Another flying start

The Bentley Flying Spur will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, with deliveries beginning from the first quarter of next year.
The Bentley Flying Spur will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, with deliveries beginning from the first quarter of next year.PHOTOS: BENTLEY MOTOR CARS
The Bentley Flying Spur will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, with deliveries beginning from the first quarter of next year.
The Bentley Flying Spur will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, with deliveries beginning from the first quarter of next year.PHOTOS: BENTLEY MOTOR CARS

Bentley's third-generation Flying Spur is based on Volkswagen Group's modular MSB architecture.

The luxury sedan is just 5mm longer than its predecessor at 5,304mm, but its wheelbase has been stretched by 130mm to 3,195mm, creating more rear legroom and stability at speed.

It is the longest wheelbase in its segment after BMW's 7-series.

The chassis sits on a three-chamber air suspension with 60 per cent more air volume than the previous model's for a cushier ride.

The new model weighs 38kg less than before, but is still a heavy car at 2,435kg.

It sits lower, with a shorter front end adorned with a slatted grille over a fish-scale matrix. A Flying B mascot sits atop the grille, a feature likely to be applied to other Bentley models in future.

Bentley's chief designer Stefan Sielaff says the power line and haunches are separated to give the new Flying Spur a more aggressive and pronounced rear.

LED matrix headlights with a cut-crystal effect and 21-inch wheels are standard fare, with 22-inch wheels an option.

Inside, new "cathedral window"- style seats - so named because of the patterns on the leather - are available in 15 colours.

A three-sided rotating display in the centre, meanwhile, can show a 12.3-inch touchscreen, three analogue dials or a simple wood veneer fascia.

The standout feature must be the cabin's three-dimensional diamond-quilted leather door inserts.

The car has a 10-speaker 650-watt hi-fi, while a 2,200-watt 19-speaker set-up from high-end audio manufacturer Naim is available as an option.

Powering the new Flying Spur at launch is the same 6-litre twin-turbo W12 in the Bentley Bentayga Speed - good for 626hp and 900Nm of torque, and mated to an eight-speed ZF dual-clutch transmission.

Sprinting to 100kmh takes 3.8 seconds, with velocity topping at 333kmh. A V8 will join the range soon, followed by a V6 plug-in hybrid.

The car's all-wheel steering ensures agility at low speeds - like navigating carparks - while increasing stability as you go faster.

Unlike in the older Flying Spur, the car is rear-wheel driven most of the time. When needed, up to 17 per cent of power is sent to the front axle.

The new Flying Spur will be launched in the fourth quarter of this year, with deliveries beginning from the first quarter of next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2019, with the headline 'Another flying start'. Print Edition | Subscribe