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The 2006 Bentley Flying Spur

Dr. Woo

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2008 VW .:R32
The World's Best in automotive luxury adds another stunning example to its lineup! In the United States, the entire 2005 allotment (and some of 2006's) has already sold, and the car doesn't reach U.S. shores until September. The Bentley Flying Spur will be the world's fastest 4-door production car (195 mph top speed) and exudes the infallible quality associated with the Bentley name.

http://streetdream.de/cars/bentley/continental_flying_spur/flying_spur_03.html
http://streetdream.de/cars/bentley/continental_flying_spur/flying_spur_04.html
http://streetdream.de/cars/bentley/continental_flying_spur/flying_spur_14.html

Bentley is one confident automaker. Sales in 2004 were up 447 percent, thanks to a $750 million VW-infused cash investment that allowed Bentley to create both the Continental GT, a car that is a runaway market success, and the Flying Spur.

The Flying Spur is essentially a stretched Continental GT (Aug. 25, 2003) with four doors and more rear seat room. Lots more room: Overall length is 209 inches, 19.7 inches longer than the GT, and at 120.5 inches, the wheelbase is about a foot longer. You can have a six-foot-five-inch driver and a six-foot-eight-inch passenger, and everyone is comfortable.

Dutchman Dirk van Braeckel had the Flying Spur in mind when Bentley turned to the designer to pen both new cars. Like the GT, the easy-on-the-eyes Flying Spur is about British luxury and elegance and, at least with a few days? scrutiny, build quality that would do Audi proud. It is chock-full of colossal, supercar-like performance.

First shown at Geneva (AW, March 14), the Flying Spur?its name comes from Bentley?s 1950s sedans?uses the Continental GT?s 6.0-liter, twin-turbo, quad-cam W12, an engine that takes up less space than most V8s. Audi supplies the aluminum block to Bentley in Crewe, England, and Bentley?s engine builders do the rest. This engine develops 552 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, which is sufficient to propel the 5456-pound car to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and on up to a 195-mph top speed (no electronic speed cutoff?that?s for wimps), making the Bentley the fastest four-door production car available.

The acceleration is awesome?ultra-smooth and instantaneous. It just whooshes. With maximum torque coming at just 1600 rpm, effortless acceleration is only the beginning. Just as impressive as its 0-to-62 time is that it will go from 30 to 50 mph in two seconds and 50 to 70 mph in another two seconds. You begin to see its pull is more like a solid booster-aided launch than anything else.

Like the Continental GT, the Flying Spur rides on a platform based on VW Group?s corporate D1 chassis, also on the Audi A8 and VW Phaeton. Bentley says roughly 25 percent of the parts are from The Family; the rest?adjustable shocks, bushings and the aluminum sub-frame, to name three things?are unique to Bentley.

The Flying Spur?s all-wheel-drive system, which delivers excellent dry-road driveability, mates to a ZF six-speed automatic transmission with paddle-shift controls. The four-link front suspension and trapezoidal multilink rear setup along with electronically adjustable air springs at the corners do a wonderful job planting the car. Once the big sedan gets to 155 mph, the suspension lowers ride height 25 mm (about one inch) for better aerodynamic and handling efficiency. The 15.9-inch front disc brakes and 13s in the rear (same as on the GT, the largest on a production car, says Bentley) stop it with authority. With a car capable of a buck ninety-five sticker, the brakes better be good.

The longer wheelbase aids ride comfort, too. Yes this is a stout car, but unlike some of equivalent heft, there is minimal roll in corners; the body stays controlled and level through the twisty corners, and the ride is not harsh over expansion joints.

We?d hoped for rain to give the all-wheel drive a real flog, but no dice. With the suspension set in sport mode, slicing through the switchbacks in Italy was terrific and, as if it is physically possible, the Flying Spur felt smaller the harder we pushed it.

On a European highway the suspension works best in normal mode; the big cruiser is whisper-quiet at high speeds. Crosswinds, road imperfections? No worries?125 mph feels like 55. There is little thought the car wouldn?t behave equally as well on these shores.

One big improvement is its steering; engineers adjusted the software for better on-center feel. This is much appreciated, especially at high speeds, where some have complained the GT?s steering is too light.

The Spur?s interior is outstanding: gorgeous, comfortable and beautifully built in that industry-leading and virtually flawless VW/Audi tradition. Materials include hand-stitched leather?yes, the headliner, too?wood and metal; the only plastic bits are in places where the occupants can?t see or touch them. The front buckets (heated and cooled, naturally) are coddling and commodious. The rear seating area, where perhaps a few Flying Spur owners will spend time, is also huge. If the Flying Spur weren?t so much fun to drive, it could become the next unofficial limo of the NBA. If you choose to order the four-seat-only configuration, rear seats recline and have lumbar support adjustments.

Cars go on sale in the United States in September and 1200 have already been sold. That?s the allotment for 2005 and part of 2006, so you?re looking at delivery of a 2007 model if you?re not already on the list. Some industry insiders suggest if demand makes it necessary, Flying Spurs will be built at VW?s stunning, glass-walled Phaeton plant in Dresden, Germany. Wouldn?t that take parts sharing to a new level?

By industry standards, and by ultra-luxury standards, the Flying Spur is not over-the-top expensive like a Rolls-Royce or Maybach. For $164,990 you get a sedan that runs with most any car on the planet while cosseting you in comfort.

The question is what?s next for Bentley. The drophead coupe shown at the L.A. auto show will make it to production. After that, don?t be surprised to see a Continental GT convertible. And who knows? With Bentley churning out cash and paying Volkswagen back its investment, maybe a new Arnage will happen, too.

For now the Flying Spur will keep Bentley dealers busy. As Adrian Hallmark, Bentley?s marketing chief, put it, ?We are that rare thing in the British automotive world?a car company that is expanding.?
 
Although it doesn't look all that good it's still very cool indeed 8)

Is it only me who think that the steering wheels of all recent Bentleys look like shit?!
It reminds me of the one in the VW Touareg and VW Phaeton, which are both also ugly.
But then again VW and Bentley share the same design of they're key, don't they?
 
hanasand said:
Although it doesn't look all that good it's still very cool indeed 8)

Is it only me who think that the steering wheels of all recent Bentleys look like shit?!
It reminds me of the one in the VW Touareg and VW Phaeton, which are both also ugly.
But then again VW and Bentley share the same design of they're key, don't they?
I think it's absolutely gorgeous. I used to think, "Eh, just a stretched Conti GT..." but now I realize its uniqueness and beauty.

And the steering wheel looks great to me. I hate the Phaeton's and Touareg's wheels, so I can't see how you can draw a parallel to either one.

And yes, they share key designs, which is still a better design than most other automakers'.
 
it looks very nice... but doesn anyone else beside me think the interior got cheaper than the previous Arnage?
 
andyhui01 said:
it looks very nice... but doesn anyone else beside me think the interior got cheaper than the previous Arnage?
This is NOT an Arnage replacement.

And hanasand, you should probably see the wheel in-person before you make claims like that...

Better photo:

06.bentley.flyingspur.int.500.jpg

God and Bentley are in the details: The leather-wrapped steering wheel is double-stitched by hand and takes five hours to trim.
(Photo courtesy of Bentley Motors)
 
Five hours gone to waste then! :lol:

It's just lacks everything sporty, and it's really just that huge chubby box in the middle
of it which ruins the design. Goodbye airbag and they'll have a neat steering wheel
 
I saw one saturday and from the pictures I didn't like it but in the real world it's pretty okay!

It's way bigger then the continental GT and in a total different league then the Arnage, I think it could be a succes

305 km/h in such a limousine is just :shock:
 
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