We’re very fond of the Bentley Flying Spur. There’s precious little to dislike about it, other than the luxury bruiser’s heinous thirst, but now there’s an answer for that.
It’s the entirely expected Flying Spur V8, which by ditching the 6.0-litre W12 of the standard model becomes better in almost every way. The big one is weight - doing away with four cylinders and two litres of displacement has banished 100kg from the Spur.
So, although the 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is a bit down on power and torque (542bhp/568lb ft vs the W12’s 626bhp/664lb ft), this version of the Flying Spur is scarcely slower. The 0-62mph sprint takes four seconds dead as opposed to 3.8, and if you’ve room to keep going, it’ll hit 198mph, compared to 207mph in the W12. That’ll do nicely.
Plus, with that weight reduction’s focus being at the front end, it should be noticeably sharper to drive. The W12 Flying Spur is already in fine shape dynamically, so we’ve high hopes for this latest derivative. You still get air suspension as standard, with rear-wheel steering and 48-volt active anti-roll bars on the options menu.
The Audi/Porsche-developed engine - also used in Bentley’s Bentayga and Continental GT V8 - has cylinder deactivation technology, which shuts down half the cylinders below 3000rpm if under 173lb ft is being demanded by the driver. We’re still looking at a heavy car with a reasonably big engine, of course, so the fuel economy isn’t spectacular at 22.3mpg. It’s 17 per cent more efficient than the W12, though, and thanks to its big fuel tank, the range is over 440 miles.
From the outside, it’s tricky to tell apart from the W12 - aside from some discreet V8 badges and a new quad-exit exhaust, there haven’t been any changes. It’s the same story inside - you still get copious amounts of quilted leather, ‘organ stop’ vent controls and the (optional) rotating ‘Toblerone’ display unit.
Bentley hasn’t revealed a price yet, but judging by the Conti V8, it’ll undercut the £168,300 W12 Flying Spur by around £10,000.