Opinion: New Flying Spur shows Bentley's commitment to comfort
Crewe’s new luxury saloon boasts the model’s most sophisticated suspension yet, but it will have to work extra hard
Bentley demands its cars do a great deal. In fact, there’s a pretty strong argument that the Bentayga SUV has the broadest remit of any car on the planet: it has to be sporting, luxurious, capable of an incredibly high top speed and also be an off-roader.
At least, for the Flying Spur, there’s no need for the off-road requirement. But the expected top speed is higher and the accepted comfort level of a luxury saloon will have to be higher, too. And rolling comfort, or ride quality, is, presumably as a result of having a top speed that starts with a two, something the Flying Spur has sometimes struggled with to date.
This time, then, they’ve thrown absolutely everything at the car: active rear steer, three-chamber air suspension, adaptive dampers, 48V electrics for active anti-roll bars with exceptional torque levels and very quick responses. Forget, for a moment, the acres of wood, leather and aluminium that’ll sit inside every Flying Spur. You can take it as read that they’ll be constructed and presented beautifully.
It’s the combined weight of all those luxury trappings, though, that the advanced hardware will have to manage, and manage well, if Bentley is to finally unleash the potential to make an extremely fast and ultra-comfortable luxury saloon.
A conventional automatic transmission would seem, to me, more suited to luxury environs than this car’s dual-clutch gearbox, but other than that, the hardware is all there. And in the current Continental GT and Bentayga, it seems Bentley knows how to use it.