19th January, 2005
A little over two years ago Bentley Motors stunned the world by unveiling a
Grand Tourer masterpiece, the Continental GT coupe. 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 coupe 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 the iconic R-Type Continental from 1952 and its four-door descendant, the
Continental Flying Spur.
Bred from the fastest four-seat coupe 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 coupe 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
- 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 305km/h (190mph) and
a 0-100km/h (62mph) 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 'torque' from low revs.
- A high-tech, all-wheel-drive system for
exceptional stability and grip in any conditions.
- 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 coupe at Bentley's design studios
and facilities in Crewe to ensure consistency in their visual appearance and in
their on-going engineering and development programme.
- 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 coupe.
- The new Bentley
Continental Flying Spur will go on sale in the northern Spring 2005.
STYLING AND DESIGN
When work began on the Continental GT coupe in 1999, a
simultaneous programme was instigated for a four-door version that would mirror
the performance and design qualities of the coupe 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 time.
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
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 coupe, 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
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 its history.
"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."
Flying Spur consequently shares the clean and muscular appearance of the
Continental GT coupe 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 and
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
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
"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
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 coupe, 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 305km/h (190mph) and 0-100km/h (62mph) in around
five seconds. However, such is the breadth of its dynamic capability, the
Continental Flying Spur also delivers supreme comfort for long, relaxed
"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
Bentley's renowned powertrain development was rightly praised
at the launch of the Continental GT coupe 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
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.
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
Flying Spur perfectly complements the existing range of Bentley models. The
Continental GT continues to fulfil our customers' desire for a dynamic coupe
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 coupe
stablemate: high-performance, timeless design and superb
Bentley chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen says the
distinction between the new Continental Flying Spur and the Bentley Arnage range
"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.
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 coupe. The Continental Flying Spur
promises a new motoring experience and we look forward to welcoming a new breed
of discerning customers to our marque."