The Flying Spur, Bentley’s newest sedan, tops out at 200 miles per hour, a few ticks above the takeoff speed of your normal passenger jet. And while a DC-9 might have a higher cruising speed, its first class seats seem pedestrian in comparison to the Flying Spur’s cosseted, quilted leather back seats, banked by book-matched panels of dark fiddleback eucalyptus. This is the fastest four-door car Bentley’s ever built — a hulking, 5,400-plus pound monster powered by a 616-horsepower W12 engine, a car capable of being driven at speeds suitable for runways — yet its greatest kicks come when you’re in the backseat.
That’s where you can dig your toes into the Flying Spur’s deep pile wool carpet, summon the bellow of its 13-speaker soundsystem via a wireless remote, and huff all that leather offgas while colors of the outside world wipe across your acoustic glass windows. Yes, you could get a similar experience in the backseat of a Rolls-Royce Ghost. But your driver would need to maintain more gentlemanly speeds, because the Ghost is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour. And in the Ghost, you’d better hope you don’t run into inclement weather.
The Flying Spur, unlike Rolls’s machines, is all-wheel-drive: a sophisticated setup varies the power it sends to each wheel on the fly. We spent time in the new Spur in a particularly snowy stretch of January, and felt empowered by this super-luxe chariot’s aggressive grip on the road. Think of it as an abominable snowman, fresh out of etiquette school.