2021 Bentley Flying Spur Speed
The Flying Spur Speed returns after 7 years with power than ever!by Ciprian Florea, on
The 2021 Bentley Flying Spur Speed is an upcoming, higher performance version of the third-generation, 2020 Flying Spur sedan. The beefed-up four-door marks the return of the Speed-badged Flying Spur after eight years. Although the first-generation Flying Spur featured a Speed version, Bentley skipped the nameplate for the second-generation, opting for the "S" designation instead.
With the Flying Spur redesigned in 2019, the Speed will probably make a comeback in time for the 2021 model year. The badge will add sportier features on the outside, a few bespoke items on the inside, and a more powerful W-12 engine. Find out what we already know about this sedan in the speculative review below.
2021 Bentley Flying Spur Speed
- Not that different from the regular sedan
- Bigger front vents
- Black trim
- Honeycomb grille
- Lowered suspension
- Black window trim
- Quad exhaust pipes
- Bespoke wheels
- Extra paint options
- Two-tone version
With no Speed model offered with the second-gen sedan, there’s no successor to talk about in order to estimate how the new model will look like.
However, the Continental GT was offered in Speed trim for many years now and since the Flying Spur is essentially a four-door version of the GT, it's safe to assume that it will have similar features.
Now, the Speed version of the latest Continental GT has yet to be unveiled, but it won’t be notably more aggressive than the standard version. And you should expect the same from the Flying Spur Speed.
Luckily enough, our paparazzi caught a prototype of the upcoming Speed in the wild and the sedan seems to include some production-ready features.
Changes are pretty obvious, especially up front. Speed models usually feature larger vents in the bumper, so expect the side intakes to grow a bit. Both the intakes and the slim, horizontal vent will retain the standard car’s honeycomb mesh, but the chrome trim will become black. Carbon-fiber is also a possibility for this area, but you’ll probably find it on the options list. The main grille will benefit from the biggest changes, as the vertical slats will be replaced by a honeycomb mesh. The frame will also become black or carbon-fiber instead of chrome.
The regular Flying Spur is already available with blacked-out headlamps sockets, the usual feature on higher performance models, but Bentley will probably offer a unique option here, like either matte-black or carbon-fiber. The badge on the hood could also have a different color or finish, as will the central fin that connects the nose to the windshield.
Unlike the front fascia, the profile will remain mostly unchanged. Look for black window frames, a black badge on the front fender, and black trim above the side skirts, but everything else will remain the same as far as bodywork goes. Bentley will offer unique, multi-spoke wheels for this model, and will probably lower the suspension by a half-inch.
Bentley ditched the oval exhaust pipes in favor of round quad outlets.
Around the back, look for the Speed to feature only mild changes compared to the standard Flying Spur. Bentley might add a spoiler on the trunk lid, but it will definitely change the chrome trim on the bumper and around the taillights from chrome to black (or carbon-fiber, optionally). Finally, Bentley ditched the oval exhaust pipes in favor of round quad outlets.
Other novelties will include a bespoke color palette extended beyond the 17 hues available on the standard model. Just like the rest of the Bentley lineup, the Flying Spur Speed will be available with a wide range of options from the Mulliner division, including two-tone paint jobs.
- Very similar to standard model
- Black chrome trim
- Optional carbon fiber trim
- New instrument cluster graphics
- New upholstery options
- New wood veneer
- Highly customizable
- Comfortable rear seats
- Trunk smaller than the competition
While the exterior will boast a few notable extras, the interior will be identical to the standard model in terms of layout and design.
The good news is that Flying Spur is new for the 2020 model year, so it’s as fresh as they get. If you’ve seen the standard model, you’ve basically seen the upcoming Speed as well.
The dashboard is a work of art. It features a massive piece of wood veneer that extends horizontally on each side of the instrument cluster and into the upper door panels. Depending on what options you get, it can be a two-tone element with wood on the upper section and Piano Black finish on the lower section.
The lower dashboard is covered in leather, as are the center sections of the door panels. However, the latter feature diamond quilting, just like the seats.
The third-gen Flying Spur comes with a big 12.3-inch infotainment display as standard. It provides access to Bentley’s latest infotainment system with new apps and faster and easier operation. But the really cool thing here is that the infotainment is integrated into a Rotating Display system with three sides that revolve in the center stack. The 12.3-inch display is one of them, while the other two are made of wood veneer that matches the rest of the dashboard or three analogue dials that show outside temperature, a compass, and a chronometer. The wood veneer shows when the car is not in use, so the dashboard looks like an uninterrupted wood element.
Tech-wise, the Flying Spur Speed will come with wireless charging and two USB sockets as standard.
The package will also include ambient lighting with seven different colors, and a Touch Screen Remote for rear-seat passengers. It will integrate almost seamlessly into the center console but you will be able to remove it 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.
Speaking of blinds, the Speed will be offered 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 in the standard model and it should be the same in the Speed version as well.
The same choice of three audio system should be offered with the Speed. There will be a standard 10-speaker, 650-watt system and an optional 16-speaker, 1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen unit. Audiophiles can go with the even fancier, 2,200-watt Naim audio system that comes with 19 speakers, active bass transducers built into the front seats, and eight sound modes.
Trunk space will remain the same as in the standard Flying Spur, but this isn’t good news. This sedan can swallow only 14.8 cubic feet of luggage, and that’s notably lower than the competition. The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class, for instance, comes with an 18.7-cubic-foot trunk, while the Rolls-Royce Ghost offers 17.3 cubic feet of room.
So what kind of extra features will you find in the Speed? Well, nothing that will blow you away. Expect things like special upholstery colors and combinations, exclusive stitching options, a couple of extra wood veneers, and new trim. The Speed will probably ditch chrome trim in favor of a darker finish, but it won’t be black, expect a dark shade of chrome as standard and carbon-fiber on the options list. Bentley could even replace the Black Piano trim in the lower dashboard with carbon, which would look really cool and unique. The instrument cluster should also feature custom graphics like red dials and needless and a special menu for performance-related numbers.
- Beefed-up W-12 engine
- Could also be a hybrid
- Around 675 horsepower
- 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds
- Top speed of 207 mph
- Quicker than the competition
- 8-speed automatic gearbox
- Air suspension
Just like its predecessor before 2013 and Speed versions of the Continental GT, the beefed-up sedan should feature a more powerful version of the Flying Spur’s standard engine.
The twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 in the regular sedan, a relatively new engine, cranks out a whopping 626 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, so the big question is how much more oomph will the Speed badge add.
The first-generation Speed, for instance, was 50 horses (almost 10 percent) more powerful than the standard model. The old Continental GT Speed was 51 horsepower more powerful than the standard W-12 coupe, so I guess we could expect something similar here. If this is the case,
the Flying Spur Speed will arrive with around 675 horsepower, a figure that will make it the most powerful four-door Bentley yet.
It will also make it the second most powerful Bentley ever, below only the previous Continental GT Supersports, rated at 700 horsepower.
However, our photographers claim that the Speed test car they spotted features an extra "fuel" cap on the left fender. This could mean that the sedan could actually feature a hybrid drivetrain. And this isn’t a far-fetched idea. Not only does Bentley already offer a hybrid version of the Bentayga, but it also has access to a high-performance hybrid drivetrain. Specifically, the Flying Spur now shares underpinnings with the Porsche Panamera and Bentley can borrow drivetrains from the German sedan. And the Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid is quite the monster, as the twin-turbo V-8 and the electric motor generate a massive 671 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. That’s 45 horses more than the standard Flying Spur, and although the hybrid would some 37 pound-feet below its regular sibling, it would still be enough to drive faster.
But whatever the drivetrain Bentley chose for the sedan, the Flying Spur Speed will be at least a tenth-second quicker to 60 mph than the standard four-door. The latter hits 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, so expect the Speed to get there in 3.6 clicks. This benchmark will make it a half-second quicker than the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class and a full second quicker than the Rolls-Royce Ghost. Quite impressive. In terms of top speed, the Speed will trump the competition by a big margin.
Although it might not be faster than the standard Flying Spur, rated at 207 mph, the Speed will add more than 50 mph to the top speed of its rivals.
The engine or the hybrid drivetrain will most likely make to a revised version of the ZF eight-speed transmission from the Continental GT. This 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.
The Speed will come with all-wheel-drive system as standard. The new AWD features active, clutched system that sends all the power to the rear axle until road conditions and wheel slip demand traction for the front axle as well. The sedan will also feature electronic all-wheel steering, three-chamber air spring suspension, and massive 16.5-inch front brakes for optimum stopping power.
Pricing for the Flying Spur starts from $216,400 and the Speed will fetch notably more than that. Expect to pay in excess of $250,000 before options, a premium that accounts for the extra features and the beefed-up drivetrain.
The Speed isn’t a lot more powerful than the regular Flying Spur, so it will against the same competitors. That’s also because there aren’t many high-power sedans in this segment. But the Speed will have the oomph required to give the range-topping Mercedes-Maybach S-Class a run for its money. Specifically, the S650 features a 6.0-liter V-12 rated at 621 horsepower and 740 pound-feet of twist. That’s less power than the Speed, but notably more torque. But while the Maybach has more torque, it’s actually notably slower to 60 mph, needing 4.1 seconds to get there. 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 more affordable that the Flying Spur Speed, with the range-topping S650 starting from $199,900 in the U.S. However, Maybach offers plenty of options to take that sticker beyond the $250,000 mark.
Read our full review of the 2019 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.
The Ghost is the Flying Spur’s traditional rival, but while it can match the Bentley in terms of opulence, it’s not powerful enough. What’s more, the Ghost has been on the market for nine years as of 2019, so it’s a bit long in the tooth. The next-gen Phantom was unveiled in 2018, so it’s safe to assume that a new Ghost will follow in 2020, but in the meantime Rolls-Royce’s sedan is no match for the current Flying Spur. The Ghost comes with a twin-turbo 6.6-liter V-12 under the hood. The standard version benefits from 562 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, while the V Specification model cranks out 592 horses. The next-gen model should come with a revised V-12, but a hybrid is 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.
Read our full story on the 2019 Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The Flying Spur Speed is high-performance sedan that Bentley needs ASAP in its lineup. It’s more than surprising that it didn’t offer such a sedan since 2013, especially with high-power Mercedes and Maybach models on the market. Granted, the Ghost isn’t powerful and fast enough right now, but the next-generation model should be a massive improvement, Bentley needs to act quick and revive the Speed badge for the Flying Spur sedan. Fortunately, this may happen in 2020, and having already seen the cool Flying Spur, the Speed should be equally fun and luxurious, but with extra grunt and speed.