Bentley has brought in a V-8 option for the Flying Spur. Following the demise of the Mulsanne and its long-standing 6.75-liter eight-cylinder, it’s reassuring to see a big Bentley sedan with a V-8 installed again.
The engine is the same, twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter unit as fitted to the Continental GT coupe and convertible. With almost 550 hp available the Flying Spur really does fly. It matches the Continental GT’s 198-mph top speed and takes a scant four seconds to reach 60 mph from rest. That might be nine miles an hour slower and half a second down on the W-12 version, but Bentley says that the lighter V-8 provides a “more driver-centric experience.”
Bentley cites a “more characterful engine note” and a longer driving range as marking out the V-8’s appeal. The V-8 motor features cylinder de-activation and will run on four cylinders when cruising at under 3000 rpm. The car weighs in at 220 pounds less than the W-12, uses less fuel and produces fewer emissions as a result. An eight-speed dual-clutch transmission is fitted.
Adaptive air suspension and torque vectoring lend the car an agility that belies its size, while anti-roll technology and four-wheel steering are optional extras.
There is little to distinguish the V-8 from its bigger brother from the outside, which only a new wheel design, V-8 wing badges and a different quad-pipe exhaust setup.
Inside, the Flying Spur V-8 can be specified in four or five-seater form, just like the W-12. The interior design is unchanged.
Bentley is offering early adopters a First Edition with an electrically-deployed and illuminated Flying B hood mascot, plus Bentley’s rotating display, mood lighting, contrast stitching, deep pile rugs and dual finish veneer trim. A Blackline spec replaced exterior chrome with gloss black, while Mulliner Driving Specification raises the game with bigger 22-inch rims, and diamond quilting for the leather trim inside.
The Flying Spur V-8 is available to order now, with first deliveries expected before the end of the year.