The Bentley Continental Flying Spur
This week’s addition to Super Speed Friday comes to us from renowned British automaker Bentley. I originally didn’t want to blog about two British cars back to back, but this automobile is so fast that it merits being skipped ahead.
Let’s start at the beginning though, shall we? Bentley Motors Ltd. Was founded back in 1919 and has been putting out remarkable automobiles ever since. Before he ever built or designed cars, founder W.O. Bentley built rotary aero-engines in London during World War One. These engines were used in various airplanes during the war, most prominently in the Sopwith Camel 2F.1. Bentley’s first several automobiles performed remarkably well at the 24 hours of Le Mans races, winning first place 5 times between 1924 and 1930. In 1931, Rolls Royce bought Bentley and moved production out of London. Almost 67 years later, Bentley was purchased by Volkswagen (VW).
The Bentley Continental Flying Spur came onto the market in 2005 as the four door alternative to the GT Coupe. Each flying spur is built by hand and a striking example of custom luxury combined with blazing speed. It was also only the second car to be released following VW’s purchase of Bentley in 1998. The Spur’s platform is that of the Volkswagon Phaeton, VW’s “premium class” vehicle that has been in production since 2002. The platform is significantly heavier when compared to it’s competitors. However, the sheer engine power put into the platform, combined with a shorter axle ratio, overrides that handicap and levels the playing field. The spur also features Yokohama Advan Sports tires, shock absorbers, and air springs, which all combine to create an incredibly smooth ride even at fast speeds.
Under the hood is a 6-litre V12 twin-turbocharged engine which can not only go from 0-60mph in 5 seconds, it can also achieve speeds up to 194mph. A speed version of the car was released in 2009, that one can go up to 200mph. Speeds of this nature are easily comparable to other cars I have put on the “super speed” list. However, unlike those other automobiles, the Bentley retains all the elegance and class of a 4 door sedan while harnessing the speed of a power sports car. Additionally, the Spur has a built in system to increase the stability and reduce drag at it’s highest speeds. It accomplishes this by automatically lowering the ride height as you approach 200mph.
The interior of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is absolutely beautiful. Some critics think that there are too many switches, or that the in dash computer is a bit too complicated. I say, read the manual. I do not consider a complicated in dash computer to really be anything other than an ideal tool for driving entertainment and efficiency. Seeing as how this particular computer is also accompanied by a 12 to 15 speaker system, I’d say the combination is ideal and lends itself very well to the luxury driving experience.
In the world of super speed cars, Bentley continues to step up the game and push it to new heights. The Flying Spur compares quite well to other cars that can achieve a similar driving experience, yet it separates itself in one quite basic way. Put simply, the Flying Spur seats four. Most sports cars are two seaters, reserving the luxury for the driver and one passenger. Now, when you purchase a super speed car that is also a shining example of luxury, you can take more people along for the ride. The more people ride in this car, the more I’m sure will want to buy one. It seems Bentley isn’t just a maker of incredible automobiles, but they build the marketing into their machines as well.
Links to more information about the Flying Spur:
Caranddriver.com Flying Spur Road Test
Autoblog.com Flying Spur Updates
Germancarblog.com Flying Spur News
Blog.autoshopper.com Flying Spur News
By Jeanne Longhorne
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