The latest Flying Spur, introduced just last year, has the twin-turbo W12 that develops 453kW of power and 800Nm of torque, so it’s significantly more powerful car than the twin-turbo V8 with its 368kW/660Nm. The sprint to 100km/h is about 0.7 seconds faster in the W12 than in the V8 (5.2sec). Top speed is higher for the W12, as well – 322 km/h versus 295km/h.
These gaps are, simply, reflections of how much better a larger and more powerful engine is at sending a weighty executive saloon hurtling down the road. The Flying Spur is loaded to the gunwales with features like chrome pull knobs and portable solid metal ashtrays—heavy stuff, to be sure.
All other things being equal, though, the V8 is probably the wiser choice. With some 40 kilograms less weight to push (the V8 weighs 2417kg) and the added benefit of cylinder deactivation technology, the V8 promises a 10 per cent gain in fuel efficiency. Claimed fuel use for the V8 is 13.8 litres per 100 kilometres, while the W12 uses 14.7L/100km. In almost all other respects, the two cars are mirror images of each other.
Both saloons come equipped with full-time all-wheel drive, an eight-speed automatic transmission, and a wealth of ultra-desirable interior amenities, including mirror-matched wood trim pieces and lambs’ wool carpeting.
The Bentley logo is a different colour depending on the version chosen (red for the V8), the tailpipes are a different shape (they look like a pair of 8s on their side for the V8) and the front grilles are dissimilar. Otherwise, from an appearance standpoint, there’s little to choose between the two variations.
The key characteristic of the Flying Spur, at least from this outsider’s perspective, is its ability to coast down paved roads of any quality smoothly and peacefully.
The suspension system has a range of settings, from comfort to sport, but all settings lean more towards the comfort side of things. The steering wheel has decent weight to it, but there’s no real sense or urgency to the steering response.
The paddle shifters trigger the transmission and offer a reasonable amount of engagement, but questions linger as to whether the typical Flying Spur owner would ever feel compelled to use them.
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2014