Home   News   Kent Motors news   Article

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

The ubiquitous and ever-present They say the devil’s in the detail and, having just taken delivery of a new Bentley Flying Spur in a magnificent British Racing Green I am minded to agree. You see, as stunning as this behemoth looks, even in Blackline specification with imposing black grille and 22in gloss black wheels, it’s the ‘orange flame’ pinstripe around the sills of the car that stand out to me. No one would miss it if it wasn’t there. No one would be screaming ‘if only there was a pencil-thin orange line somewhere, anywhere on this car I would have given it five stars” but there it is, a tiny piece of visual magic.

From the outside, then, the Flying Spur looks purposeful, poised, a luxury sporting limousine that appears to be moving even when it’s standing perfectly still. The embodiment of perpetual poetry in motion.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

Climb inside and you will find, not unexpectedly, an interior swathed in leather. In this instance it’s the Crewe firm’s Newmarket Tan and Cumbrian Green. The contrasting colours complement both one another and the exterior. It’s a warm combination that is suitably restrained, but also refreshingly contemporary.

There’s wood veneer as well, of course. It’s burr Eucalyptus on this occasion and so finely polished that you can see your reflection in it. Like the other materials on show in the cabin you’re left with the impression that everything has been carefully, and individually, selected which, Bentley will tell you, is absolutely the case.

Because you can never have too much wow in a car like this, the 12.3in infotainment touchscreen rotates back into the dashboard when you turn the ignition off, leaving either a clean, smooth fascia or old-school analogue dials, depending on your mood. Perhaps the most important point to note is that the screen is reasonably responsive to touch inputs with easy-to-understand and navigate menus.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

Included with my test car was the excellent Naim for Bentley premium sound system – an upgrade on the already impressive 10-speaker, 650-watt standard system – which, while you would struggle to argue represents good value for money at a rather lofty £6,725, produces rich, accurate and sumptuously detailed audio.

The driver’s seat can be adjusted – electrically of course – in a multitude of ways so whatever shape or size you are there should be a position that’s perfect for you. You actually sit quite high but you never feel “perched” and the high window line helps reinforce impressions of being cocooned within the car. Some achievement given thevast amount of space.

Visibility out the front is restricted by thick, steeply-angled A-pillars that make it difficult to see clearly at junctions that are anything but T-shaped. The view out the back is similarly impaired. There is, though, some help at hand with a rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors. The way ahead is illuminated by full LED matrix headlights.

The Flying Spur’s standard seating configuration will accommodate five but you can opt for a four-seater with a full-length centre console.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

There’s lots of room for heads, legs, knees and elbows and the seats are – because anything else in a car that’s going to cost north of £150,000 would be unacceptable – very, very comfortable.

The boot in the standard car will accommodate 420-litres of your luggage. That’s not huge, relative to the size of the car, and the rear seats don’t fold away to increase load capacity.

In the hybrid version driven here, some of that capacity is lost to the electrical hardware, reducing the boot’s size by a not insignificant 69 litres. To give that some perspective, the Vauxhall Astra will hold 422 litres, and that’s before you stow the rear seats away.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

The hybrid is powered by a 2.9-litre petrol-powered V6 coupled to a 100kW electric motor for a combined output of 536bhp. That’s not a great deal less powerful than the V8 – the W12 produces 626bhp from its 6.0-litre engine – and it is just 0.2 (4.3) seconds slower to cover the 0-62mph sprint but, and of course there’s a but, in order to replicate that kind of performance you’ll need to keep the battery charged.

Without any power being sent to the electric motor you’re essentially left with a, relatively, small V6 hauling around a very heavy car crammed with tech, luxurious materials and a dead battery and, while it’s no slouch in those conditions, the engine has to work just that little bit harder which is a little at odds with the Flying Spur’s otherwise relaxed, effortless demeanour.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

The hybrid has an 18kWh battery that should be good enough for about 26 miles on electric power alone. Keeping it charged is a necessity if you hope to get anywhere near the claimed 85.6mpg fuel economy figure.

Perhaps more significantly, the Flying Spur Hybrid is ULEZ exempt. Yes, you read that right.

The Flying Spur rides on air suspension as standard and the ride has an appropriate waft to it in the softest setting. Bentley mode – which is the default setting chosen by the firm’s engineers – offers probably the best compromise between handling and comfort, taking the edge of most of the worst surface imperfections without allowing the car to wallow too much.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

If you’re keen to inject a little pace into your driving you can expect a huge amount of traction and grip from those fat tyres. It’s hard to argue that it feels nimble, but it’s also hard to argue that the Flying Spur doesn’t change direction with a surprising willingness that belies its mass.

Yes, there is a noticeable amount of body lean if you drive it too hard but, driven in a more progressive manner, the Bentley feels unflustered while still managing to cover ground at a decent pace while reining in body roll. The steering is meaty and consistent and builds confidence thanks to a strong connection to the front wheels, allowing you to place the car accurately on the road.

At motorway speeds the engine runs at barely more than tickover and the double-glazed side windows do an admirable job of blocking out wind noise. Cabin tranquillity is only, and disappointingly, impacted by tyre roar over anything but the very smoothest surfaces.

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid

Delivering a verdict on a luxury car is never easy because, to those of us who will never possess the wealth to buy one, they simply don’t make sense. The cost of ownership alone is eyewatering but, of course, if you’re shopping for a car in this price bracket it’s likely that money really is no object.

So, how to sum up? The Flying Spur is expensive, and it’s entirely possibly to grab a slice of luxury motoring for less but the stunning interior, the impressive performance and genuine sense of occasion, plus the not-too-small-fact that your car has been built for you, makes it easy to understand why a significant number of people are more than happy to splash their cash.

Bentley Flying Spur V6 Hybrid

Price (from): POA

Engine: 2.9-litre V6 twin-turbocharged

Max power (motor): 134bhp

Max power (engine): 410bhp

Max power (combined): 536bhp

Max torque (combined): 750Nm

Max speed: 177mph

0-60mph: 4.1 secs

Fuel economy (WLTP) mpg

High: 29.7

Low: 15.2

Combined: 85.6

Emissions (CO2): 75g/km

For more information click here.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More