To be fair to Bentley, when your 'launch' is the unveiling of the newly tweaked Flying Spur, there's not a lot you can do. It was a very good and attractive car before. It's now an even better, slightly more attractive car. In terms of tweaks and modifications, we're looking at improved consumption – 19.2mpg compared to 2005's 17mpg. We’ve got a top speed of 200mph compared to the previous 194mph, and 0-60mph in 4.3 seconds, down from 4.9 – no mean feats for a car that now weighs 2,475kg. There’s also an eight-speed transmission, compared to the last model's six-speed.
Bentley defines the Flying Spur's acceleration as 'a gentle push', as if a celestial hand has been placed on the back to give you a welcome nudge. That describes the sensation well enough but doesn't do the acceleration justice. The 0-60mph thing indicates just how much power’s under the bonnet, but it’s 60mph to the "oh-sorry-officer-was-I-going-too-fast?" end of the dial where the Flying Spur, er, flies. At that point it's less 'gentle push', more 'picked up and thrown' – albeit thrown gracefully while cocooned in plush leather.
By Neil Davey; go to bentleymotors.com for more information.