For some, pulling up to a destination in a new luxury car is reward enough, but for a lucky few nothing short of an ultra-exclusive ride like the 2021 Bentley Flying Spur will do. From its twin-turbocharged engines to its opulent leather-and-wood-lined enclave of a cabin, the Flying Spur is built to both pamper its passengers and thrill its driver. Many buyers may choose to be chauffeured—and for good reason: the Spur’s rear seat is a relaxing retreat. But for those who plan to drive themselves, this sportiest Bentley sedan offers eyebrow-raising athleticism, marked by surprisingly agile handling and outrageous straight-line speed. All of this prestige comes with a princely price tag, of course, one that soars as you customize it from the company’s Mulliner catalog of bespoke options and packages.
What’s New for 2021?
The Flying Spur was redesigned for the 2020 model year so 2021 brings only minor tweaks. Chief among them is a newly optional four-seat configuration, which replaces the rear bench seat with two buckets with a fixed center console that runs the entire length of the sedan’s cabin. Elsewhere, a new steering wheel design provides more access to the car’s driver-assistance features. New wood trim inserts are available for the rear door panels, and rear-seat picnic tables are an option. The interior can now be ordered with either a carbon-fiber trim or a machined metal finish called Côtes de Genève.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Upgrading from the base V-8 engine and the more powerful W-12 is an easy choice from our perspective. Bentley customers can choose from one of several curated themes, such as Cool Harmony, Storm Noir, or Alter Ego when ordering their Flying Spur, but we’d suggest going with a fully bespoke build to make it uniquely yours. A seemingly endless array of exterior colors and styling choices await you in the Bentley Mulliner customization program. The same goes for interior appointments, which can include several different types of wood, different-colored leather, and polished metal accents. Upgrading from the standard City Specification to Touring Specification adds several driver-assistance features, and there’s even an optional refrigerated compartment to keep your champagne cool.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
All Flying Spurs come with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic, all-wheel drive, and a powerful twin-turbocharged engine. The entry-level model is powered by a 542-hp V-8 but we’d suggest upgrading to the 626-hp W-12 engine. With the 12-cylinder under the hood, the Flying Spur never wants for power; in fact, it can it can show its taillights to many a top-tier sports car in a drag race. At our test track, it leapt to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. The V-8–powered model delivered an identical 3.5-second zero-to-60-mph run, but the V-12 is slightly quicker to 100 mph and through the quarter-mile. When we took the Flying Spur for a brief drive near Monaco, we found it to be a far more athletic driver than we anticipated. Credit for that agility must go to the sedan’s adaptive suspension and rear-wheel-steering system. Back in our home state of Michigan, the Flying Spur repeated its performance from our earlier drive and provided a much needed respite from the cratered roads that plague the area near our editorial office.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The Flying Spur’s fuel-economy estimates from the EPA look as though they’re for a pickup truck rather than a sedan, earning 12 mpg city, 19 mpg highway, and 15 mpg combined. Fuel economy ratings for the V-8-powered variant come in at 15 mpg city, 20 mpg highway, and 17 mpg combined. The Flying Spur’s chief rival—the Rolls-Royce Ghost—doesn’t fare any better here, but the Mercedes-Maybach S560 managed to earn a 25-mpg highway estimate, making it a better choice for those looking to conserve fuel. For more information about the Flying Spur’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Sumptuous leather, genuine wood trim, and real metal accents line the Flying Spur’s interior. In the front or back, there’s plenty of space for adults to stretch out and enjoy the luxurious environs. Bentley’s interior designers managed to preserve the brand’s prim and proper styling while incorporating modern tech features. A remote touchscreen controller mounted to the rear of the center console allows rear-seat riders to adjust certain things without asking the driver for assistance. For instance, you can use it to open and close the window shades, adjust the cabin climate, and activate the rear-seat massagers. A generously sized trunk offers plenty of space for luggage, cases of champagne, or a day’s worth of impulse shopping on Rodeo Drive.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A large 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen is nicely situated between large swaths of wood trim on the Flying Spur’s dashboard. For a price, Bentley will swap the static infotainment screen with a rotating display that will—as you may have guessed—rotate the screen into the dashboard and bring up a wood panel featuring three analog dials (an outside-temperature gauge, a clock, and a compass). Passengers can connect to the Wi-Fi hotspot, and those with compatible smartphones will enjoy the Spur’s Apple CarPlay integration. Bentley provides a 10-speaker stereo system standard but will install one of two premium audio systems for more coin. Buyers may upgrade to either the 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen setup or the 19-speaker Naim system with illuminated speaker grilles.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Bentley offers several driver-assistance features; unfortunately, many of them cost extra. For more information about the Flying Spur’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection
- Available automated emergency braking
- Available adaptive cruise control and night vision
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Bentley offers a three-year warranty with the purchase of a new model, but unlike plans from more mainstream luxury brands, there’s no mileage limit. Rolls-Royce offers a similar service but extends to its customers four years of coverage. Furthermore, Rolls-Royce offers four years of complimentary scheduled maintenance while Bentley covers only one.
- Limited warranty covers three years or unlimited miles
- Powertrain warranty covers three years or unlimited miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles