2020 Bentley Flying Spur: Heritage meets modern luxury
I probably don't need to tell you that the humble sedan is a dying breed.
So it's a good thing.
We're not driving a humble sedan today.
This is the new Bentley flying spur the latest luxury tour from a company that's been making luxury Touring Cars for 100 years now, Cisco right there on the door.
But while customer preferences for sedans and SUVs continue to shift the very definition of the word luxury is changing to what used to be all about plush carpets and Lux leathers is now more about things like convenience and reducing stress and enjoying the experience without worrying about the details.
So with all that in mind, let's take a look at how this latest sedan from a traditional manufacturer can stand up in a world of modern luxury.
What is modern luxury?
I spent some time, probably too much time, reading aspirational mission statements and explainers put together by marketing companies.
Trendy hotels and even investment firms looking for words and phrases that attempt to define this new era of luxury.
A few key terms kept popping up again and again.
The first is quiet confidence and I gotta say the way this flying spur has been spect it fits that classification to a tea.
Though the overall design of the car is far from subtle, especially those outrageously faceted headlights up front and the powerfully creased fenders at the rear, this particular flying spur has been rather significantly toned down.
How will be on the beautiful but subtle shade called Verdun that's been applied here.
This car also features the so called black line specification.
You can probably guess what that means.
What would normally be Chrome has been blacked out creating a much more subtle ride than the flying spur would normally be.
And that's how I prefer to be rolling incognito rather than turning heads.
And yes, that means I opted to keep that beautiful flying bee logo tucked away for much of the time.
But the notion of quiet confidence goes well beyond that, because this car is literally quiet, very quiet.
And that's despite making 626 horsepower from a massive six liter w 12 engine.
I've seriously driven Eevee that make more noise than this thing?
And that's despite my test car rolling on snow tires.
All that just leaves me wondering why Bentley doesn't Hurry up and make an Eevee already, but that's a topic for another video.
For now the flying spur is absolutely oozing in quiet confidence.
So you can take that box.
The next term describing modern luxury is more of a concept and that was a focus on the experience.
Basically the notion of being present A free of distraction.
And that's another area where this Bentley does incredibly well because the driving experience is incredibly polished and completely unfeather.
It starts of course with amazing materials surfaces everywhere.
You can't get in this thing without wanting to reach out and touch everything.
And everything is really nice to touch everything from the dashboard, these amazing 3D door cards with leather that's kind of pierced and wrapped around a crazy diamond pattern surface.
We've got these kind of Dragon scale knurled surfaces and a lot of the controls.
Everything looks and feels incredibly nice to us.
It also continues through the infotainment system which is actually Really surprisingly comprehensive.
You got everything in here that you want, from a navigation system, media connectivity, you got full control over everything from the interior lighting you can pick any color that you like.
All sorts of control here, but when it all gets to be too much and you just want it to go away push a little button and it hides itself behind the dashboard.
Now we've got some nice simple classic analog gauges.
Although I think the laptop on the right is maybe a little bit optimistic, that continues through to even the driving mode.
So we've got four driving modes here, including a custom one.
So you can choose your chosen suspension settings if you want to, but ultimately, there's a B mode, which is kind of the default and frankly, that's all you really need.
Just put it in B and forget about it.
In any of those driving modes, the car is surprisingly easy to control despite being as huge as it is.
This thing is about 17 and a half feet long.
It's about as long as the Ford F 150.
But you never know it behind the wheel.
It's nice and easy to control.
The steering is nice and lined it is a little bit slow, but that's keeping in character here.
The brake pedal has it Really long throw despite those calipers being incredibly massive and powerful, you can come smoothly to a stop and creep forward if you'd like.
And when it comes to the all important driving assistance package, Bentley's actually pretty comprehensive here as well.
We've got a full adaptive cruise system that will bring the car to a complete stop.
And resume it again and traffic plus and adaptive lane Keeping system that will keep you centered in lane, meaning you've got all the niceties and all the technology that you want for keeping things safe, as well as making things nice to drive.
The car will even park itself and trust me parking something this big.
It's a bit of a challenge.
Yes, you can probably do it quicker yourself but all you need to do is push a button down here.
The car will automatically scan for parking spots and back itself in, parallel park, do whatever you need it to do, nice and easy.
But when the road starts to turn, and you want to actually enjoy your driving and not just cruise along in traffic, the Flying Spur is surprisingly engaging.
It is actually remarkably nimble.
And a large part of that comes down to the new rear steering system that Bentley has added in Basically, the wheels turn opposite to the front wheels to make this thing pivot and virtually shorten the wheelbase, and it works surprisingly well.
And then, there's the power.
As I said before, 626 horsepower, but it's really the torque that is remarkable about this thing.
You put your foot down and it just goes, and goes, and goes, and goes.
Until you run out of room a run at a road.
It is remarkably quick for something that is again, absolutely massive.
But really, I think this car is better enjoyed when you just slow down a little bit, again, put it in Bentley mode and let it self drive along.
And there's always the eternal debate in a car like this of whether it's better to drive or be driven and to get a better look at that let's hop in the backseat Another trend in modern luxury is feeling good and while it's hard to call it a trend because everybody likes feeling good.
Certainly the backseat of a Bentley flying spur is a very good place to feel good indeed.
At the touch of a button, I can trigger some very nice and very comprehensive massaging seats.
Most of the full heating and cooling back here just as good as a front full climate controls as well.
I can even push this front seat out of the way.
In front the backseat I can experience another trend in modern luxury, which is connectedness.
And this is an extremely connected place because I have not one Not two, but three separate tablets built into the car here, one of which sits nicely nestled inside the center console with a touch of a button that comes right out.
And I can now use it and sit back here and control everything from the climate control to the media.
I can cue up any playlist that I want to I can look at navigation and set new destinations for my driver.
If I'm so lucky to have one, I can even retract a Flying V up front if I want to.
Interestingly, all these tablets are running Android and yet this car doesn't support Android Auto.
It does though at least have Apple CarPlay but only a front.
And the final aspect of modern luxury is personalization.
I said before that I love how the dark green and the black trim create a car that is beautiful but subtle.
But if subtlety isn't your bag, Bentley will paint this thing just about any color you want.
And if you really want to turn heads, go with the chrome brightwork that will definitely get you noticed.
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