The Flying Spur is now the sole 4-door sedan after the Mulsanne has stopped production and Bentley is taking steps to up the notch with this cheaper and lighter variant.
Bentley is now offering the smaller V8 engine on its luxury sedan, the Flying Spur and has already started production of the car at its plant in Crewe. Incidentally the place also serves as headquarters for the British brand, and is the world’s first carbon neutral factory for luxury car makers. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and safety regulations, Bentley states that the production is at full capacity. The Flying Spur is now the sole full-size sedan in Bentley’s lineup following the discontinuation of the Mulsanne.
The manufacturing of the Bentleys is coveted as being among the most meticulous processes in the automotive industry and the Flying Spur is no less taking 100 hours of craftsmanship done by hand spread across 84 stages of manufacturing. The methods have not been dulled by time and continue to use extensive craftsmanship and skill, the interior for example requires 350 leather pieces which are stitched together using three kilometers of thread by 141 specialised craftsmen.
The Flying Spur was introduced in 2005 as a four-door version of the Grand Tourer- the Continental GT and featured the same big W12 engine that Bentley has been famed for. The V8 version however changes the driving dynamics a bit by reducing the weight of the car, increasing its agility while providing a more responsive engine. Being a smaller engine the V8 also increases the range and emissions of the car.
The engine is a 4L V8 which has been twin-turbocharged making 542 bhp and 770 Nm of torque. The 0-100 time is 4secs and top speed is 198 mph, compared to the W12’s 3.5 second acceleration to triple digits. The twin-scroll turbos have two parallel flow channels in turbine housing which ensures large amounts of torque availability even at low speeds and are located inside the ‘V’ cutting short the distance for the gases to travel, increasing responsiveness. To maximise efficiency and range the V8 can shut one side (consisting of 4 cylinders) down, under low stress conditions which lowers fuel consumption by 16%.
The Flying Super V8 uses new updates like the chassis upgrade, adaptive air suspension for comfortable ride, Torque vectoring by braking, Drive Dynamics Control and Electric steering as standard. These changes have been made after Bentley observed that customers are preferring to drive the cars themselves rather than being chauffeured around. For enhanced driving experience, one can even choose the Bentley Dynamic Ride- the 48V active anti-roll technology which can use 1300 Nm of anti-roll torque in just 0.3 seconds to keep the vehicle stable and all-wheel steering, which turns the rear wheels opposite at low speeds and the same direction at high speeds for enhanced performance.
Being a Bentley, the car incorporates the finest interiors in the industry and class-leading intelligent features. It has an in-built SIM card, for data connection and real-time vehicle telemetry and tracking via the My Bentley app for smartphones. The infotainment system comes fitted with services like Apple Carplay, advanced satellite mapping, weather and road condition alert. The passenger seats can be equipped with Entertainment tablets, audio system from Naim and the exquisite onboard two-bottle drinks cooler which make the cabin a place to be.
There is a choice for four or five seat configuration, with the former having the centre console extending to the rear, which houses the 5in touchscreen reome, cupholders, storage area and wireless charging point. There are tables on the back of the front seats which deploy on the push of a single button and are tastefully wrapped in leather.
Bookings have started for the V8 Flying Spur, and is expected to reach customers next year. The car is priced at INR 3.2 crore compared to the W12 version which costs about INR 3.5 crore in India.
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