A special edition Bentley that doesn’t quite meet our standards for Bentley SEs

Fresh off of announcing the Mulliner’s new Design Series for the Flying Spur, Bentley is back at it again with another special edition version of the luxury sedan. It’s called the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition and it’s essentially a dressed-up version of the sedan that features plenty of dark tints lights and black gloss brightware, among other things.

It’s become a little bit of a tradition for Bentley to offer these special edition models in quick succession, so it’s not a surprise that we’re seeing another so soon after the British automaker released a previous special edition Flying Spur with Mulliner heavily involved in it. No one’s going to confuse these new Black Edition Flying Spurs for Mulliner’s Design Series, and I suppose that’s a good thing. With so many SEs coming out of Crewe these days, being different is a good thing, even if it means getting fewer digs than others. That’s essentially what the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition is. There’s not much to go by compared to what Bentley has come up with in past months, but there are still enough new features to at least justify it getting the SE label. It’s still a Flying Spur, too, so even if it’s lacking in distinctive upgrades relative to our expectations, there’s still more than enough opulence to go around for everybody.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition.

What makes the Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition

There is a measure of respect that should be afforded to a company like Bentley. The British automaker isn’t afraid to throw around the term “special edition,” even if it doesn’t mean much in some cases. The Flying Spur V8 Black Edition counts as one of those times, largely because of the upgrades – there are some if we’re being technical about it – don’t necessarily move the needle the way previous SE models did.

2018 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition Exterior High Resolution
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2018 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition Exterior High Resolution
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The “Black Edition” billing doesn’t accurately portray a blacked-out car from head-to-toe as the body color of the model can be had across a suite of different colors.

For one, the “Black Edition” billing doesn’t accurately portray a blacked-out car from head-to-toe as the body color of the model can be had across a suite of different colors. Seems a little hard to justify a Black Edition model with a car wearing turquoise paint, is it? More to that, the items that do come in various forms of black – the brightware, tint lights, and window surrounds – aren’t as striking as they probably should be. From a purely aesthetic point of view, you’d think that these black bits came standard with the Flying Spur, as they probably should have been in the first place.

The radiator grille, mirror caps and the new set off 21-inch, seven-spoke gloss black wheels are the only items in the exterior that really justify the car’s special edition billing and even then, they’re easy to miss if you get distracted by the things that the special edition Flying Spur should have had to really have a semblance of ownership of the “Black Edition” label.

2018 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition Interior High Resolution
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The car’s interior at least makes up for some of the exterior’s shortcomings, albeit not by much.

The good news is that the car’s interior at least makes up for some of the exterior’s shortcomings, albeit not by much. Black is the dominant color in the cabin and the use of red as an accent is a smart move to capture a striking aesthetic balance between the two colors. The Piano Black lacquer trim is also a good addition to highlight the SE’s selling point, as does the Sport Plus steering wheel that itself is dressed in black.

Potential owners of the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition who may want to get a little extra for their efforts can also avail of a special cosmetic package prepared for by Mulliner. It’s called the Mulliner Driving Specification and it features an even more menacing set of 21-inch five-spoke Directional Sports wheels that can be finished in either gloss black or dark tint. In addition, the package also includes diamond-quilted hides in the seat and door panels, with matching contrast stitching to create a look that’s more suited to its name.

Power for this special edition Flying Spur is taken from the same source as all other Flying Spur V8 S models in the market today: a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine. With the engine up front, the luxury sedan is able to get 521 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque, good enough to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds on its way to a top speed of 190 mph.

Somewhat surprisingly, Bentley didn’t say how many of these Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition models it plans to release so it should be reasonable to expect that there’s going to be more than enough of them to go around. The modifications themselves aren’t that overbearing compared to past SE models so it shouldn’t be difficult to turn production Flying Spurs into Black Edition versions of themselves.

2018 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition Exterior High Resolution
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There are better ones on the market, but that doesn’t mean that the Flying Spur Black Edition doesn’t have redeeming qualities about itself.

All told, it’s not the best special edition model that Bentley has come up with, and even saying that feels like an understatement. There are better ones on the market, but that doesn’t mean that the Flying Spur Black Edition doesn’t have redeeming qualities about itself. It should appeal to those who fancy themselves getting seen in an all-black Flying Spur V8 S, without question the best and most fitting configuration of the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition.

There are better special edition versions of the Flying Spur V8 S

If this sounds like I’m not giving the Flying Spur V8 S Black Edition more credit than it deserves, I’m not doing that. It is an appealing SE if you’re into the all-black set-up. But I’d be remiss, too, if I didn’t point out that the Black Edition isn’t the only Flying Spur SE that Bentley and Mulliner have developed in recent months. There have been a number of different iterations of the luxury sedan that were developed to highlight the singular class and style of the Flying Spur, some of which I think are better than the Black Edition.

The Bentley Flying Spur Design Series by Mulliner

It’s only fitting that I start with the Bentley Flying Spur Design Series because it’s the most recent SE Flying Spur to come out of Crewe before the Black Edition. Heck, it was only launched almost a month ago so it’s still fresh in a lot of our heads. Off the bat, the Design Series makes a statement with the choice of exclusive colors that Mulliner is offering for the model. There’s Azure Purple, Pillar Box Red, White, Kingfisher, and Mandarin.

Exclusive colors aside, the Design Series also comes with a first-of-its-kind feature, specifically the use of a “titanium-enriched” carbon on the front fascia panel and the waist walls. According to Mulliner, the treatment is not only inspired by the world of aviation, but it was also the first time such an application was used on a car, something that has an extra weight of meaning to it coming from Mulliner. One other notable feature of the Design Series is the bespoke treadplates that are finished in the chosen accent color and come adorned with an illuminated “Mulliner” insignia.

2018 Bentley Flying Spur Design Series by Mulliner High Resolution Exterior
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Bentley Flying Spur Limited Edition by Mulliner

Mulliner is the underlying theme that runs across pretty much all of Bentley’s special edition models. It’s no different with the Black Edition and Design Series versions of the Flying Spur, and it also holds true for the Flying Spur Limited Edition that Bentley introduced back in December 2016.

The Flying Spur Limited Edition holds a special place in the annals of Bentley SEs in large part because of what Mulliner gave to it. That includes another exclusive paint finish (Peacock Blue) and an interior that’s about as well-dressed a cabin as anything that we’ve seen from Bentley in the recent past. It has full, handcrafted leather, a refrigerated champagne cooler, loose cushions with the Union Flag embroidered on them, and a bespoke, two-tone color finish to the cabin. None of these features though compare to the real highlight of the Flying Spur Limited Edition: the use of English Elm on the veneered surfaces.

You’d be wrong if you think that this is just your regular, chop-of-the-block wood. The specific tree, at least according to Mulliner, is rare in that it was kept alive on the private estate of a British aristocrat through regular injections. Eventually, the tree fell and was sold off to raise proceeds for the introduction of the English Elm back to the U.K. and Europe. Seems fitting that Bentley and Mulliner would get a piece of that wood for their use, and now we know why.

References

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the Bentley Flying Spur.

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