CREWE, ENGLAND - Bentley’s Flying Spur sedan was launched in third-generation guise in 2019, with the only engine option being a 467kW W12, but now Bentley is introducing a V8 version.
Interestingly Bentley says it introduced the smaller engine because fewer owners are being driven around by chauffeurs, instead they’re choosing to pilot their vehicles themselves, with passengers on board. But why would these clients want a smaller engine then? According to Bentley, self-driving customers will appreciate the improved agility that results from it being 100kg lighter than the W12, and the V8 soundtrack is also regarded as more enticing.
Those opting for the V8 won’t lose out on too much in the way of performance, with Bentley’s 4-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 404kW and 770Nm, allowing for a 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.1 seconds, which is only 0.3 seconds slower than the W12’s time.
Of course, this is not going to be an economical vehicle, but Bentley has incorporated some fuel-saving tech in the form of a cylinder deactivation system that shuts down four of the cylinders under light-load conditions, when torque demand is below 235Nm and engine speed is below 3000rpm. Bentley says the change is imperceptible to the occupants, with deactivation taking about 20 milliseconds.
As with the W12, the Flying Spur V8 can be ordered in both four-seat and five-seat guises and as always the highly customisable cabin is packed with tree and cow. It’s also available with Bentley’s Rotating Display touchscreen, which as the name implies, can be rotated out of view and replaced with analogue displays at the push of a button when occupants are craving a ‘digital detox’. And quite frankly, who isn’t these days?