The 2014 Bentley Flying Spur. was one of two new cars we had the opportunity to show you earlier today before their official unveiling, the other one being the Audi RS Q3.
You probably noticed that we have not used the Continental moniker. That's because Bentley doesn't either, even though the car is essentially a redesign of the outgoing Continental Flying Spur and continues to be a sibling of the Continental GT coupe and Continental GTC convertible models, which have already been updated.
While it continues to use the underpinnings of the Continental Flying Spur, the new model has received a complete exterior makeover, with the only part of the car that reminds you of its roots, being the front end with the quad headlamps and cross-hair chrome grille. Then again, even the headlights have a new shape and now feature jewel-like LEDs.
The lowered roofline, the sharper and more sculpted lines on the profile and the squatted rear end with rectangular tail light clusters, give the Flying Spur an edgier and more dynamic look than the rounder Continental sedan.
It's not only about the styling, though, as changes made to the body structure with the use of lighter materials and additional weight savings throughout the car, make the Flying Spur 50 kg (110 pounds) lighter than the first generation car, despite offering "additional refinement measures, enhanced technology specification and stronger structure", as stated by Bentley.
More changes can be found in the chassis with the new Flying Spur gaining a revised suspension with softer spring rates (by 10 percent up front and 13 percent at the rear axle), anti-roll bars (13 percent at the front, 15 percent at the rear), and lever bushes all-round (softened by 25 percent on all four corners).
Working with the new springs, is a revised damper electronic control (CDC), while Bentley also developed a new power steering system, and recalibrated the multiple-mode Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system.
Moving into the cabin, Bentley states that the Flying Spur has 600 new parts, with only the sun visors, grab handles, armrests and some of the front console and controls carried over from the previous generation model. That said, the design is new, but at the same time, doesn’t stray away from what current Continental owners are used to seeing in their cars.
Bentley offers the Flying Spur in both four- and five-seat configurations, as well as with an optional Multi-Media Specification package that allows portable devices, laptops and tablet computers to connect to the internet through the car’s own Wi-Fi hotspot with an active SIM, and also includes 64 GB of internal storage capacity and two 10-inch LCD screens mounted on the seat backs.
Powering the new Flying Spur is an improved version of Bentley’s 6.0-liter, twin turbo W12 engine, developing 616hp (625PS) and 800Nm (590 lb-ft), up from 552hp (560PS) and 650Nm (479lb ft) respectively. The W12 is linked to a new 8-speed automatic transmission delivering power to the road via all-wheel drive with a 40:60 rear-biased torque split.
According to the British luxury marque, the new Flying Spur offers a 14 per cent improvement in the power-to-weight ratio over the outgoing model, and can complete the 0-60 mph (96km/h) sprint in of 4.3 seconds and reach a top-speed of 200 mph (322 km/h).
A base model fitted with the VW Group's new 4.0-liter turbocharged V8 generating 500hp (507PS) and 660Nm (487 lb-ft), as well as a flagship Speed model with an uprated W12, are likely to join the lineup next year.
The new Flying Spur will go on sale this summer.