Auto Tech

The Bentley Flying Spur is a muscle car

There's no point in mincing words on this one -- the Bentley Flying Spur is a muscle car for people with not just some, but ALL THE MONEY.

Now playing: Watch this: Bentley Flying Spur: Well-appointed muscle

Bentley makes its cars with a finesse that you only get in England. Each aspect of its cars is pored over by master craftsmen to ensure that every Bentley is perfect. This alone should be enough to tell you the new Flying Spur is a pretty special car.

Superformed metal ensures that creases are extra sharp, that parts of the car that used to be two pieces are now one, that the car looks imposing and out of place anywhere other than a country pile or Mayfair.

The many stages of paintwork required to give a Bentley its signature mirror shine are all lovingly applied by people who have been trained over many, many years to do their jobs to perfection.

Similarly, the folks who prepare the wood that sits, proudly, in each car are highly skilled and very patient indeed. Having met them, they're also thoroughly nice people.

Now, the Flying Spur. Unlike its predecessor, it's not a "Continental." It's not the Continental GT's bloated cousin anymore; it's a car in its own right. A limo, all told. There's room in the back to make decisions big enough to crush small countries while your driver does largely the same to continents.

Up front there are all the toys you could hope for and, as usual, exquisite craftsmanship throughout. The new Bentley Flying Spur is a luxury limousine.

Except it's not. It's a muscle car.

In any of its adjustable suspension settings, its springs aren't in any way firm. They're simply different degrees of comfortable -- superabsorbent comfy to slightly less so, really. That said, hurl it into a bend and you certainly won't fall out of your seat. Lord, no. You'll not spill a drop of gin. It's not squidgy, but smooth like a lilo gently wafting over a pool at first light. Nothing will put it off its stride.

The 6.0-litre W12 under the hood is...spectacular. Even though the car weighs over 2.5 tonnes, its twin-turbocharged 616bhp forces the car forward with an urgency only really seen in children on Christmas morning. It's sudden, enthralling, and delightful. Now, combine this with the Flying Spur's suspension and what do you get? A muscle car. A Chevrolet Camaro springs to mind. Only, y'know, better. Oh, and Bentley claims it'll hit the magic 200 mph, too. Having not taken it on a track I can't tell you whether that's true or not, but with 590 lb. ft. to throw you up the road I have no reason to suggest there are airborne swine anywhere near Bentley HQ.

It's worth praising its four-wheel-drive system and silky-smooth gearbox, too. They both make the Flying Spur as urgent as it is. They both win gold stars right there.

In all, the Bentley Flying Spur is great. But it's not the limo Bentley claims it to be. It's a muscle car. A muscle car with quilted leather and a paint job that takes a week to finish, but a muscle car none the less.

Engine 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12
Power 616 bhp
Torque 590 lb. ft.
0-60 mph 4.3 seconds
Top speed    200 mph