The 2020 Bentley Flying Spur is here, and if you’ve been waiting for a handcrafted luxury sedan that just so happens to do 207 mph, this will probably do the trick. Unveiled the today, it’s a host of firsts for Bentley – like the new all-wheel steering – but paired with the automaker’s hallmarks such as a 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine.
Like the Continental GT before it, the new Flying Spur cuts ties entirely with its predecessor, bar the name. It’s now larger and more powerful than before, over 209 inches in length and with more than 5 inches added to the wheelbase.
The design is more sculpted and distinctive, with the new Flying Spur borrowing the aluminum superforming process that Bentley debuted on the Continental GT. That allows for more exaggerated curves in the bodywork, along with crisper lines. It rides on an all-new platform, with all-wheel drive as standard.
Rather than the permanent 60:40 rear/front split of the old car, the 2020 Flying Spur can adjust its front to rear power balance. By default it’s rear-wheel drive, but can shift power to the front wheels depending on the road conditions and grip. Bentley says to expect less understeer and a sharper turn-in.
The engine is the latest iteration of Bentley’s twelve-cylinder, developed and hand-built in Crewe, UK. From it, the Flying Spur gets 626 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque; 0-60 mph arrives in 3.7 seconds, while the top speed is 207 mph. It’s paired with the 8-speed dual-clutch transmission used in the Continental GT.
Where that torque goes depends on the current Drive Dynamics Mode. In the Comfort and Bentley settings, up to 354 lb-ft can be pushed to the front; in Sport, that’s limited to around 207 lb-ft. Bentley says it does that leave the Flying Spur feeling more agile.
The dynamic mode also affects the performance of the new all-wheel steering system, a first for Bentley. At lower speeds, the rear wheels tilt slightly in the opposite direction of the front, to effectively reduce the wheelbase and thus the turning circle of the car. That should be useful if you’re trying to park it.
At higher speeds, meanwhile, the rear wheels move in tandem with the front wheels. That adds stability, and makes for more effective lane changes. When it comes to slowing, the same vast iron brakes – the largest iron discs in the world, in fact – from the Continental GT are used, with the calipers optionally finished in bright red.
Three-chamber air springs for the standard air suspension work with Continuous Damping Control, and Bentley can adjust the settings according to the drive mode. A quartet of ride high sensors constantly adjust the body’s height according to their overall position, to iron out skew. A 48-volt system controls an adjustable anti-roll bar, so that it can change stiffness on demand.
As for what this all sounds like, there’s an adaptive tailpipe control valve with variable position settings. The Flying Spur can adjust how loud it gets, therefore, depending on whether it’s being driven in earnest or doing chauffeur duties.
Just as you’d expect, the details are where the new sedan shine. Outside, LED matrix headlamps with cut-crystal effect detailing are standard, and Bentley has added a chrome sleeve to make them sparkle even when they’re not lit up. New 21-inch and 22-inch Mulliner Specification wheels are available, and you can optionally have the Flying B mascot on the hood. That retracts when the car is locked, and is illuminated when extended.
A gloss-black radiator matrix is surrounded by bright chrome, and has vertical vanes in a nod back to the 1957 S1 Continental Flying Spur. Below it, the matrix can be had in black or bright chrome. A full-size glass panoramic sunroof is optional, and there are 17 colors to choose from – or you can go to the Mulliner team and specify something more unique.
Inside, there are fifteen hide colors to choose from in a cabin that has been focused on luxury and comfort at speed. There’s veneer across the dashboard, sweeping into the doors, and a floating center console with a 12.3-inch HD touchscreen. New vents sit alongside modern features like wireless phone charging and USB ports.
The Bentley Rotating Display, which can flip the touchscreen to show analog dials or a clean sweep of wood, is an option. Switchgear gets bronze detailing, and there’s three-dimensional diamond quilted leather in the door, and diamond knurling on the rotary switches. Crown Cut Walnut joins the wood veneer options, alongside seven others, and dual veneer can be specified too. Mood lighting is an option, with seven colors.
The seats feature heating, ventilation, multi-mode massage, adjustable bolsters, and top tilt. Check the Mulliner Driving Specification option, meanwhile, and you get a special three-dimensional leather finish, too. Driver Assistance Systems include traffic assistance, city assistance, and blind spot warnings. There’s a 360-degree camera, and a head-up display, along with night vision. The LED matrix headlamps can automatically cut a hole in the full-beam for oncoming vehicles, avoiding dazzling them while still fully illuminating the rest of the road.
Those in the back get a Touch Screen Remote, which pops out of the console and handles the blinds, rear seat climate control and massage, and accesses mood lighting presets. Three audio systems are available, with the standard getting 10 speakers and 650 watts. A Bang & Olufsen upgrade offers 1,500W and 16 speakers, while a new Naim 2,200W system is the flagship with 19 speakers.
Bentley says that the 2020 Flying Spur will be available to order from the fall; pricing will be confirmed closer to that point. Deliveries are expected to begin come early 2020.