The Flying Spur is the Bentley that you might sometimes forget exists. It’s not as popular with celebrities and those who love to be seen in the 2016 Bentley Continental GT, and neither is it as awe inspiring as the bigger luxo barge that is the 2016 Bentley Mulsanne Majestic. Yet the Flying Spur makes up nearly 40 percent of Bentley’s sales, which makes you wonder what would be possible if anyone paid any actual attention to it. So to spice the car up a bit, Bentley has introduced what it calls the “Beluga Specification,” which essentially boils down to a sport-themed appearance package for the sedan.

It’s a subtle upgrade, and it doesn’t come with any extra power. But it also isn’t especially expensive, at least as far as Bentley option packages go, and it’s a nice touch for the sedan. And more important than what you get with the Beluga Specification is the simple fact that the Flying Spur is an excellent luxury car that sometimes gets overlooked in favor of its sexier stablemates.

Continue reading for my full review of the Flying Spur Beluga Specification.

Exterior

Bentley Flying Spur V8 Beluga Specification High Resolution Exterior
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If the Flying Spur looks like a Continental GT with two extra doors to you then you are paying attention; that’s exactly what it is. Not that this is at all a bad thing. The Continental GT is fairly massive for a coupe, and if anything, it looks better proportioned as a sedan. The look of the car hasn’t been radically changed in the years since it was first introduced, but evolutionary changes have been made here and there to keep the styling contemporary, and it has worked quite well. For those who opt for the Beluga Specification, there is a black radiator matrix — a subtle touch that makes for a more formidable front fascia. There is a special set of 20-inch wheels for the Beluga, but those who have also selected the Mulliner Driving Specification will get a set of 21-inch wheels.

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

Interior

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 High Resolution Interior
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Note: interior from 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 shown here.

The interior is exactly what you would expect from a Bentley sedan. It’s all wood, leather and polished metals, and it is supremely comfortable. Besides the extra pair of doors, the sedan has a lot more rear legroom and other niceties that you won’t get in the GT. There are rear entertainment screens and cup holders, but Bentley clearly intends for you to drive this car yourself. Those looking to be driven by a chauffeur are expected to move up to the Mulsanne. The seats are both heated and ventilated, features that are expected on luxury cars at this level, but which are also extremely nice to have. The doors close with a substantial and satisfying “thunk” and it is altogether a very secure feeling and tranquil place to be. For those who get both the Mulliner Driving Specification and the Beluga Specification, the interior is upgraded with diamond quilted leather, a knurled gear lever and drilled alloy pedals.

Drivetrain

The Flying Spur comes with a choice of two engines, with all-wheel-drive coming standard with both of them. The Beluga Specification doesn’t alter anything about the drivetrain, so performance specs are the same as those of the cars without it. That means 500 horsepower from the base twin-turbo V8, and 616 horsepower from the optional W12 engine.

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

Prices

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V-8 shown here.

The Beluga Specification by itself will cost you $4,000, making it no more expensive than a number of appearance packages offered on much less expensive cars. And the Flying Spur is indeed expensive, with prices starting at $203,000. Prices don’t actually go up too much from there, and $230,000 is about as high as prices go, with most of that difference coming from the cost of the W12 option.

Safety

The Flying Spur comes with a number of passive driver’s aides like a lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitors, with the latter being an especially good thing to have in a vehicle of this size. The inside is festooned with airbags, but for the most part, Bentley doesn’t go quite as crazy with the safety tech as many of the mid-level luxury car companies do. But the Flying Spur is absolutely massive, and that does still count for something in a crash.

Competition

Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II

2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Note:2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II shown here

Naturally, anyone looking at one entry level sedan from a British ultraluxury carmaker will probably look at the other one as well. Though similar in terms of philosophy, the Ghost is actually closer to the upmarket Mulsanne in price, and depending on what sort options you get, it is possible to spend more on a Ghost than on Mulsanne. The Flying Spur looks like a bit of a bargain one you consider this, but keep in mind that the folks at the country club will also know that it was a bargain.

Read more about the 2015 Rolls-Royce Ghost Series II here.

Mercedes-Maybach S600

2016 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class Exterior
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When Mercedes first relaunched the Maybach marque, it was to get you to buy one of its cars instead of a Rolls-Royce Phantom. This proved to be too ambitious for the German upstart, and now Maybach is back to take sales away from the Flying Spur. In terms of price, the two cars are very similar, with the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 being only just slightly cheaper. The levels of refinement are comparable, but most people will ultimately find the Bentley to be the more aesthetically pleasing vehicle, and with so many other things being equal, that’s an important win.

Read more about the 2016 Mercedes-Maybach S600 here.

Conclusion

There are certainly some buyers who like a sporty and flashy Bentley, but those people usually buy the Continental, and Bentley ended up discontinuing the Flying Spur Speed after 2013. That makes the Beluga all the more relevant, as sporty options for the Flying Spur are few. And after all, we are talking about a car that packs 500 or 616 horsepower, so it’s not as though it’s slow. The Beluga Specification might be a little too subtle for some people to notice, but that might be exactly what you want.

  • Leave it
    • * Beluga Specification is so subtle it may seem like you spent 4 grand on nothing
    • * you’ll feel self conscious every time you park next to a Ghost
    • * so much more expensive than an Audi A8, only somewhat nicer

Press Release

Bentley Motors is launching a new specification level exclusively for its Flying Spur V8 model – Beluga Specification.

The contemporary trim level affords the Flying Spur sedan a more athletic stance and purposeful visual appeal. Featuring exclusive 20” Black and Bright machined alloy wheels, a gloss black radiator matrix and a body-coloured lower grille bar, the Beluga specification is the perfect enhancement for a modern performance saloon that perfectly blends craft and comfort.

Inside the Flying Spur V8’s sumptuous handcrafted cabin, buyers will find swathes of piano black veneer, knurled gear shift paddles, contrast stitching to the luxurious seats and steering wheel as well as deep pile floor mats and boot carpet with contrasting leather binding.

When customers also specify the highly popular Mulliner Driving Specification, in combination with Beluga specification, the striking 21” 6-spoke Extrovert wheel is included. The Mulliner Driving Specification includes features such as diamond quilted hides, a knurled gear lever, drilled alloy pedals and an indented hide headlining.

In 4.0-litre, twin-turbo V8 guise it develops 507 PS (500 bhp), sprinting from 0-60 mph in just 4.9 seconds (0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds) while at the same time offering a single-tank range of 500 miles. The athletic design of the Flying Spur combines traditional Bentley styling cues with a dynamic stance and contemporary details, further enhanced in the Beluga specification.

Designed for comfort and refinement, the Flying Spur has benefitted from a suite of upgrades and enhancements for 2015. The exquisite cabin gains modern and tactile new features (as well as onboard WiFi) to maintain Bentley’s reputation for interior style and usability.

Flying Spur V8 Beluga is available to order now worldwide with first customer deliveries in the autumn.

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