What's New for 2011
The 2011 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed is unchanged from last year.
How much is too much? When it comes to high-performance ultra-luxury sedans, it seems that too much is almost enough. The 2011 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed exemplifies this notion, building upon the already impressive "regular" Flying Spur.
A quick look at the numbers says it all. The Speed bests the standard Flying Spur by reaching 60 mph in a scant 4.6 seconds and tops out at a supercar-worthy 200 mph. Power is increased from 552 horsepower to 600 and handling is sharpened for when the road begins to wind. These gains come at a cost, though -- $25,400 to be exact. What this amounts to, then, is a high-stakes game of one-upmanship.
At more than $200,000, the Flying Spur Speed will give even the wealthiest of buyers some pause. With the possibility of forthcoming improvements in the form of more rear-seat legroom, updated infotainment components and refreshed styling, prospective owners may want to postpone their purchase until the next Speed arrives.
If waiting isn't an option, however, buyers can still rest easy knowing they possess a truly fine automobile. Exclusivity is all but guaranteed with the Flying Spur Speed's lofty price, while owners will likely enjoy the Bentley's understated styling and old-world charm just as much as the next version's.
But for now, those seeking a bit more modernity should check out the upper-echelon models of the Jaguar XJ and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera are also worth consideration. The Rolls-Royce Ghost is also within the Bentley's price range and offers even more prestige. Fortunately for the well-heeled buyer, there's not a bad choice in the bunch, as none of these ultra-luxury sedans will disappoint.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed is a high-performance ultra-luxury sedan that is offered in one very well-appointed trim level.
Standard features include 20-inch wheels, an adjustable air suspension, bi-xenon headlamps, a sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, four-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats with lumbar massage, diamond-quilted leather upholstery and 16-way power front seats with heating and lumbar massage. Also standard are a navigation system, Bluetooth and a 12-speaker sound system with a six-CD changer and satellite radio.
Additionally, the Flying Spur Speed also incorporates items from the Flying Spur's Mulliner Driving Specification package, which includes contrasting stitching, special seat piping, drilled alloy sport pedals, a rear seat refrigerated bottle cooler and lamb's-wool carpeting.
Options include power-adjustable rear seats with a full rear center console, front and rear seat ventilation (replaces the diamond-quilted leather with the standard leather), a three-passenger backseat, a rear-seat entertainment system with dual screens, flip-down wooden picnic tables for rear passengers, a heated steering wheel, a back-up camera, a power-opening and -closing trunk, adaptive cruise control, a 15-speaker Naim sound system and iPod integration.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2011 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed is powered by a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 that produces an impressive 600 hp and 553 pound-feet of torque. Power is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. These features, along with the Flying Spur Speed's all-wheel-drive system, combine to propel all 5,567 pounds of this Bentley to 60 mph in a scant 4.6 seconds in Edmunds performance testing. Equally impressive is the top speed of 200 mph.
Standard safety features on the 2011 Flying Spur Speed include side and side curtain airbags front and rear. A passenger-sensing system in the rear seats automatically raises the rear headrests to ensure the best possible protection against whiplash injuries. Antilock disc brakes, traction control and stability control are also standard equipment. In Edmunds brake testing, the Flying Spur Speed came to a stop from 60 mph in 106 feet. With such an incredible, sports-carlike performance, the optional carbon-ceramic brakes are not really needed.
Interior Design and Special Features
Of all the luxury cars on the market, few can challenge the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed's exquisite interior. Only the finest leathers and wood veneers are selected, and time-honored craftsmanship shows in every detail. Push-pull vent controls, a Breitling timepiece and real metal switchgear give the cabin an old-world charm, but so, too, does the outdated infotainment display. It has many of the high-tech features one now expects in a luxury car, but using those features is a not as easy as it should be since it lacks the functionality of newer systems.
The Continental Flying Spur, on which the Speed is based, is already a stout performer. With sharper handling and added power, the 2011 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed seems a fitting car for drivers who think too much is just enough. Despite the 600-hp turmoil under the hood, the Speed is nearly silent as it glides down the highway. However, while it handles like a much smaller and lighter car, when compared to other large luxury sedans, the Bentley's bulk is undeniable and it's just not as energetic to drive as cars like the Jaguar XJ or Porsche Panamera. If you're looking for transport that's more stately than energetic, though, the Flying Spur Speed should certainly deliver.