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.
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 show its taillights to many a top-tier sports car in a drag race. At our test track, it leaped to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. 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 aren’t available yet; Bentley says the V-8 engine can deactivate cylinders when cruising for better efficiency, but we’re not expecting a miracle. 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.
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 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.