Track Tested: 2010 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed

2010 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test-drivers. Enjoy.

"Even if you can afford a chauffeur, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed is too much fun to let someone else drive." Or so we said in our first drive of the 600-horsepower, $200,000 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed. This badder Bentley cranks out 48 hp more than its non-Speed sibling from the 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12. To handle the additional power, Bentley has added new pistons, lightened connecting rods, new computer programming and a revised crankcase. The six-speed, ZF-built automatic transmission, too, has been built up to handle the additional stresses of a 5,500-pound car capable of 60 mph in under 5 seconds. Bringing all of this to a stop are carbon-ceramic brakes and huge 275/35ZR20 Pirelli tires.

Like any good hyper-luxury car, our tester is loaded well above its $202,500 base price. A NAIM for Bentley audio system is $6,900, the "convenience specification" package is $3,220, rear vanity mirrors/picnic tables cost $2,580 and then there's the solar panel/sunroof ($1,060), chrome inlay to door waist rails ($1,050), contrast stitching on the doors and seats ($1,000), three-spoke single-tone heated leather wheel ($540), deep-pile carpets ($450) and Mulliner fuel filler cap ($290).

And while it's not an option, let's just tack on another $3,700 for the gas-guzzler tax and $2,595 for destination and handling. Total: $226,485.

But enough about that. We know it's expensive and we know it's nice. But how is it on the test track?

Vehicle: 2010 Bentley Flying Spur Speed
Odometer: 7,074
Date: 8/24/2010
Driver: Chris Walton
Price: $226,418

Drive Type: All-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed automatic
Engine Type: Twin-turbo W12
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 5,988/366
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 600 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 553 lb-ft. @ 1,700-5,600 rpm
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc with two-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): Ventilated disc with single-piston sliding caliper
Steering System: Hydraulic-assist power rack-and-pinion steering
Suspension Type (front): Multilink self-leveling air suspension, antiroll bar
Suspension Type (rear): Multilink self-leveling air suspension, antiroll bar
Tire Size (front): 275/35ZR20
Tire Size (rear): 275/35ZR20
Tire Brand: Pirelli
Tire Model: P Zero
Tire Type: Summer performance
Wheel size: 20-by-9 inches
Wheel material (front/rear): Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 5,549

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 1.9
0-45 (sec): 3.4
0-60 (sec): 4.8
0-75 (sec): 7.1
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 13.2 @ 105.6
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 4.5
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 106
Slalom (mph): 64.5 (63.1 stability control on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.88 (0.86 stability control on)
Db @ Idle: 46.4
Db @ Full Throttle: 74.0
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 66.8

Acceleration Comments: Feels like "dropping in" on a wave -- starts out interesting, then there's a rush of speed -- even in Drive without brake torque. With brake torque, it LEAPS off the line and there's a huge rush of torque at 4,000 rpm. Upshifts are smooth and quick. Somebody forgot to tell this car it weighs 5,500 pounds.

Braking Comments: Incredibly powerful; fade-free and confident brakes. No smoke, smell or wander. Again, forgets it's a 5,500-pound car.

Handling Comments: Skid pad: In ESC "Dynamic" mode, there's a slight push that's easy to maintain. Steering feels springy, not hydraulic per se. With ESC on, it cuts throttle slightly.

Slalom: With ESC in "Dynamic" and suspension firm, the Bentley turns in crisply but the long wheelbase means rear tires can hit cones. Even so, it transitions remarkably well. Steering is precise but not particularly informative. With ESC on, it only dabs brakes slightly to correct and returns control to driver quickly.