant carbon ceramic brake option, a radar-based adaptive cruise control option, a new premium stereo option, concealed auxiliary inputs, park distance control, updated interior upholstery options, two-tone exterior paint options, seat ventilation, and new backseat configurations. In addition to the creature comforts and new aesthetic touches, Bentley said that the revised computer and suspension on the Flying Spur increased its ability to handle lateral acceleration. The 2008 model year of the Flying Spur extracted another 50 horsepower from the drivetrain, bringing the total to 602 horsepower. The Flying Spur saw another round of updates for 2012, which premiered at the Paris Auto Show that year. The navigation system was improved and integrated with a new touchscreen information control system, a new driver information panel, and updated interior trim options.
Bentley unveiled an updated Flying Spur at the 2013 Geneva Auto Show. For the 2013 model year, Bentley dropped the “Continental” from the model’s name to differentiate the sedan and coupe, even though the two models continued to share a platform, mechanical components and other design and engineering resources. Bentley squeezed another 14 horsepower from the Flying Spur’s drivetrain and paired the engine to a new eight-speed automatic transmission. The aesthetics of the Flying Spur were updated as well. The car featured a lower and slightly more aggressive profile, thanks to a redesigned exterior and an upgraded suspension system, and the Flying Spur was seated on new 19-inch wheels (with 20-inch and 21-inch options available). A special edition, the Bentley Flying Spur W12 Mulliner, offers exclusive additional exterior and interior options, such as chrome trim, new exterior paint colors, five additional wood veneer trim options, special edition badging, diamond quilted seats and a knurled wood shift knob.