2017 Bentley Flying Spur

2017 Bentley Flying Spur Review

Is there a limo to drive rather than be driven in? With the Bentley Flying Spur, quite possibly.
author
by Calvin Kim
Edmunds Editor

Combining the attributes of a British steam train, an ocean liner and the Concorde, the 2017 Bentley Flying Spur is the most driver-focused of the world's elite luxury sedans. Confident power and stable handling are combined with British craftsmanship and luxury.

To be clear, this isn't a sports car with four doors. In the past, we've described the Flying Spur as a living room that can go 200 mph, and the 2017 model is no different. According to Bentley, it takes 138 hours to build one from beginning to end. Standard equipment includes burl walnut veneer and a Naim sound system. And as is the case for most cars in this price bracket, Bentley will happily mix and match colors and materials to your heart's content, all for a price. But when modern prestige and road-going spirit are the goals, the Flying Spur occupies an enviable niche.



what's new

New for 2017, the S variants of the Flying Spur and Flying Spur V8 are the sportier stablemates to their touring-oriented brothers. They both feature more power, 21-inch wheels, and recalibrated suspension and stability control systems to show off more dynamic capability.

we recommend

We recommend the standard Bentley Flying Spur. Built with a touring-oriented suspension calibration, it'll have better ride comfort over the highway, and its turbocharged W12 engine has plenty of passing and grade-pulling power. From there, go with the Mulliner Driving Specification. It's an interior and exterior design package with unique preselected materials.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Bentley Flying Spur is offered in two main variants: Flying Spur V8 and Flying Spur W12. There are also sport versions: V8 S and W12 S. The V8 utilizes a turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 good for 500 hp and 487 pound-feet of torque. On the V8 S, output is increased to 521 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. For the W12, a 6.0-liter W12 engine cranks out 616 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. The W12 S version has an incremental increase to 626 hp and 605 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard on all versions.

Take a seat inside and you'll find real wood veneer and leather saturate the interior, and chromed and polished organ stop vent dampers still feature prominently on the dash. Standard feature highlights include an adjustable air suspension, a power trunklid, keyless ignition and entry, a Breitling analog dashboard clock, four-zone automatic climate control and heated and ventilated multi-way power front and rear seats. Also standard are an 8-inch front touchscreen, a navigation system, a rearview camera, voice controls and an eight-speaker audio system

The Mulliner specification adds 21-inch wheels (or any other kind of wheel you'd like, Bentley says), a chrome lower front bumper with wing insert, a choice of 17 diamond-quilted perforated interior hides (including a presumably non-literal Porpoise decor option) and six wood veneers, an indented leather headliner, a knurled shift knob, drilled alloy pedals and a special gas tank cap.

Other notable options include carbon-ceramic brakes, adaptive cruise control, various wheel designs, flip-down wooden picnic tables for rear passengers, upgraded stitching, a two-passenger rear compartment with a full-length center console, a rear entertainment system with twin display screens, Wi-Fi connectivity and a 13-speaker Naim sound system. Bentley also offers a seemingly endless array of different color, trim and upholstery customization options.

trim tested

Edmunds has not recently tested or driven this vehicle. The following is our first take on what's significant about it and what you can expect.

driving

With gobs of torque and an all-wheel-drive system that biases engine torque to the rear wheels to improve handling, the Flying Spur promises a relatively sporty driving experience by segment standards. The keyword there is "relatively"; this is an amply sized, heavy sedan after all.

comfort

This is the Flying Spur's raison d'être. Complete cocooning in real wood and leather, an adjustable suspension and a nearly silent powertrain enable passengers to feel almost completely isolated. But the rear seating isn't quite as posh as in other mega-buck luxury sedans.

interior

If you're into latest whiz-bang technology, the Flying Spur is not for you. Instead, focus on craftsmanship and the get-down-to-driving nature of the cockpit layout. The Flying Spur is one of the few cars left that invite you to just drive rather than fiddle with the in-car electronics.

utility

The only mission of the Flying Spur is to make its owner happy; utility is largely beside the point. Small storage space is limited, and the trunk can hold a respectable 16.7 cubic feet. But it's lined in plush carpet, of course.

technology

Yes, it's lacking compared to, say, a current-spec Hyundai, but the rear-seat remote climate control tablet is nice touch, and there's no fiddly knobs or gesture control systems to get in the way. Simple touchscreen and buttons are all that's available.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.