The 2020 Bentley Flying Spur shares its platform with a Porsche. And it’s the better car for it. In fact, the 2020 Flying Spur—effortlessly fast, opulently detailed, and brimful of raffish charm—is the best Bentley sedan of the modern era.
The previous two generations of the Bentley Flying Spur had Volkswagen DNA under their luxurious skins, their platforms shared with VW’s highly underrated Phaeton sedan.
The Bentley’s powered mighty W-12 engine, the 2020 Flying Spur is built on an extended version of the VW Group MSB platform that underpins various Porsche Panamera models as well as the Bentley Continental GT coupe and convertible. The Flying Spur shares all its structure ahead of the firewall with Panamera and Continental GTs, and its center section with the long-wheelbase Panamera Executive. The section from the base of the rear seat and back is unique to the Bentley, however, to allow for a more comfort-oriented suspension setup and a roomy conventional trunk instead of the Porsche hatchback.
The new Flying Spur is powered by the 6.0-liter, twin-turbo W12. The engine produces 635 PS (626 HP / 467 kW) and 900 Nm (664 lb-ft) of torque, channeled to all four wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Despite tipping the scales at nearly 2.5 tons (~5,500 lbs), Bentley claims that the new Flying Spur is one of the fastest luxury sedans in the world, requiring just 3.8 seconds for the 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration, and maxing out at 333 km/h (207 mph).
Again, the Flying Spur being a sedan, all of this can be accomplished from the back seat, where newly expanded legroom, newly ubiquitous knurling, and newly introduced quilted leather — part of the optional $15,000 Mulliner spec — can cosset your every body part. Well, maybe not your feet, but the carpets are quite good for going shoeless.
But as in the Continental GTs, Flying Spur drivers don’t have to be always on. When the engine start button is pressed, the veneer section in the middle of the dash rotates to reveal the big touchscreen, which is impressive, the 12.3-inch infotainment screen, a trio of analog gauge showing outside temperature, a compass, and chronometer, and a blank-but-expensive wood veneer trim bit. It’s like one of those old Tri-Vision billboards, and should be standard if only because it’s so delightful. Bentley calls it a “digital detox”: But the steering is remarkably secure, and, in Sport mode, you can rely quite a bit on the all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering to just, kind of, sort it out. The optional Pirelli 275/35/22s on the front wheels and 315/30/22s on the back certainly help with sticking the landing.
Three audio systems are available. The standard system has 10 speakers and 650 watts. Next up is a 1,500-watt, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen system with illuminated grilles and the one-touch BeoSonic user interface. Top of the range is a monster 2,200-watt Naim for Bentley system with 19 speakers and active bass transducers built into the front seats.
Rear seat passengers can control a number of functions—including window blinds, rear seat massage, rear climate control, music, and mood lighting—via a 5.1-inch touchscreen remote that unclips from the rear of the center console. Detachable tablets behind the front seat headrests also allow them to access the Bentley Multimedia System, whose array of apps includes access to the Google Play store. But although the heated and ventilated rear seats feature 14-way power adjustment and five massage modes, tall passengers will find the rear seat squab a little short, and that they’re peering out of slit-like windows that are an inevitable by-product of that rakish roofline.
The 2020 Bentley Flying Spur is priced from $214,676. It a worth for a luxury car.