Bentley Flying Spur: Carved from solid wood

How do you prefer to enjoy the autumn? Out in the forest as the leaves turn brown, or relaxed on a sofa in the warm? The new Bentley Flying Spur renders the decision obsolete, melding a near-unrivalled level of comfort and luxury with outstanding dynamics…

Less is more – even Bentley acknowledges this ancient proverb. However, the latest model from Crewe hasn’t scrimped on either the torque, or the veneer. The second-generation four-door Flying Spur drops the ‘Continental’ suffix but gains small cosmetic and performance updates. The subtle new side-gills convey sportiness, while the steeply sloping rear gives the saloon a majestic, though sometimes rather unearthly, appearance. Either way, the new Bentley scores with its sharpened character.

A real ‘bad weather car’

The Bentley Flying Spur is a real bad weather car. When the dark grey clouds close in and the rain pitter-patters on the panoramic glass roof, there’s no better time to sink into the sumptuous, hand-sewn leather seats. As we glide through the golden autumnal woods, we marvel at the 10 square feet of wood veneer which is lavished throughout the cabin. Each layer is painted, inserted by hand, and polished to a mirror-like shine.

Not just wood

The variety of the wood strongly influences the mood inside. Classic grained walnut root gives the refined atmosphere of a London gentleman’s club, while the lighter chestnut is more elegant and modern. Choosing a wood to match your shade of leather is harder than it might sound (piano black is the easy option). For those who like individuality, Japanese ash is stunning, as is Black Forest pine – a wood famous in Bentley’s heritage.

Nonchalance, in any weather

The Flying Spur isn’t just for being enjoyed from the rear seat, though. The 0-62mph sprint is covered in a mere 4.3 seconds, the W12 engine pulling nonchalantly, unlike the aggressive super-saloons from Audi or BMW. No other car in this segment accelerates and slows down so finely. In contrast to the powerful Mulsanne, the Flying Spur is a real ‘year-round’ car thanks to its excellent four-wheel-drive system. As the golden wet leaves swirl in the tracks of the vast car, the sweet scent of the forest tantalises our nostrils through the charming nozzles of the air-con. So, an outdoor adventure or that fireside sofa? With the Flying Spur, the problem’s solved.

Photos: Jan Baedeker

Many modern and classic Bentley models are for sale in the Classic Driver Market