A little over two years ago Bentley Motors stunned the world by unveiling a
Grand Tourer masterpiece, the Continental GT coupé. Now, only 12 months
after the first deliveries of that extraordinarily successful car, we are proud
to announce the arrival of the fastest four-door in the company’s history; a
car that shares the heart and soul of the 198mph coupé from which it
is born – the Continental Flying Spur.
The Continental Flying Spur combines the exquisite design and peerless craftsmanship
for which Bentley is renowned with the dynamics and power of the Continental
GT to provide an unparalleled motoring experience that will attract a new breed
of discerning customers to the marque.
Throughout our history, Bentleys have offered a blend of luxury and potent
performance. The ability to undertake long journeys in great comfort has been
the hallmark of every Bentley, and never was that better demonstrated than in
R-Type Continental from 1952 and its four-door descendant, the Continental Flying
Bred from the fastest four-seat coupé of its time, the original 1957
Continental Flying Spur was hailed as one of the most elegant and yet powerful
saloons ever created. The new Continental Flying Spur continues that Bentley
bloodline of sporting Grand Tourers. Similarly inspired by the most desirable
coupé of its day, it delivers awesome performance as well as extraordinary
comfort and elegance.
Like the original Flying Spur, the new Bentley is also purposely positioned
as a premium product above a crowded market. When asking our future customers
about their needs they were very clear – performance and luxury, style and practicality,
inspiration and solidity, excitement and safety. The Continental Flying Spur
is our response to their ‘no compromise’ attitude, and our desire to further
the Bentley story.
- An all-new four-door Grand Tourer that blends peerless Bentley craftsmanship
and design with modern technologies.
- Exhilarating supercar performance thanks to a top speed in excess of 190mph
and a 0-62mph (100km/h) time of around five seconds.
- Powered by a 6-litre, twin-turbocharged, 12-cylinder engine engineered and
built at Bentley’s factory in Crewe. Tuned to provide not just a massive 552bhp
but also the legendary Bentley ‘tidal wave of torque’ from low revs.
- A high-tech, all-wheel-drive system for exceptional stability and grip in
- A stunning cabin that uses exquisite Bentley design and quality to create
a spacious, welcoming interior. A classic mix of leather and wood veneers
are combined to give a contemporary but timeless appearance.
- Over 11 leather hides are used to make a complete set of upholstery in the
Continental Flying Spur.
- Spacious rear legroom provides total comfort for all passengers with a five
or four-seat layout optional at the time of purchase.
- Designed and developed in parallel with the Continental GT coupé
at Bentley’s design studios and facilities in Crewe to ensure consistency
in their visual appearance and in their on-going engineering and development
- Pricing for the new Continental Flying Spur is yet to be finalised but Bentley
expects a similar price structure to that of the Continental GT coupé.
- The new Bentley Continental Flying Spur will go on sale in Spring 2005.
STYLING AND DESIGN
When work began on the Continental GT coupé in 1999, a simultaneous
programme was instigated for a four-door version that would mirror the performance
and design qualities of the coupé and also provide unparalleled levels
of space and comfort in a way that only a Bentley can. The results of that forward-thinking
approach are now clear as the Continental Flying Spur is unveiled for the first
Sumptuous levels of space and comfort are a given in the Continental Flying
Spur. The quality of the overall design and cabin interior is simply without
rival and only another Bentley can match the craftsmanship that has gone into
making this elegant and opulent four-door Grand Tourer.
These clear and simple targets were laid down to Bentley’s head of design,
Dirk van Braeckel, when the project began, and he made sure that they were not
forgotten as the car’s form began to take shape.
'We were very conscious that the Continental Flying Spur had to make a sporting
statement when people first saw it – after all it is a Bentley,' says van Braeckel.
'That’s actually more challenging with a four-door than a coupé, which
will always look ‘fast’, so we spent a long time working on an appearance of
potency while still retaining the presence and stature that customers expect
from our cars.'
A sporting statement, however, was not the sole target for the car’s design.
It also needed to reflect Bentley’s evolving modern image, retaining the understated
but bold feel that its design team believes has carried Bentley forward throughout
'From the very beginning, Bentleys have been quite reserved when it comes to
design,' says van Braeckel. 'It has always been recognised that Bentleys are
much less ostentatious than rival cars of a similar price. The new Continental
Flying Spur embodies that Bentley ethos of understated elegance.'
The Continental Flying Spur consequently shares the clean and muscular appearance
of the Continental GT coupé with a short front overhang and dominant
matrix radiator grille. Inside the cabin, the car has a similarly stunning appearance
with a beautiful interior that will stand as a benchmark thanks to its quality
The generous wheelbase of the Continental Flying Spur’s chassis means spacious
rear legroom for passengers and an impressive canvas on which Bentley’s interior
design team could set to work. Customers will have the option of a four-seat
layout with a central console between two electrically-powered rear seats or
a five-seat cabin with full-width rear seat. Throughout the interior, familiar
Bentley trademarks make their presence felt with bullseye ventilation outlets
and organ stop controls in the front and rear. Leather or wood veneers on every
interior surface combine to give a traditional yet contemporary environment
for the driver and passengers alike.
Continental Flying Spur owners will want for nothing, whether behind the wheel
or enjoying the ride as a passenger. The car is equipped with the latest cabin
technology from its advanced infotainment system to its four-zone climate control.
Chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen was determined that buyers of this new Bentley
would immediately appreciate the generous standard specification.
'The Continental Flying Spur has all the technology and equipment that our
customers want and need,' he says. 'They will not have to trawl through an options
list for hours with their dealer because everything is included. What they will
enjoy, however, is the experience of tailoring the car to their taste and style.
'As well as delivering excellent performance and dynamic handling, the Continental
Flying Spur offers elegant styling and craftsmanship with its beautiful wood
and leather cabin, delighting customers as only a Bentley can.'
ENGINEERING AND DRIVING DYNAMICS
With 552bhp at your disposal and an advanced all-wheel drive system to ensure
that power is delivered in a controlled and measured fashion, the Continental
Flying Spur has the performance to match its appearance.
As with every Bentley, this is a driver’s car first and foremost. In common
with the Continental GT coupé, the car’s extremely stiff steel chassis
allows the advanced air suspension system to regulate safely the handling and
balance of a four-door with supercar performance: a top speed in excess of 190mph
and 0-62mph (100km/h) in around five seconds. However, such is the breadth of
its dynamic capability, the Continental Flying Spur also delivers supreme comfort
for long, relaxed journeys.
'Over the course of its development the car was subjected to a rigorous drive
programme that saw it complete nearly a million miles on proving grounds, test
tracks and roads across the world,' reveals Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, member of the
board, engineering. 'The result is a car whose breadth and capability, in any
weather, on any road surface, is simply awesome.'
Bentley’s renowned powertrain development was rightly praised at the launch
of the Continental GT coupé and the combination of that phenomenal twin-turbocharged,
12-cylinder engine with a smooth, six-speed ‘paddleshift’ ZF gearbox with Tiptronic
actuation is carried over into the Continental Flying Spur.
A Bentley engine is unlike any other in the world and the Continental Flying
Spur’s is no exception. Maximum torque is available from just 1600rpm and continues
unabated throughout the powerband, meaning the driver can call upon exceptional
reserves of power in an instant.
The Continental Flying Spur's permanent all-wheel drive system ensures that
even in poor weather and road conditions, the awesome power and torque remain
accessible to the driver without the constant intervention of the traction control
The advanced six-speed transmission allows the driver to use the gearbox as
a conventional automatic or opt to change gears ‘manually’ using either the
gearlever or the paddles mounted behind the wheel. Whatever mode the gearbox
is set to, the powertrain operates with seamless efficiency and provides brilliant
shift quality. In its four-door application it has also been extensively recalibrated
to provide almost imperceptible shifts when being used in a more relaxed fashion.
THE BENTLEY MODEL RANGE
The Continental Flying Spur perfectly complements the existing range of Bentley
models. The Continental GT continues to fulfil our customers’ desire for a dynamic
coupé that offers the very essence of Bentley: sporting prowess and Grand
Touring performance. Similarly the Arnage range represents a unique proposition:
the emotional purchase of a truly bespoke, hand-built and entirely individual
limousine. The Continental Flying Spur will appeal to customers seeking a sumptuous
four-door Grand Tourer sharing all the virtues of its coupé stablemate:
high-performance, timeless design and superb craftsmanship.
Bentley chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen says the distinction between the new
Continental Flying Spur and the Bentley Arnage range is simple:
'As Continental Flying Spur production begins, the Arnage will retain its true
position as the most exclusive limousine in the world. If you work in a major
capital city you might see a Continental Flying Spur a few times a month, but
you will only come across an Arnage a few times a year. The Arnage will continue
to be a bespoke car with real exclusivity.
'With the Continental Flying Spur we are opening our doors to new customers
who value that unique combination of luxury, style, excitement and practicality.
Nowhere else will they be able to enjoy a car that possesses all this as well
as the dynamic qualities and power of the Continental GT coupé. The Continental
Flying Spur promises a new motoring experience and we look forward to welcoming
a new breed of discerning customers to our marque.'