Perhaps there are only one or two other automobile marques that can conjure such evocative images of luxury, refinement, craftsmanship and power. We recently took one for a drive…
At first, you can be slightly intimated by the thought of driving a car optioned to be worth around 680,000 AUD.
After driving countless cars along what must be hundreds of thousands of kilometres of road, you take pause, considering the bad habits you may have developed over that time and what kind of a mess they could get you into behind that hand stitched, soft leather steering wheel.
Not to worry, as the old saying goes, You are driven in a Rolls Royce but you drive a Bentley.
Make no mistake about it, this is a driver’s car. If you have a chauffeur, fire him or her. Tell them their services are no longer needed – except for the days when you have to slum it in the Audi.
The moment you ease yourself into the immaculate driver’s seat, you know that you are in control, thoughts of intimidation fly out out the window (at close to 322kph if you have your foot down!). Controls are intuitive and accessible. The luxury that surrounds you, cocoons and subdues you. Until, of course, the fool in the lane beside you cuts in front and slows down. Immediately, the Bentley’s ‘distance radar’ takes over the cruise control and slows the car down to be equidistant between what’s in front and what’s behind. A little unsettling the first time, but only the first time.
The 6.0 litre, W12 engine, two V 6’s side by side, hits 100kph in 4.6 seconds. The eight speed transmission is velvet smooth while the All Wheel drive has a 40:60 front to rear torque split. The refined power plant produces 616 bhp and a maximum torque of 800nm. But the figures don’t tell the real story. The climb from 0 to 100, to 120, to 140 is effortless. (thismagnificentlife always recommends obeying the road rules).
The surprise here would be if it wasn’t effortless, if there was some shake or aberration in performance.
But there isn’t. It’s simply a highly responsive, smooth injection of fun lovin’ adrenalin. Petrol mileage is what you would expect, and if you have to ask, then this isn’t the car for your bank account.
Something else happens on the road when you drive a car like a saloon Bentley. First, its exterior design is not ostentatious, it does not scream ‘look at me, look at me!”, which I think a lot of people (unless you’re Kim Kardashian) would appreciate. However, that doesn’t mean you’re not noticed on the road. People keep a respectable distance from a car with such a commanding presence.
Intimidation, it seems, cuts both ways.
On the inside, the Flying Spur is rich. Rich in tradition and craftsmanship. In the early days of the motor car, ‘Mulliner’ became the coach builder of choice for Britain’s discerning motorists. Mulliner craftsmanship became legendary and the company became part of Bentley in 1959. The Bentley Flying Spur Mulliner continues this proud tradition with a wealth of extra interior and exterior options. It’s a marriage of time tested craftsmanship with advanced technology that’s designed to be part of the experience, and not to overwhelm it. You can see this perfect marriage in the mirror matched veneer waistrails and dashboard, the matching veneered glasses case in the console or the picnic tables behind the front seats. You see it when you pick up the Touch Screen Remote or connect to the internet with the optional in-car Wi-Fi hub.
But what makes a luxury car truly luxury is the ability to make it your very own. For example the exterior colour can be any one of 100 choices. (or your very own special colour which Bentley will re-create). On the inside, there is an impressive range of hides and veneers to complement options for seat sandwich piping, contrast stitching, cross stitching and cross banding.
There will probably only ever be one Bentley like yours.
Bentley has long since ceased the relationship with Rolls Royce. Today they are two different and distinct auto companies. Bentley is attracting a younger, entrepreneurial market. Folks who may have toyed with other marques, but they realise that, sooner or later, all roads lead to Bentley – a sophisticated and elegant beauty that hides a beast, ready to roar into life.
Thanks to Joseph Aranga at Bentley Brisbane for the test drive.
[Tweet “Here’s a great story on the Bentley Flying Spur…”] [huge_it_videogallery id=”7″]