Bentley’s 2024 Flying Spur S Is Luxury on Wheels

The renowned car manufacturer highlights comfort and style in its newest addition to the Flying Spur lineup.

When the Bentley Mulsanne eased off into the sunset in 2020, it was another ultraluxury sedan that had been displaced by our collective fascination for utility vehicles. The British manufacturer killed off the mammoth four-door, opting to replace it in its exclusive lineup with a long wheelbase version of its Bentayga SUV.

Of course, from a business perspective, this made sense. Since its introduction in 2015, the Bentayga has carved out some 45 per cent of annual worldwide sales for the brand. There are now four versions of the Bentayga on offer and another four versions of the Bentayga Extended Wheelbase (EWB) to boot.

But if the casual bystander figured Bentley was moving out of the sedan business entirely, they haven’t reckoned with the Flying Spur.

 

Bentley Flying Spur S

The Bentley Flying Spur S.

 

Introduced in 2005, the original Bentley Continental Flying Spur was, at the time, the production sedan with the highest-horsepower engine and the highest top speed. Since then, other competitors have entered the fray, pushing the Bentley down the pecking order. But with the introduction of the third-generation Flying Spur in 2019, it’s once again a lavish sedan that merits your consideration.

The line-up now comprises eight models, from the base Flying Spur to the highest-performing Flying Spur Speed. A recent chance to sample one of the midrange models, the Flying Spur S, proved to be a surprisingly engaging experience.

For the record, modern Bentley models have had a reputation for leaning more toward sheer luxury than pure performance. But the newest Continental GT coupe is a stalwart high-performance ride. The Flying Spur shares its DNA and is built on the same platform.

 

Bentley Flying Spur S

Bentley Flying Spur S

 

 

The Flying Spur S can be ordered with one of two engines: a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine or a 2.9-litre V6 hybrid. The former, the version tested, offers a stout 542 horsepower, a 0-100 kilometre per hour sprint time of 4.1 seconds and a top speed of 318 kilometres per hour. That’s a lot by anyone’s standards.

Although this generation Flying Spur is longer and wider than previous versions, it’s also marginally lighter, and the chassis is more dynamic than ever. Rear-wheel steering is standard and active anti-roll bars are optional; these features help make the big sedan feel not so big and much more nimble.

 

 

Performance aside, the biggest selling feature of the Flying Spur S is its sheer stance on the road. The exterior design of this generation is more confident than ever—while most executive-class sedans are staid and conservative, the Bentley is the polar opposite. The model tested also featured a blood-red paint scheme, along with 21-inch black spoked wheels, black brake calipers, and a black version of the iconic Flying B hood ornament.

The car looks downright mean, an absolute traffic-stopper in a sea of sameness, the kind of vehicle someone with a healthy ego would drive.

The passenger cabin is exceedingly quiet and offers plenty of legroom and headroom for all passengers. The version tested was loaded to the side sills with an eye-watering amount of options, including a panoramic sunroof, window blinds, a heated windshield, and diamond-quilted leather seats with contrast stitching.

 

 

 

 

To cap it off, there is the optional Naim audio system, a 2,200-watt behemoth with 21 speakers that’s controlled through the 12.3-inch central touchscreen. The combination of the quiet ride, super-supportive massaging seats, and audio system give the Bentley a rare quality—it’s a car you would choose to drive even if you had nowhere particular to go.

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