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Bentley previews new Flying Spur for Geneva (pictures)

Bentley's big luxury sedan, the Flying Spur, is receiving a major update, and will be unveiled at the upcoming International Motor Show in Geneva.

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Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
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The Bentley Flying Spur launched in 2005 as a four-door version of the Continental coupe. This ultimate luxury vehicle receives an update for 2013, taking advantage of advances in both cabin and performance technology. The new Flying Spur will be unveiled at the 2013 International Motor Show in Geneva during the first week of March.
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Instead of the 6.75-liter engine of the Bentley Mulsanne, the Flying Spur makes do with a 6-liter twin-turbocharged W-12 cylinder engine. Output of 616 horsepower and 580 pound-feet of torque brings this 5,450-pound luxo-barge to 60 mph in only 4.3 seconds, according to Bentley. Fuel economy figures are dismal, as to be expected, achieving a combined 15 mpg in EPA testing.
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Bentley fitted LED headlamps in its signature round ports for this new version of the Flying Spur. LED headlamps use less power than their incandescent equivalents, and throw a more easily controlled beam. They also last much longer than incandescents.
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The Flying Spur comes in at almost 17.5 feet long, about a foot shorter than the Bentley Mulsanne and 2 feet shorter than a Rolls-Royce Phantom. It uses air suspension for ride comfort that will automatically adapt to changing road conditions.
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Front fender vents include a B logo insert. The 19-inch wheels come standard, and Bentley offers 20- and 21-inch wheels as options. The steering system remains hydraulically boosted, rather than the electric boost that's becoming common in the automotive industry.
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Aluminum construction and a trunk lid made from a composite material help keep the overall weight down. Bentley also wove the car's antennas into the trunk lid, preserving a smooth profile for the Flying Spur.
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The cabin is, of course, where Bentley really shines. Fine leather, wood, and metal make up interior surfaces. An eight-speaker stereo comes standard, with a 1,100-watt Naim system optional. The Flying Spur gets an 8-inch touch screen for control of infotainment features. As Bentley is owned by Volkswagen, the cabin technology should mostly be coming from premium co-brand Audi.
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As a vehicle likely to be chauffeur-driven, the Flying Spur includes many comforts for the rear-seat passengers. A 9-liter bottle cooler can be optioned, along with individual 10-inch screens for each rear-seat passenger. To control infotainment functions, Bentley offers a touch-screen remote control. The Bentley Connectivity Unit is a Wi-Fi hot spot, letting passengers connect their devices to the Internet.

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