2014 Bentley Flying Spur first drive review Page 5

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Flying Spur: from walnut to wireless web

After a few hours of playing visual pinball with people, animals, and inanimate objects, we merge back onto the latest billion-yuan stretch of highway and soak up some of the Flying Spur's most coveted features from the front and back seats.

With a 120.7-inch wheelbase (208.5 inches long, all told), the 5,451-pound Flying Spur is a full-size, full-figured vehicle. It's roughly impossible to engineer a vehicle with such an exotically arranged and large displacement, with all-wheel drive, and with copious luxury equipment without tipping into its weight class.

For the mass it slides through the air, the Flying Spur delivers a sensually close-fitting cabin, not snug, but not overwhelming with head or leg room. In the standard five-seat or Mulliner four-seat specification, all the outboard seats are heated and ventilated, with 14-way power adjustment, memory control, and lumbar support. One doesn't look for bottle holders in the doors, but there are enough storage nacelles, covered bins, and cupholders for anything you really need on a long drive.

Fine wood veneers line the interior, with a choice of burr walnut or dark fiddleback eucalyptus standard, and additional five choices available. U.S. cars get a standard rearview camera and access to almost all the color combinations. On the multimedia front, there's a control unit with a 64GB music hard drive, and DVD/USB/SD inputs.

Among the major tech options we'd select are the available entertainment system, which plants 10-inch screens within reach of back-seat passengers, and hands them a remote control to run climate, audio, and other car functions. Wireless internet for up to eight devices is included, with a monthly subscription fee. We also were more impressed this time with the $7,480 Naim for Bentley audio package; it sounds like it's gained some bottom-end depth in the Spur, as it should, since its speaker housings shave about 2 cubic feet from the trunk to pound out its 1100 watts of power.

Other upgrades include the Mulliner Driving Specification, which includes diamond quilted seats, drilled alloy foot pedals, a knurled sports shift lever, jeweled filler cap, and a choice of wheels 21-inch two-piece alloy wheels.

Prices for the 2014 Bentley Flying Spur start at $200,500 or $211,430 for the Mulliner edition. Wander through the options list, like a winner on a very well-heeled version of Wheel of Fortune, and it's simple to spill over into $250,000 or more: "I'll take the $13,985 Driving Specification with 21-inch polished chrome wheels, and the lambswool rugs for $800, and the Champagne cooler for $2,135."

And frankly, once you've anted up for the Champagne cooler, you won't have any problem raising the window shades to block the view of other drivers angling for a look at the Very Important Person in back. You won't do it out of disdain.

You just won't want to share.

The Flying Spur is open for orders now, with deliveries starting in August.

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