Luxury Cars – Bentley’s Flying Spur Offers Ultimate Luxury on a Driver-Friendly Platform
It’s nice to see that the entire auto industry hasn’t given up on sedans. These days, “light trucks”—the category that includes pickups and SUVs—account for nearly three quarters of all new vehicle registrations in the U.S., so it’s not surprising automakers have pivoted. And, of course,
offers an SUV, the Bentayga, but it also fields exceptional sedans like the Flying Spur, all new for 2020.
The four-door 2020 Flying Spur tested is a 2020 First Edition model ($44,735 extra), which adds features including mood lighting, a special First Edition badge (interior and exterior), three-dimensional diamond leather door panels, and First Edition tread plates.
Mulliner Driving Specification, optional on other Flying Spurs, is standard on the First Edition. It includes unique 22-inch wheels, a rotating display (which flips to show gauges, navigation or plain piano-black veneer), diamond-quilted seats, leather headliner, sport throttle and brake pedals, leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, and jeweled gas and oil caps. The electronically deployed black gloss “Flying B” mascot, which rises up with wings that light up, is another $4,860 option. And the Blackline Specification (making the car more menacing by blacking out a lot of the chrome) adds another $4,735.
Only Bentley would allow an upgrade from a Bang & Olufsen infotainment system, but this car has it: an $8,800 2,200-watt, 19-speaker
for Bentley option. It sounded wonderful playing music off my phone, but the system is, of course, limited by the original quality of the MP3 file. A discreet CD player might be a nice feature, since the source material is far superior.
There’s also a raft of standard safety features, including traffic signal recognition, pedestrian warning, rear traffic warning, night vision, heads-up display, lane assist, and more. First Edition status probably won’t enormously enhance the value of the Flying Spur down the road, but perhaps paradoxically it will be worth more with the rarity factor if few people choose it.
Ordering this bespoke car is definitely an adventure, one that Bentley treats with proper dignity. And then it actually arrives and becomes a car you drive. Fast, if that’s your pleasure. It’s a highway car, built for fast road touring. The 2020 Flying Spur has fuel economy of just 15 miles per gallon combined (12 around town, 19 on the highway).
There was a period, the late ’50s and most of the ’60s, when Rolls and Bentley cars were stately chariots with somewhat dated mechanicals. But that’s long gone. The Flying Spur bristles with the latest technology, including three-chamber adaptive air suspension, all-wheel drive with rear steering, huge modern disc brakes, and four drive modes—comfort, sport, Bentley, and custom. There’s even Adaptive Valve Control, which gives the car a more appropriate performance-oriented sound palette in sport mode (and quiets things down for comfort).
The adaptive suspension smooths out rough roads, and the rear-wheel steering eases what would otherwise be a fairly wide turning circle. It’s a pity if the budget includes a chauffeur, because this car is a delight to drive, and drive hard. Really, since I’ve never had the pleasure of getting behind the wheel of an out-and-out racer such as the Speed Six Le Mans Replica of 1930, this is the sportiest Bentley I’ve driven. I soon relaxed behind the wheel, given the car’s eagerness and core Germanic competence.
The Flying Spur is supremely comfortable—this is its English side—with every possible amenity at the driver’s fingertips. Even rear-seat passengers can dial up a massage, lower window blinds, and control climate settings, infotainment, sunroof ,and the navigation systems via a screen and a remote. You will probably not want to take the Flying Spur off road, and it doesn’t have the cargo versatility of the Bentayga (capacity is just 14.8 cubic feet), but it will still be a better choice for many buyers in this class.
For 2021, the Flying Spur has a few new options, including bucket seats for the rear, with a full-length console, a new steering wheel design, and interior and trim options to add to the incredible selection that was already available. The 2020 offers 17 standard exterior colors, and another 60 as options.