The third-generation Flying Spur is the world’s most advanced four-door grand tourer

The 2020 Bentley Flying Spur is the third-generation version of the company’s full-size luxury sedan. The third-gen four-door replaces a six-year-old sedan in a segment that’s also contested by the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class and the Rolls-Royce Ghost.Heavily inspired by the Continental GT coupe, the 2020 Flying Spur boasts a sportier appearance on the outside, a more modern interior, and a revised W-12 engine.

Built on the same chassis as the Continental GT, the third-generation Flying Spur features a big amount of brand-new, state-of-the-art technology. The sedan is fitted with an active all-wheel-drive system, and it’s also the first Bentley to have four-wheel steering. The revised W-12 engine isn’t notably more powerful than the old unit, but it makes the Flying Spur the quickest sedan in its class and the only one to hit 60 mph in less than four seconds. Let’s find out more about that in the review below.

  • 2020 Bentley Flying Spur
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    W12
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    626
  • Torque @ RPM:
    664
  • Displacement:
    6.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    207 mph
  • 0-100 time:
    3.8 sec.
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    9.3/10

Exterior

  • Borrows from the Continental GT
  • Sportier front fascia
  • Massive grille
  • Elegant profile
  • Muscular fenders
  • B-shaped LED taillights
  • Repositioned rear license plate
  • Standard 21-inch wheels
  • 17 paint options
2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844447
The most striking feature in the front is the grille, which is notably wider and taller

As expected, the new Flying Spur shares it front fascia with the most recent Continental GT. The most striking feature here is the grille, which is notably wider and taller. Bentley also ditched the two-piece design of the grille for a more luxurious looking unit with no fewer than the 23 thin and vertical slats. This grille design is a tribute to the iconic Bentley S1 Continental Flying Spur from 1957. The fine radiator grille behind the slats is finished in gloss-black for a neat contrast with the chrome frame.

The massive grille is flanked by brand-new headlamps. Just like the Continental GT, the Flying Spur continues to feature a quad-headlamps layout, but the outer units are now much smaller than the inner lights. All four are fitted with LED Matrix technology as standard and Bentley’s new cut-crystal effect. The Brits also added a chrome sleeve behind the cut element for a sparkling effect that’s visible even when the headlamps aren’t lit.

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The new Flying Spur is the first to carry a Flying B mascot on the engine cover

The front bumper sports a new design too. The old and boring vents of the previous Flying Spur were replaced by a sportier layout with a trapezoidal opening at the center and rectangular vents on the sides. They’re set apart by thick chrome trim and feature a honeycomb-style grille. The latter is gloss-black, while the frame can be specified in a darker chrome for a more subdued look.

Another cool new features is the Flying B mascot on the engine hood. Added for the first time to a modern Flying Spur, it adds a dash of elegance to the sedan, moving it closer to its Rolls-Royce counterpart. The redesigned mascot is also illuminated and linked to the welcome lighting sequence and keyless entry system, so it activates when you approach the car.

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In the rear, the new Flying Spur shares styling cues with both the old sedan and the most recent Continental GT

The Flying Spur’s profile retains the clean and elegant design of the old sedan, but I spotted a few new styling cues to talk about. For starters, the Flying Spur looks a tad sportier thanks to a couple of protruding character lines. The first one starts from the top of the outer headlamp and travels across the arched front fender to become straight as it passed through the front door and ends halfway into the rear door. The second character line starts from the rear door and arches around the shape of the rear fender before it meets the taillights.

In the rear, the new Flying Spur shares styling cues with both the old sedan and the most recent Continental GT. The decklid still features the raised center section as the outgoing Flying Spur, but the section is taller. The trunk lid is also wider over the rear fascia, which means a much-improved loading area. The previous rectangular taillights were replaced with almost square units that boasts B-shaped graphics that mimic the "Bentley" badge. The fascia is clean now, with the license place recess moved into the bumper. The latter remains familiar, but it now sports thin chrome strips on each side of the license place and a cleaner lower section. The oval tailpipes are fitted into oval-shaped openings in the bumper.

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The new Flying Spur is available with a choice of 21-inch wheels as standard, but you can also pick from a couple of optional 22-inch rollers from the Mulliner division. The standard color palette includes 17 different hues, but you can access Mulliner’s option list for more paints, including two-tone finishes.

As far as size goes, the third-gen Flying Spur is a tad bigger than its predecessor. At 209.3 inches long, it’s only 0.7 inches longer than the old model. When it comes to width, the new sedan is identical to its predecessor at 77.9 inches. At 58.4 inches tall, the new Flying Spur is only marginally lower than the old sedan, which comes in at 58.6 inches. But although it’s not notably bigger, the new Flying Spur has a significantly longer wheelbase due to the front axle having been moved farther away from the cabin. At 125.7 inches, the new wheelbase boasts an additional five inches.

Interior

  • Borrows from the Continental GT
  • Wood veneer on the dash
  • Wood veneer on the doors
  • Leather upholstery
  • Leather inserts in the door
  • Rotating infotainment display
  • Digital instrument cluster
  • Unique A/C vents in the center stack
  • Wide center console
  • Luxury seats
  • Rear-seat entertainment
2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844442
The 12.3-inch screen is one of three sides of the rotating display that revolves in the center stack

Not surprisingly, the Flying Spur’s interior is also shared with the Continental GT. The sedan has an identical dashboard with horizontal wood veneer that extends almost seamlessly into the door panels, a wide center console, and a standard 12.3-inch infotainment display. Bentley’s Rotating Display, which debuted in the Continental GT, is offered in the Flying Spur as well. Specifically, the 12.3-inch screen is one of three sides of the rotating display that revolves in the center stack.

When the car is not in use, the screen is replaced by the wood veneer side, so the dash looks like an uninterrupted wood element. The third side of the Rotating Display reveals three analogue dials that show outside temperature, a compass, and a chronometer.

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One of the biggest changes compared to the Continental GT can be spotted in the center stack, where the round vents were replaced by B-shaped elements. The clock between the A/C vents is carried over from the Continental GT, but it now has bronze detailing. Speaking of fine, luxurious details, the rotary stitching on the center console feature diamond knurling. This finish can be selected for the air vents and the clock as options.

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The door panels are just as fancy as the dashboard, as the fine wood veneer is joined by diamond-quilted leather inserts

The Flying Spur also benefits from a new wood veneer option in Crown Cut Walnut. This veneer is created through a straight cut process that provides a more modern finish. You can also opt for Dark Fiddleback and Piano Black trim, among a total of five veneers available. You can combined two of them for a two-tone look, as seen in these presentation photos.

The door panels are just as fancy as the dashboard, as the fine wood veneer is joined by diamond-quilted leather inserts. This feature is borrowed from the EXP 10 Speed 6 concept, and it’s a first for the Flying Spur nameplate. The redesigned seats are also wrapped in fine leather and feature a twin-flute design. All four seats have heating, ventilation, multi-mode massage, adjustable bolsters, and top tilt. The rear seats also include a folding center armrest. If you opt for the Mulliner Driving Specification, the Flying Spur comes with three-dimensional leather and stitching and embroidery. Speaking of leather, you can choose from 15 different colors before going to Mulliner for the extra options.

2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844440

As far as tech goes, the Flying Spur comes with wireless charging and two USB sockets. It also has Mood Lighting with seven different colors, but this feature is optional. The 12.3-inch screen can be configured as a single display, a split 2:1 display, or to show three different functions.

Rear passengers also benefit from all-new Touch Screen Remote that’s made from finely-crafted materials. It integrates almost seamlessly into the console but is easily removed at the touch of a button for remote use. It allows access to a variety of applications, including control of all blinds, rear-seat massage function, and rear climate control.

If you’re a fan of natural light, you can spec your Flying Spur with a full-size, glass-to-glass panoramic sunroof. It includes a front panel that tilts and slides rearward and Alcantara blinds that deploy electrically. These are color-matched to the interior upholstery.

2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844441
The two rear seats also look comfortable and seem to provide plenty of lateral support

The entertainment system is rounded off by a choice of three audio systems. The standard unit features 10 speakers and 650 watts, but you can go with a Bang & Olufsen system that cranks out 1,500 watts and comes with 16 speakers and illuminated grilles. The third option is a fancier, bespoke units made by Naim. The 2,200-watt system has 19 speakers, active bass transducers built into the front seats, and eight sound modes.

Bentley has yet to release info on passenger space, but the rear compartment seems to have ample legroom and shoulder room. The two rear seats also look comfortable and seem to provide plenty of lateral support. No room on trunk space either, but hopefully the new Flying Spur is more capable than its predecessor, which had a 16.7-cubic-foot trunk, smaller than some compact sedans. The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class offers a bit more at 18.7 cubic feet, as does the Rolls-Royce Ghost at 17.3 cubic feet.

2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844439

Drivetrain

  • Revised 6.0-liter W-12
  • 626 horsepower
  • 664 pound-feet
  • Same oomph as the old model
  • Extra 59 pound-feet of torque
  • Eight-speed automatic
  • 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds
  • Quickest sedan in this niche
  • Top speed at 207 mph
  • Active AWD system
  • Four-wheel steering
  • New air suspension
2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844449
The massive mill cranks out 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque

The Flying Spur rides on the same platform as the Continental GT, so it’s not really surprising that it has the same engine under the hood as well. The unit in question is a revised version of Bentley’s 6.0-liter W-12. The massive mill cranks out 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, a mild 59-pound-foot increase with identical horsepower compared to the outgoing Flying Spur W12 S.

But despite the very mild increase, the new Flying Spur is notably quicker than its predecessor, mostly thanks to its lighter architecture, redesigned chassis, and new technology. Specifically, the sedan needs 3.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, a half-second improvement over the old model. Top speed is also higher now at 207 mph, a five mph increase over the previous sedan.

2020 Bentley Flying Spur vs. 2019 Bentley Flying Spur
2020 Bentley Flying Spur 2019 Bentley Flying Spur 2019 Bentley Flying Spur W12 S
Configuration 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 6.0-litre, twin-turbo W12
Power 635 PS / 626 bhp / 467 kW 616 bhp / 460 kW / 625 PS @6000 626 bhp / 635 PS
Torque 900 Nm / 664 lb.ft 800 Nm / 590 lb.ft @ 2000 rev/min 820 Nm / 605 lb-ft
Top speed        207mph (333 kph) 200 mph / 322 km/h 202 mph / 325 km/h
0-60 mph 3.7 s 4.3 secs 4.2 secs
0-100 kph 3.8 s 4.6 secs 4.5 secs

Compared to its direct rivals, the new Flying Spur packs an extra five horsepower over the Mercedes-Maybach S650. However, it falls behind when it comes to torque by 76 pound-feet. The Merc is rated at 621 horsepower and 740 pound-feet. The Rolls-Royce Ghost falls behind by 34 horsepower and 89 pound-feet with a rating of 592 horses and 575 pound-feet.

Bentley Flying Spur vs competition
2020 Bentley Flying Spur Rolls Royce Ghost Mercedes-Maybach S-Class
Configuration 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI 6,592 cc (402.3 cu in) V12 twin turbo 6.0-liter V-12
Power 635 PS / 626 bhp / 467 kW 562 HP @ 5250 RPM 621 HP @ 4,800-5,400 RPM
Torque 900 Nm / 664 lb.ft 575 LB-FT @1500 RPM 738 LB-FT @ 2,300-4,300 RPM
Top speed        207mph (333 kph) 155 mph 155 mph
0-60 mph 3.7 s 4.7 seconds (4.8 Sec EWB) 4.1 seconds
Bentley replaced the old AWD system, with an active, clutched system

The 6.0-liter W-12 mates to the same eight-speed ZF transmission from the Continental GT. The gearbox has faster gearshifts thanks to a feature that pre-selects the next gear and shortens the interruption of torque to the wheels. Top speed is reached in sixth gear, with the seventh and eighth steps acting as overdrive gears for fuel-efficient driving.

Just like its predecessor, the new Flying Spur comes with an all-wheel-drive system too, but Bentley replaced the old unit, which had a fixed 60:40 power split between the rear and front axles, with an active, clutched system. This unit sends all the power to the rear axle until road conditions and wheel slip demand traction for the front axle as well. When this happens, some torque will be redirected to the front wheels, giving the Flying Spur all-wheel-drive dynamics.

While the new AWD system is an upgrade to the old unit, the third-generation Flying Spur features brand-new technology as well. The sedan now has electronic all-wheel steering, a system that many premium automakers introduced on their sports cars in recent years.

2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844448
The sedan now rides on three-chamber air springs that contain 60 percent more air volume compared to the previous Flying Spur

Designed to enhance stability at all speeds, all-wheel steering steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels during low-speed maneuvers, reducing the turning circle and increasing agility. During high-speed maneuvers, it steers the rear wheels in the same direction as the front wheels to increase stability during overtaking and lane changes.

The sedan now rides on three-chamber air springs that contain 60 percent more air volume compared to the previous Flying Spur. This upgrade enables the sedan to act as a sports car with a stiff suspension during spirited driving or a refined limousine while cruising on the highway. It’s also fitted with Continuous Damping Control, which allows continuous regulation of the dampers via four ride height sensors.

Stopping power comes from the same iron brakes as found in the Continental GT. Bentley claims they’re the largest in the world with the front discs measuring 16.5 inches. The Bentley-branded calipers come standard in gloss-black, but you can opt for a red finish.

2020 Bentley Flying Spur drivetrain specifications
Configuration 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged W12 TSI
Capacity 5950 cc / 363 cubic inches
Induction 2x twin-scroll turbochargers, direct intercooling
Power 635 PS / 626 bhp / 467 kW
Torque 900 Nm / 664 lb.ft
Bore x stroke 84 mm x 89.5 mm / 3.3” x 3.52”
Top speed        207mph (333 kph)
0-60 mph 3.7 s
0-100 kph 3.8 s

V-8 and Hybrid versions underway

2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844452
Expect the V-8 model to come with 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque on tap

Just like its predecessor, the new Flying Spur will become available with a V-8 engine as well. The sedan will probably feature the same 4.0-liter V-8 from the Continental GT V8, so expect it to deliver the same 542 horsepower and 568 pound-feet of torque. If this turns out to be true than the third-gen Flying Spur V8 will benefit from an extra 21 horsepower and 40 pound-feet compared to the outgoing V8 S model.

A hybrid version is also underway, but the jury is still out on what drivetrain it will use. The hybrid sedan could borrow its underpinnings from the Bentayga Hybrid SUV, which pairs a 3.0-liter V-6 gasoline engine to an electric motor for a total output of 456 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of twist. However, Bentley would also have access to the V-8 hybrid drivetrain of the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid. The German sedan comes with a whopping 671 horsepower and 627 pound-feet on tap. Bentley will probably go with the V-6 drivetrain though, as the Volkswagen Group may want the Panamera to retain an exclusive high-performance hybrid status.

Prices

2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844446

Pricing information is not yet available, but the third-generation Flying Spur should cost a bit more than its predecessor. That said, expect it to fetch more than $250,000 before options.

Competition

Rolls-Royce Ghost

2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II High Resolution Exterior
- image 544479

The Ghost is the Flying Spur’s traditional rival as it can offer the same amount of opulence and performance. On the market for nine years as of 2019 and updated in 2014, the Ghost will most likely receive a complete redesign by 2020. The next-gen Phantom was already unveiled in 2018, so it’s safe to assume that a new Ghost will follow suit. Unlike the Flying Spur, the current Ghost is a V-12 machine only, as both the standard and V-Specification models are powered by a twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12. The first version comes with 562 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, while the latter benefits from 592 horses. The next-gen model should come with a revised V-12, but a hybrid or even an all-electric version are on the table too. Likely to retail from around $300,000, the Ghost will be a much more expensive proposition, especially when compared with the less powerful, non-W-12 Flying Spurs.

Find out more about the Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class

2016 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class High Resolution Exterior
- image 599556
Mercedes-Benz has finally revealed the European pricing for the new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Discontinued in 2012, the Maybach brand returned in 2015 as Mercedes-Maybach. Now selling mildly revised S-Class models equipped with far more luxurious interiors, Maybach has two vehicles on offer. The base model is called S560 and features a 4.0-liter V-8 rated at 463 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque. The second, more expensive version, goes by the name S650 and features the larger, 6.0-liter V-12 with 621 horsepower and 740 pound-feet of twist. While the exterior of the Mercedes-Maybach is identical to the S-Class, the cabin is a different story, sporting the most luxurious features Mercedes-Benz has to offer. The wheelbase is also longer, providing more room for rear-seat passengers. It’s also more affordable too, with the range-topping S600 starting from $199,900 in the U.S. However, Maybach offers plenty of options to take that sticker beyond $300,000.

Learn more about the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

Conclusion

2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844451

Six years old as of 2019, the second-generation Flying Spur is nothing to sneeze at. It still looks cool on the outside, the cabin is packed with premium features, and Mulliner has an impressive list of options for customers with fat wallets. With V-8 and W-12 engines rated at more than 500 and 600 horsepower, respectively, the old Flying Spur is fast too. Overall, it has what it takes to give competitors from Rolls-Royce and Mercedes-Benz a run for their money. And this is where the third-gen Flying Spur kicks in as a big blow to Bentley’s rivals. Built on a new platform and with new tech like active AWD and all-wheel steering, the new Flying Spur raises above the competition. Its clean, luxurious interior is a big blow for Rolls-Royce as well, especially since the Ghost is almost a decade old. The massive W-12 makes the Flying Spur the quickest big sedan on the market and enables the Brits to climb at the top of the luxury segment without much opposition. Until Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce redesign their big sedans, the Flying Spur will remain the most capable and luxurious four-door out there.

  • Leave it
    • Still an expensive choice

Further reading

2020 Bentley Flying Spur
- image 844447

2020 Bentley Flying Spur Quirks and Facts

2019 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
- image 829544

Read our full review on the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S High Resolution Exterior
- image 666167

Read our full review on the 2017 Bentley Flying Spur V8 S.

2017 Bentley Flying Spur W12 S High Resolution Exterior
- image 687394

Read our full review on the 2017 Bentley Flying Spur W12 S.

Rendering

2020 Bentley Flying Spur Computer Renderings and Photoshop Exclusive Renderings Exterior
- image 718772

As mentioned above, we used many of the EXP10 Speed 6 concept’s features to design the next-generation Flying Spur. This is most visible up front, where the main headlamps flanking the grille are joined by smaller lights toward each corner. These are smaller than the ones seen on the outgoing model and now have their center sections covered, meaning they look like thin LED rings. The main grille retains the already traditional shape, but it now sits closer to the ground, thus lowering the nose for a sportier stance. Below, the Flying Spur should feature a three-piece grille configuration with two wing-like elements separating the cooling vents in the upper corners. The profile of the rendering is very similar to the current model, but we can see a revised fender vents, redesigned side windows, and more muscular rear haunches.

Spy Shots

February 13, 2018 - Next Bentley Flying Spur caught testing in Sweden

2020 Bentley Flying Spur Exterior Spyshots
- image 767189
2020 Bentley Flying Spur Exterior Spyshots
- image 767184

December 20, 2017 - Bentley Flying Spur caught playing in the snow

2020 Bentley Flying Spur Spyshots Exterior
- image 753741
2020 Bentley Flying Spur Spyshots Exterior
- image 753747

November 2, 2017 - Bentley Flying Spur caught testing once again

2020 Bentley Flying Spur Spyshots Exterior
- image 742201
2020 Bentley Flying Spur Spyshots Exterior
- image 742210

June 6, 2017 - Bentley Flying Spur caught wearing its real body prototype

2020 Bentley Flying Spur Spyshots Exterior
- image 719058
2020 Bentley Flying Spur Spyshots Exterior
- image 719063

March 20, 2017 - Next Bentley Flying Spur caught testing

2020 Bentley Flying Spur Exterior Spyshots
- image 710796
2020 Bentley Flying Spur Exterior Spyshots
- image 710802

Update History

Updated 02/13/2018: Our spy photographers caught the new generation Flying Spur out for a new testing session in Sweden. The new car is expected to debut in late 2018 or early 2019.

Updated 12/20/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley Flying Spur out for a new testing session. This time the luxury sedan was caught out, playing in the snow.

Updated 11/02/2017: The upcoming Bentley Continental Flying Spur was caught testing once again, still wearing a great amount of camouflage.

Updated 06/06/2017: Our spy photographers caught the upcoming Bentley Flying Spur out for a new testing session this time wearing a real body prototype.

Updated 06/01/2017: Based on the recent spy shots and rumors, we created a rendering for the upcoming Bentley Flying Spur. Let us know in the comments section below what do you think about it!

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