Autofocus: 2023 Bentley Flying Spur Speed
Bentley is finalizing its latest array of Grand Tourers with the introduction of the Flying Spur Speed, representing the most driving-centric iteration within the luxurious performance sedan family of the Flying Spur. The Bentley Flying Spur is one of the most opulent sedans.
In the vast realm of Bentley configurations, the recent product lineup aims to simplify the process for customers in search of the perfect Bentley tailored to their needs. This portfolio unfolds into two distinctive realms – one dedicated to enhancing the driver’s well-being and the other to delivering optimal driving performance. Both aspects are adorned by Mulliner models, seamlessly blending the best features from both spheres.
The debut of the Flying Spur Speed marks the culmination of the model range, aligning with the existing Continental GT and Bentayga offerings. Positioned as the epitome of performance, the Flying Spur Speed, alongside the Flying Spur Mulliner, stands out as the preferred choice for those seeking a W12-powered Flying Spur. The standard Flying Spur W12 concluded its production in May of this year.
Positioned above the S model, the Flying Spur Speed elevates its standing with an additional 85 PS and 130 Nm of torque, resulting in a 0.4-second improvement to reach 60mph and a heightened top speed of 207 mph, solidifying its superior performance. Equipped with Electronic All Wheel Steering, Torque Vectoring by Brake technology, and Bentley Dynamic Ride as standard features, the agility of the Flying Spur Speed perfectly complements the prowess of its 626 bhp 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine.
The recognizable exterior Speed styling cues manifest through dark tint finishes on front grilles, headlamps, and tail lamps, accompanied by signature Speed badges on the lower wing. The standard 22” Speed wheel, available in Dark Tint, Gloss Black, and silver-painted finishes, enhances the distinctive look. Additionally, an optional 22” sports design wheel in Gloss Black or Pale Brodgar Satin provides further customization. Jewelled fuel and oil filler caps add a touch of refinement. For those seeking an enhanced performance presence, Bentley’s Styling Specification, featuring a carbon fiber front splitter, side skirts, rear diffuser, and subtle bootlid spoiler, as well as the Blackline Specification, remain optional.
Balancing performance and luxury seamlessly, the cabin introduces a new, exclusive colorway incorporating Dinamica across all occupant touchpoints. Notably, Bentley employs Dinamica Pure, made from 73% recycled Polyester. Interior customization expands with 15 leather color options, complemented by standard Piano Black veneer and alternative options such as Crown Cut Walnut, Dark Stained Burr Walnut, or Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus at no extra cost.
The driver’s information panel showcases new performance infotainment graphics inspired by luxury chronographs. Front and rear seat comfort specifications are standard, featuring 24-way adjustment for front seats and 14-way adjustment for rear seats, all equipped with heating, ventilation, massage, and two memory positions. Sports pedals, Speed fascia badges and emblems, and illuminated Speed inner and outer treadplates contribute to the performance-oriented ambiance.
The Flying Spur Speed is anticipated to be a popular choice in the United States and Europe, expected to constitute around a third of Flying Spur orders. Following closely is the Middle East, where approximately one in five Flying Spur orders is predicted to be for the Speed variant.
Chassis and Powertrain
The powertrain of the Flying Spur Speed boasts a robust output of 635 PS (626 bhp) and a torque of 900 Nm (664 lb.ft), propelling the car from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.7 seconds (100 km/h in 3.8 seconds) and achieving a remarkable top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h).
Utilizing the same 8-speed ZF dual-clutch transmission as the Continental GT, the Flying Spur ensures smooth and refined acceleration, quicker gearshifts, and enhanced fuel economy. The transmission facilitates faster gear changes by pre-selecting the next gear, minimizing torque interruption to the wheels and thereby improving overall performance. The maximum speed is attained in sixth gear, with the overdrive gears (seventh and eighth) dedicated to economic grand touring.
Equipped with a clutched system, the Flying Spur Speed directs power to the rear axle. Depending on road conditions and wheel slip, the system automatically transfers drive to the front axle, constituting an active all-wheel drive setup. This enhances turn-in response, making the front end feel lighter and more agile. The traditional understeer associated with fixed all-wheel drive systems is virtually eliminated, contributing to a more balanced driving experience.
The torque distribution is adaptable based on the selected Drive Dynamics Mode. In Comfort and Bentley modes, up to 480 Nm of torque is sent to the front axle for improved grip and drivability. Switching to Sport mode limits front axle torque to 280 Nm, maintaining a higher torque level at the rear for a more dynamic driving feel. Torque is further managed across each axle by a torque-vectoring-by-brake system.
The Flying Spur Speed instills confidence in its handling and balanced dynamic precision, thanks to its advanced active All-Wheel Drive, Electronic All-Wheel Steering, and Bentley Dynamic Ride. The Electronic All-Wheel Steering, standard in the Speed model, enhances stability at highway speeds and maneuverability in city driving. During low-speed maneuvers, the rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the front wheels, shortening the wheelbase and improving agility. At high speeds, the rear wheels steer in the same direction as the front, increasing stability during overtaking and lane changes.
The Bentley Dynamic Ride System, utilizing a 48-volt system, manages the stiffness of the anti-roll bar to enhance both handling and ride comfort. The system adjusts stiffness on demand to counteract cornering forces, ensuring the Flying Spur remains level.
Sharing the largest iron brakes with the Continental GT, the Flying Spur features 420 mm front discs. Gloss Red front calipers with Bentley branding are standard, with a Gloss Black finish available as a cost option.
The Styling Specification enhances the visual allure of the Flying Spur Speed, ensuring that Bentley’s new performance model is as striking in appearance as it is dynamic in performance.
Meticulously crafted by hand in high gloss carbon fiber with precision following an extensive development process, the Styling Specification comprises a front bumper splitter, side skirts featuring metallic Bentley badges, a rear diffuser, and a boot lid spoiler.
For those seeking a contemporary aesthetic, the Blackline Specification provides an alternative by replacing most of the exterior brightwork with Blackware. This transformation contributes to a more commanding road presence for the incomparable Flying Spur.
Elements of the exterior Brightware incorporated in the Blackline Specification encompass the iconic Flying B mascot, radiator vanes, matrix grilles, side window surrounds, and lower door and rear bumper blades. The distinguished darkened treatment extends to the front and rear light bezels, door handles, wing vents, and exhaust outlets, culminating in a cohesive and distinctive visual identity.