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Bentley Flying Spur: Well-appointed muscleThe Bentley Flying Spur comes with luxury as standard. It can also top 200 mph while massaging your spine.
If I told you I was about to drive a car with 616 brake horsepower that could do knot to 60 in 4.3 seconds, that had 590 pound/foot of torque, that weighed over two and a half tons, but could still do speeds up to and including 200 miles an hour, but is still whisper quiet--well, surely you'd tell me I was mad. Well, not so, 'cause I've got this--the new Bentley Flying Spur. This is the second generation of the modern Flying Spur. The previous generation was closely linked to the Continental GT and was dubbed the Continental Flying Spur. This car has ditched the Continental. It's no longer seen as a bigger version of everyone's favorite GT. No, this is a proper limousine, a proper luxury [unk]. It's a car that shows not only that you're doing well for yourself, but you're doing so well you may as well have a driver. First things first though, what do you think of the look? You can certainly tell that the new Flying Spur is a car with purpose and that some serious craftsmanship has gone into it. For example, the front wings are made from one single piece of metal. It gives it much more style, much better form, much more elegance. And they're probably an utter [unk] to fix in a crash. Also, the headlamps, again borrowed from the Continental GT but swapped rounds with the big ones on the outside to give the car more presence. They--well, they're set into that piece of metal just so to give it that perfect look. And they sit in their own flattened area rather than being part of the bonnet to differentiate it from the Continental GT. But then, that single piece wing gives way to one shoulder line that runs all the way to set just about the real lights. Now, rather than you get in the Continental GT, they're not stacked but will put into one single wide unit. That gives the rear of the car way more presence than before. But those lines also set above some pretty muscle car-esque haunches like you used to get in the seventies. And those haunches allude to its performance and then some. Out front, things are pretty much the same as the Continental GT, which is lovely. All the toys are on the same place. All the wood is all shiny and pretty. All absolutely beautiful, and you even get that winged bee-inspired dash which is why it sort of swoops in and goes down and it [unk] the driver. And the cabin is a proper cockpit-style affair. But in the back is where things get luxurious and very, very high-tech. You can have 10-inch screens in there. You can have Wifi. There's inputs for SD cards and USB, all that kind of stuff. And if you only have two children, you can have two captain's chairs in there which you can recline and have a good snooze in. Bentley's also introduced a little remote control that you could control your seat temperature with, the aircon in there. You can control your media. Similarly, you can have a look at the speedo like you could in Bentleys of old. And that's pretty cool if you want it. All in all, it's the kind of place you can make country-changing decisions from as one would expect from the backseat of the big B. Craftsmanship is at the fore here as you'd expect from a Bentley. A car like this though has to be two things here. It has to be good to drive and very, very comfortable. And I'll start with the comfort. Good Lord. This thing is so unbelievably smooth, not only to drive but to sit in. The seats are very comfortable. There's two levels of foams so it's firm to start with and then as you all settles in, you sink down a little more. The seats can be heated and cooled at the same time, which is pretty amazing if I'm on this. Very comfortable if a little disconcerting from time to time. There are various suspension settings. You can go from comfort or way up to sports and [unk]. As you'd expect, very, very comfortable. Apparently, this is about thirteen percent softer than the old car. And it's great for [unk] 'cause the steering is nice and light even though it's adaptive. So what that means is when you're going less than thirty miles an hour, it's nice and light. But if you start going a little faster, it weighs itself up a little bit because you have to remember this is a 200-mile-an-hour car. Or--and if you are gonna do that kind of speed, you don't really want easy steering. You want it to be a little bit tauter. The real highlights of this car is its engine. It's a six-liter W12; two turbos on it; 616 brake horsepower. And it's turn pace is simply astonishing. You nail your foot and all of a sudden, this barge lurches upwards as you fly yourself forward to the horizon. It's this relentless speed. And you can get up to any speed limit pretty instantly. I mean, knot to 60 happens in 4.3 seconds, 70 appears not long after that. Knot to 100 miles an hour in this is 9.5 seconds. And that's only a little bit more time than it takes a Mini Cooper to get to 62. That's quite quick. The thing about this car that really does get me is I don't actually think it's a limousine. Bentley says it's a limousine but actually it's a really well-appointed muscle car. I mentioned earlier the big haunches at the back which gives it epic start. And then you add in the giant engine with all of the power and a little bit of noise and drama. And the suspension, even the sport mode, when you accelerate it kind of lifts the front end. The momentum pushes the two and a half tons forward. But of course, physics takes over and it lifts itself up. It's just--it is a muscle car but with really nice seats in it. Really nice seats. So then what are we making of Bentley's latest? Is it a hit or a very well appointed miss? Come on. What do you think? It's the brand's spanking new Bentley. Of course, it's brilliant.