Bentley is ready to wrap up the complete makeover of its “entry” level line-up – for folks who consider something in the $200,000 range “basic” transportation, anyway.
The British maker will be bringing the all-new 2014 Bentley Flying Spur to next month’s Geneva Motor Show, the sedan sharing the basic underpinnings of the Bentley Continental GT coupe – which launched two years ago — and the Continental GTC convertible models. What it won’t share is the, “Continental” designation, which mercifully drops off the badge for the ’14 remake to give us a shorter, easier to remember name – while Bentley also adds a longer list of standard features and options.
“Our engineers have worked tirelessly to ensure that the Flying Spur is the perfect combination of power, comfort, refinement and hand-crafted quality,” promises Wolfgang Schreiber, who took over as Bentley CEO last year. “The new Flying Spur is equipped both for business and relaxation whilst remaining a car to enjoy from behind the wheel.”
Bentley is billing the new Flying Spur as the fastest ever with a top speed of 200 mph and 0 to 60 times rated at 4.3 seconds. It draws power from a twin-turbo 6.0-liter W-12 engine that makes 625 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque. That’s a whopping 64 hp and 114 lb-ft more than the old Spur – but perhaps more impressive is the fact that the 2014 remake will deliver peak power at just 2000 RPMs, rather than 6000.
Meanwhile, the old 6-speed automatic has been replaced with a new ZF 8-speed that delivers shifts quicker than a manual, in barely 200 milliseconds. As before, the 2014 Flying Spur sends power to all four wheels with a normal 60% bias to the rear that can shift to 65% of torque being redirected to the front axle, if needed to maintain traction.
Like the Continental GT and GTC models, the Flying Spur chassis has been significantly lightened while also getting stiffer. That should deliver a more well-planted ride, improved crashworthiness – and better fuel economy, Bentley claims.
The maker has taken additional steps to cut mass, including the use of a superformed aluminum – sorry, they’re British, so it’s aluminium – hood and front fenders, as well as a composite trunk lid. Overall, the car is 110 pounds lighter and has a moderate improvement in aerodynamic drag.
In comparison to the old car, mileage has jumped to 12 mpg city, 20 highway and 15 combined. That may not seem like much but it’s a 13% improvement over the outgoing Flying Spur.
The 2014 Bentley Flying Spur features an updated, computer-controlled air suspension system that will automatically lower the sedan’s ride height at higher speeds, and stiffen up the shocks, when needed, to improve handling under aggressive driving conditions.
The overall design remains familiar, though the roofline on the 2014 remake has been lowered, with Bentley designers subtly achieving a shape that appears both lower and wider than before. There are new LED headlamps up front and LED taillights, as well.
While the overall look and feel may be familiar, Bentley claims to have replaced most key parts, both inside and out.
It’s also added more features, such as heated and cooled front seats – with a full-length wood-clad console running the length of the cabin in four-seat models. The infotainment system, with its 8-inch touchscreen, has been updated, but can still be paired with an 1,100-watt Naim audio package. There’s now a built-in WiFi system to allow passengers to stay connected, and a beverage cooler should they wish to disconnect from the world. Electric side blinds and a sunroof are standard feature.
Tags: 2013 geneva motor show, 2014 bentley flying spur, auto news, bentley flying spur, bentley geneva, bentley news, british cars, car news, luxury sedans, paul a. eisenstein, paul eisenstein, thedetroitbureau, ultra-luxury sedans