2020 Bentley Flying Spur first drive: Elegance and opulence

Confidence is generally founded on something, so let’s review what Bentley has accomplished here, beginning under the hood: Powering the Flying Spur is the same W12 found in the Continental GT, rated at 626 hp at 6,000 rpm and 664 lb-ft of torque between 1,350 and 4,500 rpm. The architecture uses active engine mounts to help minimize powertrain vibration in the cabin, yet keep the engine stable in hard driving.
Transmitting that torque to all four wheels is an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, designed with an emphasis on smoothness when it came to its tuning. Why a dual-clutch, considering the occasional lurching that even the best DCTs exhibit? The unbeatable upshift speeds and performance characteristics, according to Bentley representatives. Consider that this powertrain can accelerate the 5,300-pound Flying Spur up to 207 mph and deliver a 3.7-second sprint to 60, and you can see they’re doing something right.
The Flying Spur’s three-chamber air suspension combines with continuously adjustable monotube dampers and adjustable antiroll bars, which Bentley calls active roll-control, on both axles. There’s also a rear-axle steering system, which can articulate the wheels as much as five degrees opposite the fronts to help with parking maneuvers; after that, the rear wheels only move about a degree in the same direction as the fronts to add agility at low speeds and stability at higher speeds. Per current styling requirements, the Flying Spur will ride on either 21-inch or 22-inch wheels. Since huge wheels and low-profile tires are incompatible a with luxury-car ride, Bentley mounted hollow wheel hubs and used aluminum wherever it could for suspension components. The tires themselves use a thin layer of foam around the bead inside the tire to further mitigate vibration and noise.