After the tremendous success of their 2003 Continental GT, Bentley Motors introduced the Continental Flying Spur in 2005. The Continental GT, a two door, grand tourer in the grandest sense was a instant hit for Bentley. What really set the GT apart from many other grand tourers was the fact that this car was designed from the offset to reach 200 mph.
Unlike some lesser manufacturers, Bentley designed and engineered this beast specifically to reach this significant motoring milestone. No limiting to 155 mph like some of it’s German rivals.
This Bentley sticks up two fingers to our continental neighbours… just like Winston Churchill… but, before one gets carried away in patriotism, and Union Jack flag waving. There is one fly in the mint sauce… Bentley is now owned by a German company (like Rolls-Royce Motor Cars). However, before you can say, “Humbug!” this is not such a bad thing.
The Bentley Arnage is a fabulous car, but in terms of reliability is certainly blighted by this new generation of Continentals. The huge teutonic might of the Volkswagen group allows for the economies of scale to tip favourably towards this Crewe based automotive manufacturer. Allowing the craftsmen of Crewe to focus on what really should be handmade. While state-of-the-art robots and other high tech gizmos can do what they do best – build reliable cars. The result is breathtaking.
As gentile as an old English school master. A true perfect gent, someone you could rely on to chaperone your beautiful sister. Or could you? Just like Dr Henry Jekyll, had the wayward Mr Hyde never too far way. This car is classic Bentley. The GT may be slightly nimbler round tight and twisty corners, but the Flying Spur could never be called a slouch. Polished, bookmatched wooden veneers and the finest leather work do their best to portray the interior of an elegant Gentleman’s club.
With 552 BHP available from an amazingly compact W12 engine. This Bentley can smoke it’s way out of a Port-sipping, pipe-smoking heritage, or can it? With all wheel drive, you can forget about tyre-smoking too. Gone are the days of sitting at a gravelly T junction wondering why your not moving. That is, until you see the plumes of smoke in your rear-view mirror as the Arnage tries it’s best to melt the tarmac.
This car just goes. It goes where you want it too also. When you brake from 150 mph it will stop in the most perfect straight line, even in my hands. Lesser cars can become just a tad unsettled at this sort of velocity, not this beast, in fact it hasn’t even started stretching it’s legs yet. At 155 mph the nose of the car will lower to create an even better aerodynamic stance. The fact is, even flat out this car will never fly like its moniker. Yet, it will reach incredible velocities. I have been told, by someone that should know that the Flying Spur will eclipse a GT in the top speed test. Official figures of the Spur are apparently doctored for marketing reasons.
In 2007, Bentley introduced the GT Speed, which along with a slightly reduced weight, adds another 53 BHP to its arsenal. The Continental GT Speed is the first production Bentley officially capable of reaching 200 mph, topping out at 202 mph.
The Continental Flying Spur incorporates much of the technological prowess of the GT but with a lot more rear legroom and significantly for a chauffeur car – four doors. It is as roomy as a standard Rolls-Royce Phantom in the rear. Making it a great car for chauffeuring basketball players or for flamboyant wedding dressed brides. Many people could argue that any car built on the shell of a mear VW can’t be a true Bentley. Many people say it weighs more than a truck and can’t be a true supercar. However, I believe they miss the point and were these not some of the original criticisms of the original Bentleys? W.O Bentley’s motto was “To build a good car, a fast car, the best in class.” surely the Bentley Continental Flying Spur meets his aspiration?