Bentley’s 2012 Flying Spur Series 51 Is All About Choice

  • Matthew Phenix

Opulence and effortless speed are lovely, but the real charm of owning a fine motorcar is its supreme exclusivity. And yet, in some neighborhoods, even the most extraordinary vehicles can start to seem, well, common. That conundrum provided the motivation for Bentley’s Series 51 package. Already available on the Continental GT and Continental GT Speed coupés, the package—“Series 51” refers to the September 1951 creation of Bentley’s Styling Department—brings an extraordinary degree of personalization to the buying process.

A three-tone interior design is a key component of Series 51 specification. Two complementary shades of leather and third color for the stitching create “complex but harmonizing color schemes of depth and beauty.” Naturally, Bentley’s stylists offer a broad array of metallic and wood interior trims, including the limited-edition Sapelle Pomelle veneer, a rare wood that shines with a naturally occurring quilted effect. On the outside, Bentley has crafted unique wheels and created a range of 14 two-tone paint combinations, with a dominant color along the car’s flanks and an upper accent tone running from the hood to the rear decklid. And if that palette proves insufficient, the company will concoct a unique paint color at a buyer’s request—matching a shade of nail polish, eyes, you name it. The possibilities are, literally, limitless.

Mechanically, the Series 51 iterations of the Flying Spur and Flying Spur Speed are unaltered. Both feature 6.0-liter W-12 engines with twin turbochargers producing 552 horsepower and 600 horsepower, respectively. That prodigious oomph reaches the pavement through a six-speed manu-matic transmission and a full-time all-wheel-drive system.

The 2012 Continental Flying Spur Series 51 and Flying Spur Speed Series 51 go on sale this spring. The Flying Spur Series 51 is priced at $193,270 (a $9,070 premium over the standard model); the Flying Spur Speed Series 51 will command a cool $214,535 (an additional $4,935 over a “regular” Speed). Just consider it the price to pay for true exclusivity. (800.777.6923, www.bentleymotors.com)

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