The Continental Flying Spur is still the grandaddy of luxury limousines.
Despite measuring 5.29m in length, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is the British brand’s ‘mini-limousine’.
The Continental Flying Spur is built off an extended version of the Continental GT platform and as such shares the Continental GT’s all-wheel-drive system and monstrous W12 twelve-cylinder twin-turbocharged petrol engine.
From the outside, the Continental Flying Spur is trademark Bentley and can be identified from a mile away. Flowing lines and chrome highlights offer individuality – as do the long list of colour options, starting at $8,465 for metallic colours and going all the way up to $74,824 for a personal commission liquid paint (your guess is as good as mine).
The options are merely a drop in the ocean when you consider the Bentley Continental Flying Spur’s $374,666 starting price.
Inside the cabin, the hand built Bentley does not fail to impress. The opulent interior is full of leather and wood, not to mention the finest quality carpet and a Breitling branded time piece. Leg and head room for rear passengers is exceptional and is the location most owners are expected to be seated.
Four-zone climate control, DVD player, satellite navigation, air suspension, power tailgate, bi-xenon headlights, an impressive twelve speaker sound system and electric seats with massaging are all standard features. Some of the notable options include lamb wool rugs, an 1100W Naim sound system, embroided leather headrests, television and solar panel sunroof.
The boot is fairly spacious, offering 475 litres of cargo capacity. The rear bench seat strictly accommodates two passengers, but a third can be squeezed into the centre seat for short trips.
Under the bonnet you will find a 6.0-litre twelve-cylinder twin-turbocharged W12 engine that produces 412kW and 650Nm of torque. The hulking engine moves the 2.52-tonne Bentley from 0-100km/h in just 5.2-seconds. But, expect a combined fuel consumption of 17L/100km – that’s enough to send even the richest man poor.
On the road, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur offers a smooth as silk ride that remains compliant and composed when lobbed into corners. Feeling through the steering wheel and brake pedal is as exceptional as you would expect from a $374,666 car. If you option for the 20” alloy wheels, ride quality is reduced by virtue of the low profile tyres.
Added traction courtesy of the all-wheel-drive system helps settle the rear end during cornering and offers an increased level of traction and stability. The all-wheel-drive system works perfectly in unison with the traction control and stability control to make the Continental Flying Spur feel like it corners on rails.
Competitors in this price bracket include the BMW 7 Series, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Aston Martin Rapide, Porsche Panamera, Audi A8 and Jaguar XJ.
Despite the Continental GT’s new twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the Continental Flying Spur probably won’t get the new engine until the next revision. It’s a shame, because the Continental Flying Spur is only really let down by a thirsty engine and heavy footprint (partly due to the W12’s weight).
But, if you’re after an individual vehicle that well and truly stands out from the crowd, it’s impossible to look past the beautiful Bentley Continental Flying Spur.