Monte Carlo, the central quarter of the principality of Monaco, has traditionally been the playground of choice for gamblers and the wealthy. The British luxury carmaker kindly allowed us to drive its newest iteration, the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur, giving us a chance to explore the quarter-million-dollar Bentley on the twisting streets of Monaco—surely a memorable experience, well beyond anything we expected.
The third-generation Flying Spur appears more imposing than the previous iterations
While the Mulsanne is considered to be Bentley’s most coveted four-door sedan, the Flying Spur is still the volume model. Unveiled in June 2019, the third-generation Flying Spur appears more imposing than the original Continental Flying Spur of 2005 (and even more imposing than the second iteration, which debuted in 2013).
It sports an evolutionary design that closely echoes its predecessor and shares many elements with the Continental GT
The modern look, a revised W12 engine, four-wheel steering, a dual-clutch transmission, and a 333 km/h top speed are only a few of the highlights of the new ultra-luxury, full-size sedan. It is undoubtedly the fastest production sedan on earth!
One important thing we noticed about the new Flying Spur is its transformation from a chauffeur-driven vehicle to Bentley’s most driver-focused sedan ever—finally surpassing the Bentley rubric and becoming more of a driver’s car!
Fear not, the “best Bentley Sedan of the modern era” is still a Bentley at its core. The British carmaker has added more modern touches and visual flair to the mix. Now, the third-generation Flying Spur boasts a sportier appearance on the outside, setting it apart from the two-door Continental GT—a tradition that is well worth breaking!
Cruising through Monte Carlo's over-the-top surroundings, along the Route Napoleon—on the steep switchbacks of the Alps—the British high-end sedan handled with excellent agility, and we almost felt we were behind the wheel of a svelte sports coupe! Simply put, the all-new Flying Spur was unexpectedly fun to drive!
The “best Bentley Sedan of the modern era” is still a Bentley at its core
From a design standpoint, the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur has an evolutionary design that closely echoes its predecessor. A closer look reveals a handful of subtle styling changes, including the new squared-off grille, which is now wider, taller, and has vertical slats, along with the illuminated Flying B emblem that can be retracted at the touch of a button, and the new cut-crystal LED matrix headlights.
The new model also comes with a choice of 21-inch wheels as standard, while customers can opt for a couple of 22-inch wheels sourced from the Mulliner division. Overall, the high-end saloon borrows stylistic cues from its two-door sibling—the all-new Continental GT.
As far as the dimensions go, the third-generation Flying Spur is slightly bigger than the previous model. It has an overall length of 5316 mm and measures 1987 mm and 1484 mm in width and height, respectively, with a 3194 mm long wheelbase.
Unsurprisingly, the interior of the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur shares many elements of the Continental GT’s; the dashboard is largely carried over from the two-door coupe, including the wide, rotating center console and the standard 12.3-inch infotainment display. The latter can be configured as a single screen, a split 2:1 display, or show three different functions.
Billed as “the world’s most advanced luxury Grand Touring sports sedan,” the new Flying Spur’s cabin is equipped with an array of technologies and features that are hard to list. Among the highlights are the high-definition digital instrument display panel, the all-new Touch Screen Remote for the rear passengers, a panoramic glass sunroof that takes up nearly the entire fixed-roof space, the Mood Lighting with seven different colors, and wireless charging.
Elsewhere, there is a wide selection of Single and Dual Veneer wood options. The redesigned seats are wrapped in fine leather and feature a twin-flute design with fifteen hides to choose from, not to mention the choice of going to Mulliner division for the extra options.
Customers can also opt for the Mulliner Driving Specification, which allows them to get the world’s first three-dimensional diamond-quilted leather door inserts. Speaking of the four seats, they are all heated, ventilated, and fitted with massage and adjustable bolsters, among other luxury amenities.
For audiophiles, Bentley offers a choice of three audio systems. The standard unit features 10 speakers and 650 watts, but customers can opt for a 16-speaker, 1,500-watt Bang & Olufsen system. The third option is the fanciest of them all—a 2,200-watt Naim sound system with 19 speakers!
The range-topping Flying Spur is powered by a revised version of the twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W12 engine that chugs out 626 hp and 900 Nm of torque
Engine and Performance
Sharing the same platform with the Continental GT, it is no surprise to find the same engine under the hood of the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur. The range-topping model is powered by a revised version of the twin-turbo, 6.0-liter W12 engine that chugs out 626 hp and 900 Nm of torque—an 80 Nm increase over the outgoing Flying Spur W12 S.
Hooked to the same eight-speed dual-clutch ZF transmission sending power to the four wheels, the twelve-cylinder unit enables the ultra-luxury sedan to go from zero to 100 km/h in 3.8 seconds before hitting a top speed of 333 km/h, an 8 km/h increase over its predecessor, making it the fastest production sedan ever.
Despite a curb weight of almost 2.5 tons and its big size, pressing the accelerator to the floor made the car surge forward with surprising urgency—a level of thrust that exceeded our expectations.
Despite a curb weight of almost 2.5 tons and its big size, pressing the accelerator to the floor made the car surge forward with surprising urgency
Featuring cylinder deactivation technology, the W12 engine makes the British luxury saloon very calm and quiet in normal driving conditions. Part of the magic is the all-wheel-drive system with a 60:40 power split between the rear and front axles, along with the electronic all-wheel steering system. Better yet, and compared to the previous iteration, the new Flying Spur now rides on a new air suspension system with three-chamber air springs; transforming the full-size sedan into a sports car with a stiff suspension during aggressive driving or a comfortable limousine when cruising down the highway!
Thanks to a new platform, “cutting-edge customer-focused technology,” including the active all-wheel drive, all-wheel steering, and 48-volt active anti-roll bars, packed with a series of luxurious amenities, the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur is again one-step ahead of the competition.
The powerful W12 engine makes the third-generation Flying Spur the fastest production sedan available on the market, surpassing even the 330-km/h Alpina B7! Overall, the Flying Spur will remain the most luxurious, versatile, and capable four-door limousine out there, especially when Bentley’s V8 engine finds its way under the hood later next year.