Unlikely supercar hiding in plain sight
It's the luxury limousine fit for the Queen, but Bentley's latest Flying Spur can also blast away from the traffic lights with the enthusiasm of a Porsche and keep up with Ferraris on the autobahn.
With a 6.0-litre 12-cylinder twin turbocharged engine with 467kW of power and 900Nm of torque, the Flying Spur's claimed 333km/h top speed makes it the fastest four-door on the planet, comfortably eclipsing its prime rival, the Rolls-Royce Ghost, which is electronically limited to 250km/h.
The new Flying Spur even blitzes much sportier competition, including the upcoming Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door (315km/h) and BMW M5 (305km/h).
While its power is just shaded by the most hairy-chested Australian muscle car ever, the HSV GTSR W1 (with 474kW), it comfortably smashes that car in the sprint to 100km/h, the Bentley using its all-wheel drive grip to hit triple figures in just 3.8 seconds.
But it is lavish luxury that defines the Flying Spur, which comes with new techniques to craft leather - including "three-dimensional diamond quilted leather door inserts" - and electrically retracting blinds made from Alcantara that can be colour-matched to the 15 available roof lining hues.
It's all about blending traditional luxury elements with modern technology.
"As with the launch of the Continental GT, the new Flying Spur is a ground up development that pushes the boundaries of both technology and craftsmanship to deliver segment-defining levels of performance and refinement," said Bentley chairman and CEO Adrian Hallmark.
Those who want something really different can option solid wood walnut door panelling finished in a three-dimensional diamond quilting pattern.
Bentley even developed a new software algorithm so computer-controlled machines could cut the intricate knurling pattern into the metal rotary dials, something that can also be optioned for the air vent surrounds.
Joining the traditional luxury accoutrements is a suitable dose of technology, including wireless smartphone charging, adjustable mood lighting, a high definition digital instrument panel and retractable Bentley B logo that deploys electronically from the bonnet and is illuminated to make it more noticeable at night.
While the headlights are crafted to look like cut crystal, they include dozens of individually controlled LEDs.
Despite the tech overload, Bentley offers a "complete digital detox" for those who option the swivelling centre screen. Press a button and the 12.3-inch high definition touchscreen twirls around to be replaced by wood panelling or a trio of traditional gauges.
Plus, there's still a traditional analog clock on the dash, complete with a reminder of the year the famous British company was founded, 1919.