At its launch in 1959, the S2 Flying Spur was one of the most luxurious and innovative saloons in the world. It was handcrafted by coachbuilders H.J. Mulliner and, instead of the old six-cylinder unit from the S1, it featured a newer, lighter aluminum 6.2-liter V8 – a highly modified version of which is still fitted to the Mulsanne today (or so says Bentley).
Apart from its new V8, the S2 Flying Spur also came with power steering, electrically-operated ride control and a fully automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the extra power provided by the V8 “dramatically improved” the performance of the air conditioning system, which in 1959 was considered to be the ultimate luxury.
The S2 also came with electric rear window demisters and push-button window lifts, as well as a new dashboard and steering wheel design. Between 1959 and 1962, Bentley hand-built over 1,900 units.
Its spiritual successor, the modern-day Continental Flying Spur, was launched in 2005, when it became the world’s fastest four-seater thanks to its 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged W12 engine tuned to produce 560 PS (552 HP) and 650 Nm (479 lb-ft) of torque. In 2008, the ‘Speed’ version was introduced, boasting 610 PS (602 HP) and 750 Nm (553 lb-ft) of torque.
July 10 marks the company’s 100th anniversary, so Bentley is planning additional celebratory events this year.