Look out Rolls-Royce, Mercedes, Aston Martin, and Porsche. The brand new 2020 Bentley Flying Spur is here, and it now has more presence and performance than ever before. Considered more of a grand touring car than the limo-like Muslanne flagship, the new Flying Spur is both muscular and sleek. Under the sexy skin is more tech and luxury than the model has ever seen before.
The entire body is more shapely thanks to what's known as superformed aluminum that creates more fluid and sculpted shaping of the panels. The Flying Spur's fascia is also noticeably different from the outgoing car. The grille is wider and mimics the 1957 Bentley S1 Continental Flying Spur, and LED matrix headlamps get textured chrome linings that reflect light even with the headlights off. Topping off the fascia is the Flying B hood ornament that descends into the car at higher speeds. How cool is that?
The luxury steed gets standard 21-inch wheels, but if you opt for the more upscale Mulliner Specification, the Flying Spur gets new 22-inch wheels. The front fender vents get noticeable "B" shapes, and even the taillights get a "B" signature. The rear fascia is cleaner thanks to the relocation of the license plate cutout to the bumper.
The engine hasn't changed in terms of horsepower. The 6.0-liter W12 delivers the same 626 horsepower as the previous top trim Flying Spur W 12 S. What has changed is the torque, increasing from 605 to 664 lb-ft, a colossal jump. You should feel a noticeably more potent shove in the back on take-off. Though the length of the Flying Spur remains the same, the wheelbase has been stretched by a whopping 5.1 inches for oodles more legroom.
The interior looks even more luxurious than before. Though Bentley relies on the same upscale materials, the styling has changed to be more modern and ergonomic. There's a high-definition digital instrument cluster, a newly styled steering wheel. The big 12.3-inch screen in the center stack not only rotates three different surfaces, but it uses a prox sensor that activates the screen for command inputs.
The three-sides rotate between analog gauges (thermometer, chronograph, compass), the infotainment screen, and a blank veneer called "digital detox". Knurled aluminum control knobs and HVAC vent trim are strewn throughout the cabin, and everything is simply beautiful to look at and wonderful to the touch, as we've become accustomed to in the other Bentley models we've driven.
A new pattern of fluted leather seating comes standard, with diamond-quilted and three-dimensional diamond quilted leather door inserts available on the options sheet. Also on the extra-cost menu, a full-length panoramic glass roof with an inset sunroof. Alcantara blinds shield passengers from a harsh sun, interior mood lighting in seven colors shields eyes from the mundane end of the light spectrum.
Safety and tech features include Traffic Assist, City Assist, blind spot warning, night vision, a head-up display, birds-eye view camera, and self-parking tech. There are three audio systems available, including a 10-speaker, 650-watt system; a 1,500-watt, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen system; or the top-tier Naim for Bentley 2,200-watt, 19-speaker system.
In terms of performance changes, the increased torque helps the acceleration. 0-60 comes in a supercar-like 3.7 seconds, down from the previous 4.2 seconds in the W12 S. The new Flying Spur's top speed is 207 mph, a remarkable achievement considering the size and the 5372-lb weight of the car.
On a final note, the new Flying Spur will manage twisty roads better thanks to four-wheel steering and brake-based torque vectoring. There's also a new active all-wheel drive system that can send 100% of the power to the rear wheels, up to 31 percent to the front axle in Sport mode, or up to 53 percent to the front axle in Comfort and Bentley modes.
The Flying Spur should prove to be more attractive to would-be buyers thanks to the total redesign, improved performance, and thoughtful additions to the cabin. We'll see if it pulls sales away from the other ultra-luxury sedan brands. We think it just might.