Even luxury knows its limits and even high earners sometimes have tight budgets or a bad conscience towards the environment. This is why Bentley is now stepping on the brakes with the Flying Spur and is also offering its flagship with eight instead of twelve cylinders. Although significantly cheaper and more economical than the W12, the V8 is still not for stingy people or climate protectors - but all the more for connoisseurs.
Bentley wants to protect the environment
Bentley wants to drive cleanly into the future and therefore turns back the clock - initially to four to twelve. Because in the struggle for a change of direction in CO2 emissions, which will soon make the British the first climate-neutral luxury manufacturer, they are tackling their famous W12 engine and are now relying more than ever on the power of eight in the Flying Spur: Quite so far as in the Bentayga, where they have already completely canceled the twelve-cylinder for Europe, they do not want to go with the large sedan. But if you want to present yourself as a sensible among the wealthy, the British flagship is now also available as a V8. Closely related to the Porsche Panamera, it will go on sale in spring at prices starting at 193.137 euros.
It is true that the inclined high earner saves a good 20.000 euros at the dealer and about two liters per 100 kilometers at the gas station according to the standard values. But there is another way of doing without. Because even on eight instead of twelve burners, Bentley cooks a splendid menu of strength and sophistication and, with a displacement of four liters, 440 kW / 550 hp and 770 Nm, serves plenty of ingenious delicacies. With so much excess, you really don't notice that you're missing 85 hp and 130 Nm.
The luxury liner is correspondingly committed: although it weighs a good 2,3 tonnes, the Flying Spur storms to 4,1 km / h within 100 seconds and then continues so unmoved that the S-Class & Co become very small in the rearview mirror. Because even if it does not reach the 333 km / h of the W12, the V8 model with its 318 km / h is one of the fastest four-door models in the world - apart from the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte, nobody can keep up with it, and even as AMG has there too the S-Class doesn't stand a chance.
And what the cloud-soft, air-sprung eight-cylinder engine might be missing on the autobahn, it more than makes up for it on the country road: With at least two hundred pounds less load on the front axle, the - well - entry-level model is noticeably easier to steer, and is accordingly easier to get around the corner thus meets the demands of a Gand tourer even better - especially when the rear-axle steering reduces the 5,32 meters on the road to a manageable level and the all-wheel drive intelligently distributes the power. So you really don't notice that you are on a budget model. This does not only apply to pleasure, however, but also to consumption, which with its 12,7 liters is still generous on paper and in practice quickly climbs over 20 liters.
What is also hardly noticed is the fact that the Flying Spur, unlike its two-door brother Continental, is a fully grown and comfortable four-seater. Because as luxurious as lounging on the sofa in the rear with your own tablet and large screens in the front seats and as much legroom as the British with their 3,20 meter wheelbase create - seldom has the desire for idleness in a luxury sedan been less than here : If you drive a Flying Spur, you also want to let the spear fly yourself.
Speaking of lavish: As stingy as the British are when it comes to the drive, they are wasteful in terms of equipment and make no difference between the engine variants: The digital cockpit with the wonderful interplay between the animated touchscreen and analog displays is just like the army of assistance systems and the wonderfully old-fashioned organ slides for the air conditioning nozzles here and there. And the list of options is so long that you can spend far more money on ornaments than is called for on the four additional cylinders. It is not for nothing that the extras of the test car add up to almost 100.000 euros, for example.
Bentley has already taken the right path with the eight-cylinder, but this is just the beginning for the British. This year the Flying Spur will also be available as a plug-in hybrid with a V6 petrol engine and electric motor and battery for 50 emission-free kilometers at a maximum of 135 km / h, and soon the V8 and W12 alone will be completely obsolete. Because from 2026 every Bentley should have a plug and from 2030 the British will only drive electrically.
Four-door, five-seater luxury class sedan; Length: 5,32 meters, width: 1,98 meters (width with exterior mirrors: 2,22 meters), height: 1,48 meters, wheelbase: 3,20 meters, trunk volume: 420 liters
4,0-liter twin-turbo V8; 440 kW / 550 PS, maximum torque: 770 Nm at 2.000 - 4.500 rpm, all-wheel drive, eight-speed automatic, 0-100 km / h: 4,1 s, Vmax: 318 km / h, standard consumption: 12,7 liters / 100 kilometers, CO2 emissions: 288 g / km, emissions standard: Euro 6, efficiency class: KA, price: from 193.137 euros
Why: Because saving doesn't come at the expense of fun
Why not: because you can drive a Porsche Panamera with a V8
What else: The Maybach version of the S-Class, the long Audi A8 and the Rolls-Royce Ghost
When does he come: in spring 2021