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While it is hard to call any Bentley entry-level, the Flying Spur V8 that's debuting at the Geneva Motor Show is technically the lowest rung among Bentley's four-doors. However, if our experience with the Continental GT V8 is anything to go by - the Spur and the Conti still share a platform, despite the former dropping "Continental" from its branding - the loss of a few cylinders won't harm the overall experience.
The latest model uses the 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with cylinder deactivation that produces 500 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque. It is capable of accelerating to 60 miles per hour in 4.9 seconds to a top speed of 183 mph. Power is sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, and it rides on an air suspension.
Buyers wanting a little more luxury (and who doesn't?) can opt for the Mulliner Driving Specification that adds diamond-quilted leather, a leather headliner, power rear seats and 20-inch wheels. The Flying Spur V8 will join the Flying B's lineup this spring.Permalink | Email this | Comments
The Bentley SUV
Turns out, in case you didn't know, the rich are just like regular people. They too are concerned about the environment, even when tooling around town in their super-luxurious Bentleys. So the automaker is weighing the idea of offering a diesel engine in its SUV offering, which could help satisfy customers' demands for more fuel-efficient engines.
Chairman and CEO Wolfgang Schreiber told Autoblog in a roundtable interview at the Geneva Auto Show that the automaker is researching whether or not a diesel engine makes sense for the brand. Bentley, owned by the Volkswagen Group, could in theory use a diesel engine from anywhere in the Volkswagen Group family. We at Autoblog have hopes they'll revive the V10 TDI used in the VW Touareg until 2010, but ever-stricter emissions laws would likely make that problematic.
But rich people aren't so much like us that they'll be worried about petty things like pricing. Schreiber admitted the diesel engine could be a $15,000 option, which he said customers would probably find "acceptable." Given that the cheapest Bentley today starts at $177,000, typical customers probably won't be diddling around worrying about an extra 15 grand.
Schreiber verified that the SUV, which was confirmed for production in January, will go on sale in 2017. The SUV, based on the EXP 9 F concept shown in Geneva in 2012, is being designed from the start to include a plug-in hybrid powertrain. Other Bentleys are expected to get the plug-in hybrid powertrain down the line, and the automaker is also considering another four-door sedan or a two-door coupe, but Schreiber said it's too early to talk about what those vehicles may be. The automaker won't follow Maserati's lead and make something radically cheaper, like the Ghibli. "If you go too far away from where we are today, there is too much chance you could disappoint the current customer," Schreiber said.Permalink | Email this | Comments
We know what you must be thinking: another Bentley Continental. And we can hardly argue with you, because that's exactly what this is. But what you're actually looking at is the fastest production Bentley ever.
It's the new Continental GT Speed, and it's just been unveiled in both coupe and convertible form here in Geneva. Its 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine has been tuned to deliver 626 horsepower to all four wheels. That's just five horses more than the previous Continental Supersports, but with all the other enhancements applied to the Conti in the mid-cycle refresh, it's actually faster.
While the previous Supersports could reach 204 miles per hour, the new GT Speed can hit 206. (The revised drop-top GTC Speed is quoted at 203 mph, one tick faster than the Supersports Convertible). Of course none of that will, practically speaking, mean anything in real-world driving (especially considering that Crewe hasn't released any acceleration figures), but is worth that extra bit of bragging rights. It also sets the stage nicely for the next Supersports model, which in this context ought to be even faster and more powerful.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Bentley owners don't like to be deprived of anything. Any option, any feature, any special accoutrement, Bentley would provide. Except if you wanted a Flying Spur with a V8, instead of the usual W12. But the company has finally heard the desperate pleas, and now you can finally get a Spur with that V8 rumble.
Until the new Falcon sport-ute comes along, Bentley is still a brand that revolves around two model lines: the Mulsanne, which is available essentially in one form, and the Continental family, which is available in many. The Flying B marque has traditionally offered the V8 version in two specifications and the W12 in three, and packaged them into three different bodystyles. With the Geneva Motor Show fast approaching, Bentley is rolling out two more.
First up is the Flying Spur which, despite having dropped the Continental from its name, is still based on the same. Bentley opted to skip the base W12 version when it introduced the new Flying Spur at last year's Geneva show, going straight for the more powerful version that would otherwise wear the Speed moniker. But now it's bringing a V8 version to the Swiss auto expo.
In addition to the W12, the Flying Spur will now be offered with Bentley's 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8. For the time being at least, Crewe is offering it in the base, 500-horsepower spec, and not with the more potent 521-hp from the Continental GT V8 S, but we're still looking at a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 183 mph. And that's pretty fast for a four-door sedan, no matter which way you cut it. Power is channeled once again to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission, riding on an air suspension. There's a Mulliner Driving Specification package to make it even more derirable, the reduced weight in the nose ought to make it handle better, and with cylinder deactivation, promises to deliver much better fuel economy.
At the other end of the spectrum, Bentley is introducing an upgraded version of the Continental GT Speed in both coupe and convertible form. The 6.0-liter twin-turbo W-12 engine still does pulling duty, but is now upgraded from 616 horsepower to 626. As a result, top speed rises to 206 mph in the coupe and 203 mph in the convertible. There's also new wheels and trim to distinguish it from "lesser" Contis, to which Bentley is also applying a series of updates for 2014. Read all about 'em in the press release below.Permalink | Email this | Comments