Rowan Horncastle20 February 2013

Meet the new Bentley Flying Spur

Bentley unveils fastest and most powerful four-door saloon in its history…

Bentley Flying Spur

Internet, behold the fastest and most powerful four-door Bentley ever built. It's the new Flying Spur, and it'll make its official debut in early March at the Geneva show.

How powerful? Very. Only one engine is available, and it's Bentley's 6.0-litre, twin turbocharged, 48-valve W12, producing 616bhp and 590 lb ft of torque; considerably more than the 552bhp W12 of the outgoing Flying Spur. It's fed through an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox to all four wheels, with a standard torque split of 40 per cent to the front, and 60 per cent to the rear. And the whole ‘fastest' bit? Well, the new Flying Spur will charge you and your passengers to 60mph in 4.3 seconds and onto a top speed of 200mph. In something weighing roughly the same as Wiltshire, that's absurd pace.

See more pics of the new Bentley Flying Spur

Underneath, Bentley has softened the front and rear spring rates for an even cushier ride, along with softer anti-roll bars and suspension lever bushes. And as you head towards the 200mph top speed - where permitted, you crazy fools - the ride height lowers automatically to reduce drag and increase stability.

It's lower, wider, lighter and greener than ever. Bentley's head of design Luc Donckerwolke and his team have lowered the Flying Spur's roof, while extending and swoopifying the boot lid. The rear lights are also new, bringing the Flying Spur into line with Bentley's new design language previewed on the controversial EXP 9 F Concept. At the front it's pretty much business as usual.

It may not look like it, but there are actually 600 new parts in the new car: only the sun visors, grab handles, armrests and some bits on the front console and controls have been carried over. And as you'd expect, it's utterly luxurious, replete with the finest leathers and wood, including an unbroken arc of either burr walnut or dark fiddleback eucalyptus throughout the cabin. Beneath the Buckingham-Palace-drawing-room fitting lurks much technology: a HD 8-inch touchscreen interface at the front, and two 10-inchers in the back for the passengers, with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Plus, of course, it's quiet. Bentley has used lightweight acoustic underfloor panels to minimise road noise, as well as special acoustic glass, two sealing points around the side glazing to reduce wind noise, and enlarged exhaust mufflers that slash 12dB at 3,000rpm.

Sadly, there's literally no word on price, nor how this new Bentley Flying Spur will react when offered a ‘Kris Meeke' and some British Rally-spec mud, but we'll let you know as soon as we find out...

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