2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid review (video)

Brett Davis

The magnificent Bentley Flying Spur can trace its roots all the way back to the late 1950s, when craftsmanship and being handmade were not a novelty but a necessity. Especially for bespoke and personalised items. Although the latest model is not technically handmade, it remains as one of the most exclusive and bespoke luxury sedans on the market.

This is the third generation of the modern series, and it’s available for the first time with a plug-in hybrid option. At the time of its debut last year, it was launched as the most environmentally friendly road car Bentley has ever made. For traditional enthusiasts Bentley does offer a V8 or a mighty W12 as well. But we suspect not for long, as Bentley is planning to go all-electric for all of its models by 2030.

The Flying Spur Hybrid sits in the middle of the range in terms of price, starting from $456,000. However, the 404kW V8 is hardly classed as a ‘base’ model, priced from $445,200. The 467kW W12 is a decent step up, starting from $494,400 (all excluding on-roads).

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid – THE SPECS

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]Engine: 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 hybrid
Output (combined): 400kW / 750Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Wheels: F: 20×9.5, 265/45  R: 20×11, 295/40 (optional 21s fitted)
ANCAP: Not tested
Tare weight: 2580kg
Power-to-weight: 6.45:1 (kg:kW)
Official fuel economy: Not available
Economy during test: 8.9L/100km[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]Fuel capacity/Type: 90L/98 RON
0-60km/h: 2.17 seconds*
0-100km/h: 4.41 seconds*
0-200km/h: 14.81 seconds*
60-110km/h: 2.91 seconds*
1/4 mile: 12.54 seconds at 184.8km/h*
Max acceleration: 1.089g
100-0km/h braking: 3.09 seconds at 37.68 metres*
Max deceleration: -1.169g
Decibel at idle: 37*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 78*
Priced from: $456,000[/column][end_columns]

* Figures as tested by PerformanceDrive on the day. Factory claims may be different

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid – THE PACKAGE

Check out the attention to detail in these exquisite crystal headlights, with a huge front grille helping to emphasise a wide presence and a sense of occasion. Measuring in at just over 5.3 metres long, you can’t miss it. It dominates the road and anything around it.

At the back you’ll see the lovely rear haunches flowing right to the taillights, representing a blend of elegance and muscle. From the very back it looks quite similar to the Continental GT, with a slab-like boot area and rounded corners. The hybrid variant showcases quad-outlet oval tailpipes, similar to those on the V8, leaving the W12 with singular wide-oval pipes on either side.

The Flying Spur is built on VW Group’s MSB platform developed by Porsche and shared with the Porsche Panamera. On the Flying Spur the platform is suspended by a set of new air springs. These air struts incorporate chamber volumes that are around 60 per cent larger than those on the predecessor, helping to raise comfort to all new levels.

The hybrid variant features a complex all-wheel drive system as well, and an 18kWh battery which feeds a 100kW electric motor mounted between the engine and transmission. This transmission is a real gem, borrowing its foundations from the Porsche-developed eight-speed PDK dual-clutch auto.

Riding on a set of optional 21-inch alloy wheels featuring grey inner-spokes, we like the subtle design theme of this test car. It’s not too blingy, blending well with the stately character of the overall design. Stopping power is provided by floating and slotted rotors with 10-piston calipers up front. It’s amazing how quickly it stops despite weighing in at over 2.5 tonnes.

If you’re after pure automotive decadence, look no further. This interior is the last word in luxury and craftsmanship. From the attention to detail across the dash, to the beautiful push-pull climate vent stalks, to the rotating touch-screen module, it is all part of the distinctive Bentley experience.

We love the dark green and cream two-tone theme presented here, with thick carpet for the floor and real wood trimmings across the dash and door trims. It all looks and feels absolutely splendid.

In the back is where most owners might prefer to sit. And we can understand why. Not only is there copious amounts of space and legroom, you also get fully adjustable electric seats, a massive flip-down centre console, and a touch-screen display for the individual climate control and other settings. More exquisite attention to detail is represented in the back, including for the real metal climate vents and seat controls.

Boot space is reduced compared with the regular V8 and W12 engine models due to the electrical components for the hybrid system. The volume drops from 420L to 351L. But don’t worry, it’ll easily fit most of your ingots – just leave the shopping to your staff.

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid – THE DRIVE

Under the bonnet is a 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine paired with an electric motor for hybrid power. The V6 is similar to the one used in some performance Audis and Porsches, only here it emits a refined and forceful soundtrack. Performance is incredible, especially for such a large and heavy vehicle. It really gets up and goes when you put your foot down.

According to our Vbox Sport, using a private road, it can cover 0-100km/h in a dashing 4.41 seconds when using the standard launch control system. Launch control in a Bentley? You bet. Just apply full throttle with the brake pedal depressed, engine revs will climb and sit at about 4000rpm, then just release the brake. It shoots off like a serious sports car. And since the exhaust is not very loud, the whole sprinting exercise is rather unassuming and unexpected.

What surprises us most though is just how well this big land yacht handles. Sure, the suspension is soft and wonderful at ironing out bumps, however, in sport mode it hunkers down and flings around corners. Honestly, it’ll leave some much smaller and nimbler hot hatches for dead on a twisty mountain road. It is easy to manage and feels happy to be pushed around in high tempo demands, too. And you can always rely on those big meaty brakes.

The Pirelli P Zero tyres on these optional wheels measure 265/40 on the front, and whopping 305/35 on the back. Grip levels are not an issue at all, even under full power around corners. We can thank the clever all-wheel drive system in part as well, because it always knows where to send the most power and torque, resulting in relentless progression regardless of the surface.

Obviously this vehicle is not purely about speed and handling performance, but we think it is interesting to know that, despite all of its power, she can dance when the time calls. This is also the case during high-speed motoring on the freeway, as it offers rock-solid stability and control.

The adjustable and auto-levelling air suspension provides an unbelievably comfortable ride around town. It feels like you’re driving a cloud. It’s that soft and absorbent. Honestly, we can’t think of a more pleasant riding vehicle that we’ve previously driven. Speed bumps and road imperfections are merely visual items that you might notice during your journey. Activate the five-mode massage seats and just relax.

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid – THE VIDEO

2022 Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid – THE VERDICT

The grandeur and majesty of the Flying Spur puts it in a league of its own. Those who know, won’t take anything else. We guess the main decision is which engine option to go for.

Although the hybrid system offers the ability to run on electric power alone for around 40km, and it can be recharged by plugging it in, we really enjoy the hush yet powerful capability of this unit. In the end though we’d have to go for the W12 purely because it will not be around for much longer.

[column width=”47%” padding=”6%”]PROS:
– Hybrid powertrain offers relentless and unassuming performance
– Attention to detail inside is just spectacular
– Air suspension provides unrivalled ride comfort
– Despite weighing over 2.5 tonnes, it sure knows how to tackle corners
[/column] [column width=”47%” padding=”0″]CONS:
– We noticed some minor squeaks/creaks from the cabin on this test car
– You’d have to go for the W12 before it becomes extinct[/column][end_columns]

As always, if you’re thinking about buying a new car don’t forget to click here to speak with our car buying specialists.

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