When it comes to big luxury sedans, once you’ve left the $100k range of BMW 7-Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class flagships, there are surprisingly few options for the buyer seeking four-door practicality, driving excitement and over-the-top luxury. Only recently have we seen newcomers like the Porsche Panamera and Rolls-Royce Ghost
enter this segment, however, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur, which has been around since 2006, is certainly a worthy look.
The 2011 model is relatively unchanged from the one offered in the previous year as Bentley was saving its changes for a facelifted version introduced for the 2012 model year
. Pricing starts at $181,200, which is quite reasonable when you consider that the Continental Flying Spur is essentially a four-door version of the Continental GT, which lists at a significantly higher $205,600.
Importantly, you get the same twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 engine found in the two-door and all 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet that comes with it. To ensure all that power is delivered to the ground adequately is a six-speed automatic transmission and sophisticated all-wheel drive system.
The brawny drivetrain will rocket the big sedan from 0-60 mph in less than 5.0 seconds and see it reach a top speed of 194 mph. If this is not enough, a high-performance variant dubbed the Continental Flying Spur Speed
is available and comes with no less than 600 horsepower and 554 pound-feet of torque. Performance results of this model are nothing short of amazing, with the 0-60 mph sprint taking just 4.5 seconds and top speed maxing out at 200 mph--performance some supercars would be jealous of.
At the end of the day, this is still a Bentley we’re talking about so the interior, of course, was always going to be cosseted and very lavish. The cabin is virtually identical to the one in the Continental GT, complete with the dual-binnacle theme dressed in walnut or chestnut veneers. Everything is precisely hand-cut and matched to create a mirror-image grain symmetry.
Sitting front and center on the dash is a Breitling timepiece, flanked by a steering wheel in hand-stitched leather, stainless-steel pedals and footrest, and real chrome pulls for the air vents. The Continental Flying Spur is also available with an adaptive cruise control system as well as a premium Naim audio system with a 1,100 Watt amplifier--one of the most powerful units offered in a production car.
For a full review of the 2011 Bentley Continental Flying Spur’s styling, performance, comfort and quality, safety and features, check out TheCarConnection's
more extensive report.