While more common automobiles receive refreshes and restyles on a regular and ongoing basis, life at the other end of the automotive food chain brings with it a certain degree of tradition, and tradition doesn’t require regular updates.
Take the 2013 Bentley Continental Flying Spur for example. It’s largely unchanged from its last redesign, which was seven years ago, yet it remains no less desirable today than it was at launch. Perhaps you can attribute that to the Bentley name, or the car’s timeless styling cues (high roofline, upright fenders, iconic grille), or even its plush, opulent and rewarding interior. In every regard, the Bentley typifies success, and we all know that you don’t trifle with success.
Bentley automobiles must meet certain expectations for performance, and the 2013 Continental Flying Spur doesn’t disappoint. Power comes from a 6.0-liter, twin-turbo W-12 engine, rated at 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque and mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission. That’s sufficient thrust to get the big sedan from 0-60 mph in less than five seconds, on its way to a top speed of 194 miles per hour. Should that fail to meet your needs and expectations, the Flying Spur Speed comes with 600 horsepower and 554 pound-feet of torque, good enough for a 4.5 second run to 60 mph and a 200 mph top speed.
Performance, however, isn’t the focus of the Continental Flying Spur, since far more pedestrian cars can be purchased if speed is your prime directive. Instead, the Flying Spur specializes in delivering an uncompromising ride, while treating occupants to a lavish interior appointed with supple leather, rich wood and a Breitling clock embedded in the dash. There are no bad seats in the Flying Spur, but those particularly long of leg will find the front seats more to their liking, while head room is generous for all passengers. As you’d expect from a marque as steeped in tradition as Bentley, craftsmanship, fit and finish are impeccable.
Standard features abound, but no one orders a Bentley sans options or personalization. Here, the list is truly staggering in terms of paint and interior choices alone, let alone the finer details. Suffice it to say that ordering a Flying Spur is a time-consuming process, and even items not on the options list can be included - at a price.
Neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA have crash tested the 2013 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, which comes with the expected complement of safety features including full airbags, electronic stability control and active headrests.
A new Bentley Continental Flying Spur is expected to debut in 2014, featuring both an updated drivetrain and updated styling. If tradition is important to you, perhaps 2013 is the year you should commit to ordering a Bentley.
For complete details on the 2013 Bentley Continental Flying Spur, see our comprehensive review on The Car Connection.