Experienced by Kimatni D. Rawlins
It was a royal weekend experience as Bentley Motors delivered Automotive Rhythms the immaculate 2020 Flying Spur First Edition in Moroccan Blue for an extended test drive. The $287,265 Grand Tourer is backed by an enhanced version of the legendary Bentley 6-liter, twin-turbocharged W12, which in-turn merges with an advanced dual-clutch 8-speed transmission that intuitively drops gears during strong accelerations to then provide peak amounts of torque. Instantly, I felt 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds from standstills but was perceptive enough to leave the 207-mph top speed for track action.
The bespoke, British-built sedan dates back to 1952 when help was required to revive Bentley in the automotive field of Grand Touring. Seven years later, a prodigious aluminum V8 was inserted into the S2 Continental Flying Spur to garner the title of the fastest four-door car in the world at the time. After an extended hiatus, Bentley brought back the Continental Flying Spur designation in 2005 as the four-door counterpart of Continental GT coupe. AWD and the W12 powerplant instilled this luxury liner with incredible innovation during that period. Today’s Flying Spur marks the third generation of a storied vehicle that accentuates the emotional disposition of owners who are seeking ultimate comfort, driving advancements, and unimaginable refinement.
The impetus for reflective drives manifested each time I laid eyes on the long Moroccan Blue body outfitted with massive 22” 10-spoke alloy rims and staggered (315/30 R22 rear and 275/35 R 22 front) Pirelli P Zero all-season tires. With destinations to be determined on most outings, I would ignite the 6-liter (15% more efficient) and run its 626-horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque through Southern Maryland’s open roads to enjoy the ingenuity of Bentley engineering. The Flying Spur is also highlighted by Active All-Wheel Drive, Electronic All-Wheel Steering, and Bentley Dynamic Ride. As lovely as the vehicle looks, it is a true performance sedan as I discovered on a few early morning sessions. More importantly, Drive Dynamics allows the selection of SPORT, BENTLEY, COMFORT, or CUSTOM modes. In SPORT, the ZF transmission automatically shifts while holding the gears longer and utilizing the paddle shifters will put the shift points in the driver’s control. With the specified Sport Launch mode, maximum acceleration is achieved when someone at the light temps you in their S-Class AMG.
Visually, the new Flying Spur is unassuming to a point. It is not so flamboyant like a Roll-Royce Drophead Coupe. The vehicle squats low and wide and attracts attention with its dominant black grille and the traditional oval headlight quartet that emulate an array of diamonds radiating when turned on at night. Albeit, for this price point, I would certainly require a metal grille and vent covers and not the flimsy material currently in place. Guiding the front fascia is the retractable and illuminating “Flying B” radiator mascot in Black Gloss ($4,860 option). The contrasting Flying Spur Blackline specification ($4,735 option) adds character to the Moroccan Blue hue ($6,090) with a striking black strip down the bonnet and black blades along the lower half of the side doors and rear bumper. Blackline also blacks out the grille and window trim. Twin sunroofs and twin oval exhaust tips in Black enhance the Flying Spur’s design and performance chemistry.
Open the large front doors to a warm welcome of the “First Edition” insignia within the door sill. This opulent variant adjusts $44,735 to the Flying Spur’s $214,600 standard cost minus the $2,725 destination charge. The tantalizing blue and tan cabin is ripe with Koa over Grand Black veneers, linen and Brunel hides, diamond leather seats and door outlining, and diamond-knurled knobs and door handles.
“The interior of the Flying Spur is a striking combination of the very latest integrated technology, beautiful materials, and design prowess. It is progressive but retains a timeless quality that will still be stylish and appealing for decades to come. With the Flying Spur, we have completely reinvented the segment to deliver a car that represents the future of luxury Grand Touring,” said Brett Boydell, Head of Interior Design for the all-new Flying Spur.
A favorite feature inside the cockpit is the rotating center tile with three customizable faces, including the 12.3” Bentley multimedia touchscreen and the 3-gauge display. Upfront, a phone charge pad, deep tissue massaging chairs, and dazzling silver speaker grilles as part of the premium $8,800 Naim for Bentley audio system augments the Flying Spur’s allure. Automatic shades, door-controlled rear reclining seats with pillowed headrests, a small information screen, dual vanity mirrors, and blue speaker grilles enrich the rear. However, do not expect anyone over 6’2″ to be too comfortable on long drives.
Bentley’s Flying Spur First Edition is an unimaginable object of desire. It taps into the senses and delights from every perspective. With historical traits and newfangled momentum, the Grand Tourer from Crewe, Cheshire, is ideal for resourceful individuals who seek optimum driving experiences.