2014 Bentley Flying Spur – First Drive

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Objects from the mirror might be closer compared to they appear and, in this instance, things are all too close for comfort amid the maelstrom of traffic. The sharp detail lines tapering over the rear fenders on the Spur’s new pinched rear-end are in serious danger being punctuated by damaging connection with the traffic.

Beijing, China in a $200500 cocoon of serenity among the chaos of daily road users makes it easy to learn why China’s elite are purchasing Bentleys such large numbers. The supple leather, as well as the turned metal and veneered surfaces offer respite in the madness outside.

The old Continental Flying Spur never sat particularly comfortably. Too near the GT coupe, the styling was too similar, making it look like the coupe had been unceremoniously stretched into four doors.

No such accusations may be levelled on the new Flying Spur. The modification of styling direction gives greater separation from the GT, even though bentley even dropped the Continental name to distance it further.

Merely modified it, although the link is obvious; Bentley didn’t dispose of its DNA with all the Spur.wider, lower and Longer, the Spur is a lot more assertive, sharper. The creases down its flanks are really sharp Bentley altered its manufacturing strategies to create them. And the bold front grille, with its glorious detailed mesh, underlines the company’s awareness of detail.

There’s some deco to its looks. The confidence to mix curves with defined lines and intricate detailing delineates the Flying Spur from mainstream luxury sedans from BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

Previously alone, the Spur now shares its price bracket, being pinched from above and below. Mercedes-Benz’s Dr Zetsche is on record saying the S-Class will span looking at the existing base to the rarefied bracket where Rolls-Royce exists. The Flying Spur sits in the middle, with its $200k price tag (bank on spending at least 10% more on options) so that it is appear like conspicuously good value.

You only need to spend a few seconds inside the Spur to understand why it eclipses its volume luxury rivals. The hand stitched finish on the beautiful leather is both a visual and tactile treat. The wood veneers, richly polished to a mirror finish, are likewise an exercise in futility to resist touching the smooth surface. If you’ve optioned it, and the Flying Spur is actually a sensual overload, add cool machine and chrome-turned metal.

2014 bentley flying spur front cabin

2014 bentley flying spur mobile app

2014 bentley flying spur rear seating

It’s quiet too. Significantly more so than the previous model. Bentley has suppressed extraneous noise, with the 6.-liter twin-turbocharged W12 only heard when pushing the accelerator deep in to the carpet.

Billing the Flying Spur as the most powerful Bentley sedan – the W12’s 616hp betters the Mulsanne’s output, however its 590 lb-ft isn’t capable of match the flagship model’s 740 lb-ft.

Those figures manifest in the -60mph time of 4.3sec as well as the headline 200mph top speed. It’s AMG performance, but despite an effortless capability to change velocity quickly, Bentley admits the Flying Spur has changed from a once overtly sporting sedan to a more luxurious conveyance. As a result, the Flying Spur’s time-bending pace is a by-product of its breeding more than its focus.

That’s immediately evident when entering Beijing traffic. The Spur’s response was more measured and calmer than before, through the slick efficiency with which the new eight-speed automatic deals with its numerous ratios, to its reaction to the accelerator pedal when you flex your right ankle.

Never totally losing its initial resistance, although the steering, curiously heavy and leaden at manoeuvring speeds, lightens once moving. It detracts at more normal speeds, despite the fact that no doubt the weighting aids stability when approaching the double century.The Flying Spur’s rates are 15% softer, although it’s rare that a manufacturer admits dialling back suspension settings. The adjustments also include bushings that are 25-38% more compliant. Also robbed the car of some of its roll control, even in the firmest from the four damper settings, even though this has removed the harder edge ride for a more supple suspension. The Flying Spur certainly feels more luxurious than sporting within the bends.

This really is all relative, of course. The Flying Spur will still hustle if you’re in the mood. The power continues to be delivered to all-four wheels, although with a greater 40/60 rearward bias, although there’s more initial roll when turning-in, and pitch on braking or acceleration. Not really that you’d know it… the Spur’s nose being the first to give up grip, signalled by protest from the front tires rather than with the steering. To reach that point, the Spur is travelling faster than most drivers will need, and any passenger in the back will desire. If speed is your aim, Bentley’s inevitable Flying Spur Speed model will satiate hardcore desires.

The Flying Spur is really a confident change of direction for a brave new world, as it stands. It works. It remains an exclusive proposition at its price point, and a better car for not chasing outright dynamic ability but concentrating on luxury, comfort and refinement.

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