New Bentley Flying Spur V8

New Bentley Flying Spur V8

It has phenomenal performance, is sophisticated style and has advanced technology

Last year we said goodbye to the rather lovely Bentley Mulsanne and in nine year’s time we’ll be saying goodbye to Bentley’s replacement for that car, and its current flagship, the Flying Spur.

Bentley is heading towards its EV-only future and this oncoming transition means we’re witnessing the beginning of the end of being able to buy any new Bentley with V8 power, an engine which when fitted to the Flying Spur creates possibly the company’s best all round car. Yes, it has less power than the mighty W12 model and is a slower as a result, but just as Alpine’s A110 works better than its more powerful S big brother and Porsche’s 911 Carrera would be our choice over a Carrera S, the smaller engined Flying Spur is the pick of the range.

Engine, transmission and 0-100kmh time

It’s a VW Group car so therefore the V8 in the Flying Spur is the same one fitted to everything from Audis to Lamborghinis and Porsches, too.

The twin-turbocharged hot-vee 4-litre V8 features twin-scroll turbochargers with individual parallel flow channels in the turbine housing to provide higher torque levels at lower engine speeds.

An iron coating is also applied to the cylinder bores using a plasma spray process to improve wear and protect against stresses. Meanwhile, cylinder deactivation technology shuts down four cylinders during light engine loads (below 173lb ft and 3000rpm) to improve fuel efficiency by as much as 16 percent.

Bentley Flying Spur V820

Peak power is 542bhp and arrives at 6000rpm with 568lb ft of torque available across a 2500rpm window starting from 2000rpm. It’s sent to all four corners of the Flying Spur’s chassis via an adaptive four-wheel drive system and a ZF eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Four driving modes are available – Comfort, Sport, Bentley and Individual – with the Bentley mode pre-set by the engineering team to deliver the best of everything.

Against the clock the V8 Flying Spur will reach 100kmh in four seconds and top 318kmh, which for a car weighing 2330kg is no mean feat. The V8 engine weighs 65kg less than the mighty W12.

Technical Highlights

Continuing with the oily bits, three chamber adaptive air suspension, torque vectoring by braking, the drive dynamics control system and electronic powering steering are all standard features. Lighter front and rear anti-roll bars are also fitted to the V8, with Bentley’s 48-volt electronic active anti-roll control system and dynamic ride system both available as an option. So, too, is four-wheel steering.

As with the W12, the V8’s adaptive four-wheel drive system sends drive to the rear axle the majority of the time, only distributing torque to the front axle when the algorithms think it’s required.

 

Iron brake discs are standard, with mammoth 420mm discs and 10-piston calipers fitted to the front axle and 380mm discs with four-piston calipers at the rear. 20-inch wheels are standard, with three 21-inch designs and one 22-inch design also available as options. Tyre sizes range from a 264/45ZR20 on the front and 295/40ZR20 for rears, to 265/40 and 305/35×21 and 275/35 with 315/30x22s.

Aluminium is used for the front double wishbones and multi-link rear suspension design, while continuous damping control accompanies the air-springs. Steel and aluminium is used to construct the Flying Spur’s monocoque chassis with super formed aluminium used to create the exterior panels, while the boot lid is made from composite. There are also full LED matrix headlamps, DRLs and tail lamps with high beam assist is standard.

Inside you’ll find Bentley’s new 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which includes HDD navigation, Bluetooth and WiFi streaming. Apple CarPlay and Sirius satellite radio are also included along with a 60GB solid-state hard drive.

A 650W 10-speaker system is fitted as standard, with a 1500W, 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen and 2,200W 19-speaker Naim system both offered as options.

Bentley Flying Spur V820

Nothing like your preconceptions would have you believe of a 5.3-metre car weighing 2330kg. We knew the fitment of the lighter V8 engine would improve an already good package, because it did just that when the same strategy was applied to the Continental GT. What we perhaps weren’t expecting was such a big step up.

There’s a 107kg weight difference between the W12 and V8 Flying Spurs, and while that might equal less than five percent of total weight it adds considerably more to how the smaller engined car drives.

It feels lighter on its Pirellis, with the sensation that the W12 is pushing the tarmac into submission replaced with a sense that the V8 is able to work better with the surface and around the challenges. It’s at its most noticeable when you begin to drive a little harder, with the combination of the V8’s sharper reactions and more eager nature matched to the Flying Spur’s more natural approach to a dynamic challenge. It’s a calmer car to drive quickly, requiring fewer inputs to keep the nose where you want it go and when you ask it to react with very short notice it doesn’t leave you high and dry, worrying how you’re going to explain the sizable hole you’ve just created.

Much of the V8 Flying Spur’s ability can be traced to its three-chamber air-suspension and active dampers. With both W12 engined cars – Conti and Spur – it feels at its limit, working against the weight distribution and the nature of the car’s performance delivery, but with the lighter engine and improved weight distribution it feels perfectly suited to the Spur V8 and is certainly the best integration of the system we’ve experienced.

Bentley Flying Spur V820

It manages body roll in such a controlled manner you barely notice it until you need to. Likewise pitch and yaw don’t leap out at you or shock, rather the system manages the movement to give the right level of feedback to let you know what’s going on and what is required to manage it. It makes for a deceptively quick and unexpected cross-country machine.

Add to this the ability to master monster mileage with an effortlessness and grace few can match and an interior that you never want to get out of and it’s not long before you’re fighting your beliefs on how cars should be all circa 1000kg, short of wheelbase and with a naturally aspirated engine and manual gearbox.

Yes, it’s easy to be carried away by the opulence and grandeur of a hand finished car where quality exudes from every component, but it’s also hard not to be impressed by the best car Bentley current makes.

 

Specifications

Engine

       4.0 litre Twin-turbocharged V8

Transmission

       8-speed Dual Clutch

Power

       550PS / 542bhp / 404kW @ 6000 rpm

Torque

       770Nm, 568 lb. ft @ 2000-4500 rpm

Emissions level

       EU 6

Fuel

       98 (95) RON

       PERFORMANCE

Maximum Speed

       198mph / 318km/h

Acceleration KMH

  • – 100kmh 4.0 seconds

        Body Style

        Saloon

        Overall Length

        5316mm / 209.29in

         Width Across Mirrors

         2220mm / 87.40in

Width Across Mirrors Folded

              2013mm / 79.25in

Height

              1483mm / 58.39in

Wheel Base

              3194mm / 125.75in

             FUEL EFFICIENCY

NEDC drive cycle:

Urban

              16.5 litres/100km

Extra-Urban

              8.8 litres/100km

Combined

              11.6 litres/100km

CO2 emissions combined

              270g/km

Driving Range

               776 km

Efficiency Class

              E

WLTP Drive Cycle:

Low

              20.0 litres/100 km

Medium

              13.3 litres/100 km

High

              10.8 litres/100 km

Extra High

              11.2 litres/100 km

Combined

              12.7 litres/100 km

CO2 emissions combined

              288 g/km

Driving Range

               709 km

Efficiency Class

              F

 

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