2008 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Review

It's hard to go wrong these days if you're willing to spend well in excess of $100,000 on a luxury sedan. Take cars like the Rolls-Royce Phantom, Maybach 57 and Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG for a spin and you'll find that there's really not a bad one in the bunch. This poses a challenge for luxury automakers, as it's difficult to stand out in such impressive company. Nonetheless, with the assistance of parent company Volkswagen, the 2008 Bentley Continental Flying Spur pulls it off, offering up a distinctive combination of S65-like performance along with enough classic British luxury to rival the more sedate Phantom and Maybach.

2008 Bentley Continental Flying Spur-12008 Bentley Continental Flying Spur-2Essentially a four-door version of Bentley's Continental GT coupe, the Flying Spur has sporting bloodlines that are readily apparent in its breathtaking power and athletic handling and braking. The twin-turbo W12 engine whisks the Flying Spur to a stratospheric top speed of 195 mph, making it the fastest four-door sedan currently in production. In braking tests from 60 to zero, the big Bentley repeatedly stopped in about 116 feet, which is more befitting a sports car than a luxury barge. It also weaved through our slalom cones at a brisk 65.1 mph, just 0.1 mph slower than the Continental GT coupe.

At the same time, the Flying Spur's lavish cabin is also world-class, with leather or wood trim adorning virtually every visible surface. Bentley says that installing said trim on the steering wheel alone requires five hours of labor -- and it feels like it, too. Some of the Volkswagen/Audi-sourced switchgear strikes us as a bit mundane for the Bentley brand, but it's certainly more functional than the company's interior bits of yore. And while the Flying Spur may not be able to match the sheer curbside presence of the imposing Maybach, let alone the downright intimidating Phantom, its elegant lines and proportions leave no doubt as to its ultraluxury credentials.

At a base price of $170,990, or roughly half that of the Rolls-Royce or Maybach, the 2008 Bentley Continental Flying Spur is a compelling package. It might even be the closest thing to a bargain that this exclusive segment has to offer.

© Source: edmunds
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