A new Flying Spur is set to be launched in late 2013, completing the overhaul of the Bentley Continental family. This engineering mule was spied while it was subjected to tests in southern Europe. It was disguised to conceal the near production-ready bodywork of the new Spur.
The new Flying Spur is similar to the newly refreshed Continental GT coupé and GTC convertible as it is also based on a heavily modified version of the existing platform, with a fresh bodywork and a new interior that has been upgraded. Even if this prototype makes the new saloon seem shorter and taller, it is believed to be using the same wheelbase as the current car, with comparable overall dimensions.
But then, the mule reveals its new bodywork, which has a crisper sheetmetal. It seems to take inspiration from the new GT and GTC. While flowing curves are evident on the bonnet and boot of the current model, this new model will have sharper creases. Its flanks will also have an appearance that’s more structured.
The Spur’s success in China and the U.S. is attributed mostly to being a formal but understated saloon so the company wants to retain this quality. It’s likely to have powertrains that are similar to what the GT and GTC offers such as twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 and 6.0-litre W12 units. The top-of-the-line Speed variant produces 616bhp, enabling the model to reach a top speed of 200mph. It’s clear that the Spur Speed will be able to get back its title as Bentley’s fastest four-door vehicle with this new powerplant.
New Bentley Flying Spur signals a new design direction for the carmaker’s performance sedan. This Bentley model is especially provided with a lower yet wider look as well as imposing stance and assertive profile. These exterior attributes are defined by elegant curves and sharp lines as well as by the Flying Spur’s lower roof line, feature lines, sculpted panels and a muscular rear side.
Up front, the new Bentley Flying Spur is marked by a more upright chrome grille as flanked gracefully by two jewel-like LED headlights. Interestingly, the outer lamps are made larger than the inner units to emphasize the wide stance of the performance sedan. The new Bentley Flying Spur also features a full-width undivided air intake positioned on its lower fascia. This air intake is accentuated by a chromed horizontal bar.
Meanwhile, the front fender comes with a new wing vent bearing the Bentley "B" motif. Starting from thewing vent, the new Bentley Flying Spur sports a feature line forming a defined edge flowing from front wheel to the rear bumper. The rear end, on the other hand, features a lower and longer boot lid as well as horizontal single ellipse LED rear lamps. These design cues are completed by a fresh take on the so-called Bentley "Horse Shoe" feature line, which now flows across the full width of the new Bentley Flying Spur.
People at Bentley work to make the new Flying Spur as strong and as refined as possible while still featuring a high level of elegance. To achieve this, the new Flying Spur is made from a wide range of materials – all employed smartly and efficiently. The body structure of the Flying Spur is designed to further enhance overall body stiffness by reinforcing the front cross-members, B-posts and sills and employing deformable components in the floor pan.
Thanks to these tweaks, this powerful yet luxurious sedan could meet stringent crash performance targets as well as comply with pedestrian protection legislation. The new Flying Spur comes with a deployable bonnet featuring deformation elements and new reinforcement panels.