W12 4dr Sedan
2021 Bentley Flying Spur

Even in the face of fading four-door relevance, a new luxury sedan still turns heads, and that goes double when it’s sporting the Flying B. The 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8 marks the return of the “entry-level” variant of Bentley’s storied touring sedan, and perhaps for the last time, as parent company Volkswagen appears poised to electrify its flagship luxury brand. As luxury nameplates go, Flying Spur really isn’t all that long-running. It was used on a handful of cars in the late 1950s and early 1960s and then mothballed for four decades, returning in 2005 as part of the same Volkswagen prestige project that brought us the Phaeton. The two were even assembled side-by-side for a brief period at one of VW’s German facilities while Bentley’s factory in Crewe scaled up; that probably went over far better in 2005 than it would have in 1959.  My oldest remaining memory of the (then still a Continental) Flying Spur’s modern incarnation stems from a write-up by a journalist who had embedded with some of VW Group’s engineers in South Africa. They were subjecting it to hot-weather validation, running the prototype (disguised as a Mercedes-Benz) deep into triple-digit territory on remote, dusty highways in a once-unforgiving and distant corner of the globe. The whole thing seemed very romantic to a 20-year-old college student and budding European car nut. The notion of a 190-mph super-sedan being tested in a locale that was once the southern terminus of the known world seemed almost mythical, and it left me with the lingering image of the Flying Spur as the sort of conveyance one might employ in a quest to reach the very ends of the Earth. Naturally, it wasn’t long after Bentley asked if I wanted to sample the new Flying Spur V8 that this association bubbled up. Let’s face it, though; taking a road trip in a grand British luxury sedan needs no justification. This isn’t a car that requires an occasion; it supplies one all on its own. The 4.0-liter V8’s 542 horsepower may not hold a candle to the W12’s 626, but it also has to contend with 200 fewer pounds. Combined with cylinder deactivation, the V8 manages a 16% improvement in fuel economy, eking out 15 mpg in the city, 20 on the highway and 17 combined. The base V8 model also lacks the W12’s standard all-wheel steering and electronically controlled anti-roll bars, but those are still available if you’re willing to cough up some extra cash, and relatively little of it, all things considered. The Flying Spur V8 has a base price of $196,000. Tip of the iceberg. Porsche’s individualization options look like junior varsity efforts in the face of a Bentley “specification” list. Between the aforementioned all-wheel steering and fancy sway bars, the interior packages and all of the exterior dress-up, our Flying Spur’s all-in price ballooned to $265,565 (including destination and, yes, gas guzzler tax). I could probably dedicate an entire article to explaining the equipment differences between …
Full Review
Even in the face of fading four-door relevance, a new luxury sedan still turns heads, and that goes double when it’s sporting the Flying B. The 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8 marks the return of the “entry-level” variant of Bentley’s storied touring sedan, and perhaps for the last time, as parent company Volkswagen appears poised to electrify its flagship luxury brand. As luxury nameplates go, Flying Spur really isn’t all that long-running. It was used on a handful of cars in the late 1950s and early 1960s and then mothballed for four decades, returning in 2005 as part of the same Volkswagen prestige project that brought us the Phaeton. The two were even assembled side-by-side for a brief period at one of VW’s German facilities while Bentley’s factory in Crewe scaled up; that probably went over far better in 2005 than it would have in 1959.  My oldest remaining memory of the (then still a Continental) Flying Spur’s modern incarnation stems from a write-up by a journalist who had embedded with some of VW Group’s engineers in South Africa. They were subjecting it to hot-weather validation, running the prototype (disguised as a Mercedes-Benz) deep into triple-digit territory on remote, dusty highways in a once-unforgiving and distant corner of the globe. The whole thing seemed very romantic to a 20-year-old college student and budding European car nut. The notion of a 190-mph super-sedan being tested in a locale that was once the southern terminus of the known world seemed almost mythical, and it left me with the lingering image of the Flying Spur as the sort of conveyance one might employ in a quest to reach the very ends of the Earth. Naturally, it wasn’t long after Bentley asked if I wanted to sample the new Flying Spur V8 that this association bubbled up. Let’s face it, though; taking a road trip in a grand British luxury sedan needs no justification. This isn’t a car that requires an occasion; it supplies one all on its own. The 4.0-liter V8’s 542 horsepower may not hold a candle to the W12’s 626, but it also has to contend with 200 fewer pounds. Combined with cylinder deactivation, the V8 manages a 16% improvement in fuel economy, eking out 15 mpg in the city, 20 on the highway and 17 combined. The base V8 model also lacks the W12’s standard all-wheel steering and electronically controlled anti-roll bars, but those are still available if you’re willing to cough up some extra cash, and relatively little of it, all things considered. The Flying Spur V8 has a base price of $196,000. Tip of the iceberg. Porsche’s individualization options look like junior varsity efforts in the face of a Bentley “specification” list. Between the aforementioned all-wheel steering and fancy sway bars, the interior packages and all of the exterior dress-up, our Flying Spur’s all-in price ballooned to $265,565 (including destination and, yes, gas guzzler tax). I could probably dedicate an entire article to explaining the equipment differences between …
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Retail Price

$216,700 MSRP / Window Sticker Price
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Engine 6.0L W-12
MPG 12 City / 19 Hwy
Seating 5 Passengers
Transmission 8-spd auto-shift man w/OD
Power 626 @ 6000 rpm
Drivetrain all wheel
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