Long known for costly motorcars, Bentley turned to a lower-priced model in 2004: the Continental GT coupe, which quintupled sales for the British brand, now owned by Volkswagen/Audi.
We’re looking at the 2008 Bentley Flying Spur, and we’re wondering how it manages to look so modest when it clearly knows exactly how much butt it can kick. The Flying Spur is said to be the fastest four-door in car in the world, getting speeds of up to 195 mph.
Inside, the 2008 Bentley Flying Spur sports a W-12 engine with twin turbos. The thing puts out 552 horsepower. It’s got a six-speed automatic transmission.
Changes for the 2008 model include a less conservative, selectable mode for the electronic stability system and an improved interface for the navigation and central feature-control system, as well as additional Bluetooth functionality. There are modest interior and exterior cosmetic changes and new options, too.
Leather surfaces and wood veneers provide a sumptuous feel to the inside of the Continental Flying Spur, which can be equipped with four or five seats.
There’s a DVD-based navigation system, and front and rear seats can utilize separate Bluetooth telephone systems that link cell phone information — such as address books — with the vehicle’s computer interface.
Options include veneered fold-down tables for backseat passengers, a rear-seat DVD system and a refrigerated bottle cooler. New options for 2008 include a three-spoke steering wheel and fade-resistant ceramic brakes for use with the optional 20-inch wheels. Notable is the backup camera that shows the view behind the car on the dashboard LCD screen when the transmission is in Reverse.
Standard amenities include four-zone climate control, auto-adjusting suspension, 19-inch wheels and 16-way power driver’s seat. As with other cars in this class, each individual car can be extensively customized with factory-available and dealer-installed optional equipment.
The Continental Flying Spur’s design is understated, in the Bentley tradition. The company refers to the sedan as “evocative, timeless and unostentatious.” Two new paint colors, Cumbrian Green and Granite, debut for 2008.
Flowing body lines on the Continental Flying Spur include rounded C-pillars — called the “hockey stick” curve — like those found on many early Bentleys. A wire-mesh grille takes residence between recessed round headlights. At the rear, a humped trunklid sits above integrated oval exhaust pipes. Chrome detailing is similar to that of the company’s Arnage sedan. The additional body length emphasizes the car’s waistline.
Available safety features include ABS, an antiskid system, front side airbags, rear side airbags, and curtain side airbags. Bi-xenon headlights are standard, as are a navigation system, wireless cell-phone link, heated front seats with memory, driver-seat lumbar message, heated rear seat, and four-zone climate controls. Optional are heated steering wheel, front passenger lumbar massage, power opening and closing trunklid, and satellite radio. Also available is the Mulliner Driving Specification package that includes 20-inch wheels, additional Chrome interior trim, and quilted leather seating.