Car of the Year 2014: Bentley Flying Spur

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Continental Divide

While some may carp about the size, price, and decadent details of Bentley cars, knowing souls concur that the company has always represented the apogee of poise and luxury. The four-door Flying Spur is indeed large (nearly 17.5 feet long) and expensive (more than $200,000), but it also is graceful, spacious, luxurious, and noticeably purpose-built.

Bentley introduced the model in 2005 as the Continental Flying Spur, but it has dropped “Continental” to better indicate the car’s intended role. The new Flying Spur is wider and roomier than its predecessor, making it more suited to chauffeur-driven commutes than to the fast travel over great distances for which the sportier two-door Continental GTs are designed. Though as judge Randy Beeman noted, “If you drove [the Flying Spur] to work every day, you’d wish you lived farther away.” Chauffeured passengers likely will feel the same way.

 To compensate for the tonnage of its cars, Bentley endows them with enormous power. The Flying Spur, which weighs more than 5,400 pounds, is equipped with a twin-turbo, 6-liter W-12 that produces 616 hp. This is enough power to propel the car to a top speed of 200 mph and provide the acceleration of a sports car. 

If there is a downside to the Flying Spur, judge Michael Ingram found it: “It’s so smooth, so quiet, so comfortable, it’s almost boring.”

SPECIFICATIONS

Configuration: All-wheel-drive sedan

Engine: 6-liter twin-turbocharged W-12

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Power: 616 hp at 6,000 rpm

Torque: 590 ft lbs at 2,000 rpm

Curb weight: 5,451 pounds

Zero to 60 mph: 4.3 seconds

Top speed: 200 mph

Base price: $212,000

Bentley Motors, www.bentleymotors.com

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