2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8
The four-door Continental gets its first update in eight years, V-8 engineby Justin Cupler, on LISTEN 08:36
The Bentley Flying Spur was launched in 2005 as a four-door version of the Continental coupe. Built on the same Volkswagen D1 platform as the Continental and the Volkswagen Phaeton, the Flying Spur was initially offered with a 6.0-liter W-12 engine. The 2013 update brought a new rear fascia that no longer resembles the Continental’s and the twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine among other mild upgrades inside and out.
It is no surprise that like most other uber-luxury car companies, Bentley is not too keen on changes. It’s buyers like a certain thing and it makes sure to deliver the goods year in and year out, no surprises. Well, Bentley made the oh-so-rare changeup at the 2014 Geneva Auto Show, where it debuted the Flying Spur V8 as a complement to the existing Flying Spur W12.
The V-8 power found under the hood is no stranger to us, as we’ve seen this 4.0-liter in various Bentley models, including the Continental GT. The purpose here is obviously to improve upon the company’s current corporate fuel economy, as the V-8 powerplant adds two mpg city, four mpg highway and two mpg combined to the W-12 engine’s numbers.
Additionally, the new Flying Spur V8 puts the model more in reach to top-line Mercedes, BMW, Jaguar and Maserati buyers. Sure, it costs way more than models from those manufacturers, but it gives fringe buyers something to think about.
Continue reading to learn more about the Bentley Flying Spur.
2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8
Horsepower @ RPM:500 @ 6000
Torque @ RPM:488 @ 1750
0-60 time:4.9 sec.
Top Speed:183 mph
0-100 time:11.2 sec.
On the outside, the Flying Spur V8 is nearly identical to its big brother, save for a few minor distinguishing characteristics. Up front, the V8 model shows its differences by way of a red center on the winged badge, black-finished bumper grilles and a black "wing" insert. Sure these differences are subtle, but this is nothing new to Bentley.
Around back there are even fewer cues that this model is new, as the only difference between this variant and the W-12 model are the figure-eight exhaust tips on the Flying Spur V8.
Short of those few differences, the Flying Spur V8 retains all of the styling cues of the Flying Spur, including the mesh grille, dual-round headlights, swooping roofline and all the exterior dimensions.
2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 - Exterior Specifications
|Wheelbase||3066 mm / 120.7 in|
|Overall length||5299 mm / 208.6 in|
|Width (across body)||1976 mm / 77.8 in|
|Width (inc. mirrors)||2208 mm / 86.9 in|
|Overall height||1488 mm / 58.6 in|
|Fuel tank||90 liters / 20 gallons / 24 US gallons|
|Boot volume||475 liters / 16.8 cu ft|
|Gross vehicle weight||2972 kg / 6552 lb|
The Flying Spur V8’s interior monotone color split for a super-luxurious look and feel, and includes Dark Fiddleback Eucalyptus wood veneer. Technology is plentiful as well, as the new Bentley comes with a touchscreen remote mounted in the center console, which allows the rear-seat riders to control the climate control system and infotainment system without asking the driver.
Optionally, buyers can toss in a the Multimedia Specification, which includes an extensive Rear Seat Entertainment system.
The Mulliner Driving Specification is also available on the Flying Spur V8, which adds in diamond quilting on the seats, knurled gear shifter, drilled alloy pedals, perforated leather headliner, jewel fuel and oil filler caps, embroidered Bentley wings on the headrests, a 4+1 rear seat with full adjustment and lumbar support, Dark Stained Burr and Piano Black highlights and 17 upholstery colors.
Just like the W12 version, the Flying Spur V8 has an interior fit for a king, and the Mulliner Driving Specification makes it that much better.
Sure, the Flying Spur V8 gets a few distinguishing tidbits here and there on the inside and outside, but the real difference lies under the hood. This is where Bentley dropped in its 4.0-liter, twin-turbo V-8 that cranks out 500 horsepower and 660 Nm (487 pound-feet) of torque — this is a 116-horsepower and 103-pound-feet drop from the W-12 engine. This V-8 powerplant hooks up to the same ZF-sourced eight-speed autobox as the W-12 model and delivers power to all four wheels.
Despite the massive power loss, the Flying Spur V8 is only 0.6 seconds slower to 60 mph than its W-12-powered sibling — 4.9 seconds to 4.3 seconds — and hits a top speed of 183 mph, which is 17 mph slower than the W-12 version. Plus, it can travel up to 520 miles on a single tank of fuel — 40 miles further than the W-12 model.
2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 - Drivetrain Specifications
|Type||4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8|
|Max Power||507 PS / 500 bhp / 373 kW @6000 rpm|
|Max Torque||660 Nm / 488 lb.ft @1750 rpm|
|Top speed||183 mph / 295 km/h|
|0-60 mph||4.9 secs|
|0-100 mph||11.2 secs|
|City (US mpg)||14|
|Highway (US mpg)||24|
|Combined (US mpg)||17|
The Flying Spur W12 checks in at $205,825, and Bentley is aiming to give buyers a slightly less expensive model to help draw fringe buyers in from Mercedes, Jaguar, Maserati and BMW lots. With that in mind, I suspect we’ll see a price in the $195,000 range.
The Aston Martin Rapide S is one car that you could consider in the place of the Bentley Flying Spur V8, but its V-12 engine puts it more in line with the W-12-powered Flying Spur. With 550 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque on tap, it is more powerful than the Flying Spur V8, but its 4.8-second run to 60 mph puts it about on the same page as the new Bentley.
The Rapid S starts at $202,775.
Read more about the Aston Martin Rapide S here.
Oh yeah, baby, Porsche went "there" when it unveiled the extra-long Panamera Turbo Executive Sedan. With 520 horsepower at the call of your right foot, a 4-second run to 60 mph, a 189-mph top speed, 24 mpg highway, Porsche handling and a starting price of just $162,075, the Panamera Turbo Executive Sedan is so far the best buy in this class. We have yet to learn everything there is to know about the Bentley Flying Spur V8, but it looks like the Panamera is the way to go initially.
Learn more about the Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive Sedan here.
Sure, the S550 4MATIC is nowhere near as luxurious as the Bentley, nor does it hold the same status as the Flying Spur V8. It does, however, come in at nearly $100k less than what I expect the Flying Spur to check in at, and is nearly as powerful, thanks to a 4.7-liter V-8 that puts down 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. It is also nearly as fast, as it can hit 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds.
Find out more about the Mercedes-Benz S550 4Matic here.
As brand recognition goes, Maserati has an uphill battle against Bentley, but in terms of value, it holds its own. With 523 horsepower and 524 pound-feet of torque pumping from its 3.8-liter V-8, the flagship trident is a thing of beauty. Not only is it super quick — 4.6 seconds to 60 mph — but it is also very luxurious and much cheaper than the Flying Spur V8 being.
Read more about the Maserati Quattroporte GTS here.
Finally, Bentley has decided to bless the Flying Spur with the more fuel efficient 4.0-liter V-8 and help boost its corporate fuel economy ratings. Sure, the Flying Spur W12 is more powerful, but the V8 model is a better buy for buyers who want all the dressings of the flying Spur with a smaller dent in the world’s oil reserves.