2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

Why less is more when it comes to the very height of luxury and performance

By Shahzad Sheikh

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

Bentley has now slipped the Audi-sourced V8 into four-door Flying Spur, just as it has previously into the Continental GT. This has been primarily done for tax purposes where that is an issue such as markets like China – not a concern for our region of course. And yet, this Flying Spur V8, rather than the ‘regular’ W12, is the one that you should be looking at if you’re considering the four-door Bentley.

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

Why? Well that’s hard to explain. After all, compared to the Big Daddy W12, the V8 is only about AED40,000 cheaper and only about 50kg lighter. With 500bhp it’s down 116bhp, and its 488lb ft of torque is just over a 100 less too, hence it’s slower (295kph compared to 320kph) and acceleration takes 5.2 seconds to 100kph compared to 4.6 for the W12.

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

It’s not making sense so far is it? How about fuel economy then? It achieves 10.9l/100km combined compared to 14.7l/100km. Okay that is significantly better, but unimportant a) because we live in the Middle East, and b) because you’re buying a Bentley – you caring about fuel economy is like Adam Richman, of Man Vs Food, saying he cares about his diet!

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

So what gives? Am I some kind of motoring moron for suggesting that the smaller, less powerful, motor makes for a better Bentley? I mean all else being equal – which it is, so I’ll not go into the fact that this is a superbly comfy luxury cruiser with great presence, but that the electronics and interfaces now feel woefully out-of-date compared to rivals, and as I’ve said before, why don’t hey just wander over to sister company Audi and pinch its latest in-car infotainment systems?

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

Also that the fact that it is solid long-distance transport and a competent hard-charger with excellent grip and responsive, if less-than-assuring, steering, makes it not the greatest drive in the world, but certainly amongst the grandest.

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

But if you have read my previous Bentley reviews – which you can find here – you’ll know that I really like the sound and charisma of this V8 motor (it is after all the same unit found in the staggering Audi RS7/RS6 Avant – albeit detuned here) compared to the whiny W-configured lump. And even though the weight difference is only minor, it does somehow feel less nose-heavy than the 12 pot.

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

This and the standard Conti V8s aren’t the best though – that’s the new V8S, the perfect example of the breed benefiting from a lowered and sharper suspension set up. But I still think the Flying Spur V8 feels more ‘alive’ than the W.

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

And I can’t wait for a V8S version of the Flying Spur which will surely be along soon. That will be the one to get if you want the four-door, though a GTC V8s would really be bliss!

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review

Now considering that most people won’t even be able to tell the difference the W12 and the V8, so you don’t have to worry about any impending feelings of inferiority, and since this one sounds so much better, plus the fact that the differences in performance figures really don’t feel that significance in something as bulky as this anyway, the simple fact is that you’re better off taking my advice and going for the V8.

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review – The Specs

Price: AED855,000 ($233k)
Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, 500bhp @ 6000rpm, 487lb ft @ 1700-5000rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 5.2 seconds, top speed 295kph
Transmission: Eight-speed auto, four wheel drive, 10.9L/100km
Weight: 2417kg

One response to “2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review”

  1. Marc says:

    Great review and fantastic car, but what were they thinking about this colour…!!!!

Leave a Reply to Marc Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *