Bentley Flying Spur Review 2024

Bentley Flying Spur At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
With this latest Bentley Flying Spur, the company has set out to raise the bar, adopting a new platform and chassis technologies, as well as more sophisticated cabin tech and connectivity. This is a very clever, very convincing car.

+Magnificent road presence. Glorious cossetting interior. Huge performance.

-Gratifyingly expensive. Rear accommodation less luxurious than Bentley Bentayga. Occasionally flustered ride.

Insurance Group 50

With the Bentley Mulsanne retired in 2020, the Bentley Flying Spur is now the firm’s only traditional four-door limousine. Moreover, with full halo limo status now bestowed on the extended-wheelbase Bentley Bentayga, the path is clear for the Bentley Flying Spur to re-assert itself as a car which owners may prove happier to drive than be driven in. The best Bentleys have always been captivating driver’s cars; in this Bentley Flying Spur review we’ll see if it fits the bill.

It certainly looks the part; longer and lower than before, with sharp body surfacing courtesy of superformed aluminium body panels, there’s visual drama aplenty and the undeniable promise of power.

The Bentley Flying Spur is presented as a far more sporting proposition than rivals such as the Rolls-Royce Ghost and Mercedes S-Class, whilst the Maserati Quattroporte can’t hold a candle to the opulent Crewe interior.

Meanwhile, the likes of a BMW 7 Series, or its German counterpart the Audi A8, can’t offer you a tenth of its mobile majesty. 

We drove the Mulliner-branded variant, created by Bentley’s personal commissioning division. Mulliner offers a range of products and services, stretching from premium options that can be fitted to Bentley production cars as they are built, to truly unique bespoke luxury cars. 

The Bentley Flying Spur Mulliner is tastefully appointed with artful touches, inside and out. Bespoke detailing includes Mulliner 22-inch wheels with self-levelling wheel caps that remain upright as the wheels rotate.

A ‘Double Diamond’ front grille and chrome front lower grille are matched by bespoke Mulliner-branded wing vents and Silver painted mirror caps.

On the bows, the Bentley Flying B is electronically deployed and illuminated, which looks wonderful after dark. Trouble is, though, if you’re properly hunkered down at the steering wheel, you can’t see it from inside the car. 

Stepping aboard over illuminated Mulliner treadplates on to deep-pile overmats and clicking the soft-close door home, you’re rewarded with an interior that’s very similar to that of the Bentley Continental GT.

The main difference is a redesigned lower centre console which sheds two of the lovely, trademark howitzer nozzle air vents in favour of rectangular replacements and phone storage.

The Mulliner variant offers a choice of eight bespoke three-colour combinations, 13 cows’-worth of hand-stitched leather, bottomless piano black, perfect chrome, occasional plastic disguised as perfect chrome, and, of course, a fabulous smell.

Second row comfort is sublime, as you’d expect, but doesn’t go the whole hog of extending footrests or the incredible ‘airline’ seating you’ll find in the back of the EWB Bentley Bentayga.

What rear passengers do get is a demountable five-inch touch pad with which they can control infotainment, as well as window blinds and massaging seats. A pair of fully networked 10.2-inch touchscreens, which work like tablet PCs, are an option.

Our test car was equipped with £6680 worth of Naim sound system, which combines superlative clarity and exceptional power.

Three powertrains are on offer: a plug-in hybrid which marries a 3.0-litre petrol V6 to a 15kWh battery and a 136PS electric motor; a 4.0 litre, twin-turbo V8; and a glorious 6.0 litre, twin-turbo W12, which unfortunately is not long for this world.

The chassis features four-wheel steering for the first time on a Bentley, four-wheel drive with a rear bias, adaptive dampers at all four corners and Bentley’s Dynamic Ride 48V active roll cancellation system.

Because we may never get the chance again, we drove the W12 version, and loved it to bits. 62mph comes up in just 3.8 seconds, 30 to 70mph in fourth gear is despatched in just 5.4 seconds, and two-and-a-half tonnes of quietly snarling car will thump on to 207mph.

The beauty of this car is that it boasts the handling to match the pace. Granted, given that it’ll live with two wheels in the potholes and the other two over the central white lines, this is not a favourite B-road machine; it’s just too big.

But on a sweeping A-road it displays a sure-footedness that utterly belies that size, carving through corners with astounding precision and composure.

There is, however, a price to pay for such poise. The amount of road surface information making its way into the cabin just takes the edge off the ultimate waft in terms of ride quality. So, ultimately it can’t match the Rolls-Royce Ghost’s superb comfort. 

Then again, that’s a small price to pay for driving the most sporting four-door super-luxury saloon in the world.