The first generation Flying Spur was an offshoot of the Continental family, a kind of four-door GT. Not any more. The latest models have carved their own niche, identity and style as the business express with supercar performance. Now, slotting neatly into the gap between the standard Flying Spur V8 and the W12 comes the new Flying Spur V8S. For many, it could be the sweet spot of the range.
When the Bentley 4.0-litre V8 first appeared in 2013, some assumed it was a ‘downsizing’ alternative to the 6.0 W12. It only took one drive to reveal that as well as offering an extended range per tankful, the V8 engine had its own sound, sporting character and appeal. It’s more vocal than the turbine-smooth W12, but in a Bentley that’s no bad thing. Now the new Flying Spur V8S takes that crisp V8 backbeat and gives it an extra sporting edge. And to make sure everyone gets the message, there’s a distinctive new look inside and out.
From the outside, you’ll notice the new 6-spoke 21" wheels – appropriately named ‘Extrovert’. Through their open spokes you’ll also spot the red painted brake callipers, underlining the strong emphasis on performance. The front grille insert, black radiator matrix and Beluga gloss rear diffuser are all unique to the V8S, as are the V8S badges.
Owners of the Flying Spur V8S will probably split their time between driving for leisure and being driven on business. The well-equipped, technologically-enabled interior is ideal for either activity. The Flying Spur V8S comes as standard with Piano Black veneer for a sporting ambience that’s complemented by a three-spoke sports steering wheel. It’s offered with a range of 17 hides and nine veneers for an extensive palette of choice.
At the heart of the Flying Spur V8S is Bentley’s potent, characterful 4.0-litre V8 in a significantly higher state of tune than the standard V8. Power is up from 500bhp to 520bhp (or 507PS to 528PS in metric horsepower) while torque now peaks at an impressive 680Nm. There’s also more torque at low engine speeds, which has two benefits; the Flying Spur responds even more eagerly to the throttle (good news for drivers) and doesn’t need to downshift as often (good news for passengers). Top speed is now 190mph, with the 0-60mph sprint taking just 4.6 seconds. These are amazing figures for a four-door car of such space and luxury.
The extra performance of the V8S is complemented by stiffer suspension, for better roll control, responsiveness and traction. The all-wheel drive system is biased 40:60 front to rear, and the eight-speed automatic transmission offers a choice of Drive and Sport modes.
For many, the new Flying Spur V8S will represent the best of all Bentley worlds; identical fuel range to the standard V8 but with extra performance; similar performance to the W12 but with extra driver involvement. So it’s the perfect compromise if you’d like to sit back and read your FT on the weekday commute, before taking the wheel for a thrilling blast at the weekend.