Bentley to remain committed to 12-cylinders.
VW’s British business is keen to retain a presence in the limousine market, with high-performance four-door models.
Although Bentley has been forced to recognise that the traditional limousine market is shrinking, it believes that the margins on offer are still attractive.
With its new Flying Spur, Bentley also believes that it offers a combination of performance and luxury which is unrivalled.
Mercedes-Benz has proven that customers can still be enticed to remain in limousines, instead of ultra-luxury SUVs, with its S-Class AMG models. Adding the dramatic performance potential of AMG’s engineering enhancements has made S-Class marketable to a much broader customer profile.
Bentley’s strategy with the Flying Spur is to offer tailored luxury trim and individualisation, comparable to a Maybach, but with much greater driveability and performance.
To that end its Flying Spur is powered by a 6-litre twin-turbo W12 engine, boosting 467 kW and 900 Nm, numbers which compare very closely with the Mercedes/AMG V12 engine. Bentley claims that its new Flying Spur limousine is good for 0-100 kph in 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 333 kph.
Considering the car’s top speed potential, it features a retractable hood ornament and also becomes the first Bentley with four-wheel steering. The presence of rear-wheel steering makes the Flying Spur less cumbersome to park, at crawl speeds, and much stable at high speed, if a sudden change of direction is required.
The new Flying Spur is also lighter than its predecessor, thanks to the expanded use of aluminium in its construction, instead of steel. Bentley claims a saving of 150 kg.
Comfort and trim levels are of the calibre one would expect from a Bentley, whilst infotainment is boosted by the option of a 2 200 W Naim sound system.
Bentley is under pressure to perform, as VW CEO, Herbert Diess, has stressed that profitability is now paramount for all parts of the VW Group.