Bentley Continental Flying Spur (2005)

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Bentley Continental Flying

The Bentley Continental Flying made its international debut at the Geneva Salon and began its roll-out from April Sharing heart and soul its highly successful stablemate, the GT . the Continental Flying Spur is a Grand Tourer born of a

The Bentley Continental Flying is the fastest four-door in the company’s and the fastest in the world, with a top of 195mph. It marries the excitement, refinement and craftsmanship of the Continental GT enhanced luxury and space to a supreme combination of performance, and comfort.

The launch of the Bentley Flying Spur is a further forward in the revitalisation of Bentley, began in 1998 with investment in Crewe, the company’s engineering and manufacturing headquarters.

The Continental Flying Spur was at the state-of-the-art Crewe factory, a 550-strong team of engineers has alongside Bentley’s renowned craftsmen and craftswomen. Access to company Volkswagen’s worldwide test facilities has also of prime importance to the development of the car and the Flying Spur has benefitted the use of the group’s advanced windtunnels, grounds and prototyping facilities.

The Flying Spur is a brilliant of how to match world-beating technologies renowned craftsmanship, says chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen. It is a car but not at the cost of comfort and as such a unique proposition — a and spacious four-door Grand with the heart and soul of a coupé.

2005 Bentley Flying Spur

If one phrase sum up the brief for the Bentley Continental Spur concept it would be: compromise’. That clear but ambition meant the Continental Spur would need to the highest levels of elegance and while still delivering and driving dynamics normally found in sports cars.

In it would be a sporting Grand with substantial rear for passengers, a stunning interior and cabin materials; a car capable of great distances with while delivering immense pleasure — in other a consummate Bentley.

Design Dirk van Braeckel created the bold and contemporary look at the same time as its sister the Continental GT, thereby ensuring a of image and appearance between the and the equally potent four-door

By designing both cars we could ensure that the Continental Flying Spur is related to the Continental GT, says van They share presence and in equal measure. That the Bentley Continental Flying has a noticeably short front like the GT and a broad, dominant and radiator grille.

It is unmistakeably a

Where the Continental GT coupé inspiration from the iconic Bentley R-Type Continental, the of the new four-door can be seen in the equally and admired 1957 four-door Flying Spur; the car from the new model takes its name.

contemporary lines stand out on surface of the new Bentley Continental Spur, an effect that was a aim of Dirk van Braeckel and his design who were keen to ensure the car was evocative, timeless and unostentatious. design theme is key to the future of all Bentleys, one in which the past serve as inspiration but won’t the end product. The Bentley Continental Spur’s look is intended to owners both individuality and

One of the virtues of the Bentley brand has been understatement, says van Even in the early days, people preferred Bentleys to more ostentatious cars.

design cues have evolved from past they are interpreted in a manner befits a modern four-door Tourer. Central to the Bentley Flying Spur’s appearance is the C-pillar behind the rear — a motif found on early Bentleys. This stick’ curve adds and sportiness to the car’s profile.

The length of the Bentley Continental Spur compared to the coupé the waistline of the car, creating the of a deep, solid body offers seclusion and privacy to its The elongated profile also the car’s aerodynamic properties, when a top speed of 195mph is The body of the Bentley Continental Spur is also immensely (46Hz resonance frequency) for strength and durability.

We have very close attention to the air over the car, says head of exterior design, Pires. The rear bumper is shaped to funnel air out cleanly the underbody diffuser and the small lip on the trailing edge of the bootlid downforce and stability at high The four-door has an even better coefficient than the Continental GT 0.31Cd compared to the coupé’s

Design process technology

the Continental GT coupé, the Continental Spur was first designed in the virtual world. With all its existing in the virtual world a single one was created as a physical it was possible to see how each part with all the others, highlighting and conflicts that might not have come to light. process cut down development and enabled Bentley’s engineers to in quality and consistency at a component

Bentley also used modelling techniques at the early stages to ensure that the exterior and interior of the car were to astonishing levels of accuracy. a technique known as Data Modelling, precision-machined full-scale of the inside and outside of the car were using composite materials are milled to within an accuracy of The result is a perfect facsimile of the new car can be used to construct extremely tools for the production stage.


The Bentley Continental Spur’s interior proportions luxurious legroom for all passengers and an canvas on which Bentley’s design team could set to Throughout the interior, leather or wood veneers on every combine to give a welcoming and environment for the driver and passengers

Inspiration for key elements of the Continental Spur’s interior came earlier Bentleys. A deep, wooden waistrail runs the of the cabin, producing a feeling of protection and opulence. Deep are very much part of tradition stemming back to the Bentleys of the 1930s.

The use of so much wood is a really distinguishing for any Bentley, says Henrik interior designer. We have to build this into the Continental Flying Spur but making it feel dated or Instead it feels elegant, and subtly sporting, which is the sort of statement this car make.


Naturally, veneers and leather hides an integral part of the Bentley but they have been to suit the Bentley Continental Spur, proving that most traditional materials can convey a contemporary feel. craftsmanship remains as important as these enduring skills been complemented by some century technology allowing, for wood veneer to be dramatically in a way that would simply not been possible in the past. And the hide is still applied to the car as much loving care as it is cut using a digitised process ensures minimal levels of and optimum quality levels.

the car small but ingenious design highlight the difference between a and a conventional luxury saloon. The seat headrests, for example, been kept as small as to allow passengers in the rear an view out. Even the behind the interior door and grab handles are protected by a metal plate that rings on fingers damaging the leather lining.

Interior and technology

Bentley Continental Spur owners will for nothing inside their whether behind the wheel or the ride as a passenger. The car is equipped the latest advanced cabin from its power-latching doors and electrically powered front (that are also air-cooled and with new electro-mechanical lumbar to its four-zone climate control, LED lighting and advanced infotainment

Whether specified as a four-seat with a centre console two electrically powered rear or the five-seat cabin with rear seat, passengers experience an environment that cannot be found in any other The four-seat option cradles its occupants in large, sculpted that are electrically adjustable for comfort. These seats are by a centre console which is in premium leather hide and veneer and contains the seat and control systems as well as a designed ashtray alongside a and storage space.

Passengers in the can also operate the chair of the passenger, thereby ensuring legroom and comfort should the be unoccupied.

Interior key features:

configuration as standard with rear seat.

Optional configuration with two individual seats and centre console stowage, rear climate functions and seat switches.

multi-function storage area in console of four-seater model, unique removable designer

16-way electrically adjustable seats incorporating climate three-position memory (seats, column, exterior mirrors) and lumbar control with facility.

Rear outer positions on five-seat model climate control, heating and lumbar adjustment.

Rear armrest with lockable ski

Multi-zone electronic climate system.

Comprehensive infotainment includes:

Satellite navigation with route guidance

television tuner (except for US

Premium 12-channel audio

Climate control operation

suspension control operation and ride height settings).

auto changer in glove

Nokia ‘docking station’ for in-car phone (except for market).

Bluetooth hands-free handset in centre arm rest as a option (except for Japanese

Keyless entry and keyless system (US market — entry only).

Console-mounted button.

Electronic park with move-off assist for US market).

Column-mounted gearshift

Stainless steel-faced foot and driver’s foot rest.

glass electric tilt-slide (non-cost option for US market).

anti-theft and immobiliser systems.

features and technology

The Bentley Flying Spur combines the Bentley traditions and craftsmanship highly advanced automotive Wherever modern solutions been introduced on the car, these are never to the detriment of enjoyment or passenger comfort. At we don’t believe in overloading our or our customers, with technology they don’t need or may use. On the Bentley Continental Spur every feature or safety system must a case for itself before added. The result is a car that a host of practical and desirable that complement rather overshadow the unique character of the Flying Spur.

What’s the full features list is entirely standard, meaning won’t be forced to trawl an exhausting options list at cost. Whether you opt for the four or version, the Continental Flying full range of technology and content will be available to

Exterior key features:

Twin headlamps with integrated jets to front.

Unique LED lamps to rear.

Rear styled into bootlid in conjunction with underbody to provide enhanced high-speed contributing to a low drag coefficient of

19-inch multi-spoke single sports alloy wheels as (19 and 20-inch split-rim sports wheels available as an option.)

Bentley twin oval steel exhaust finishers.

of 16 exterior paint colours.

infra-red laminated glazing to all (dependent on market).

Rain-sensing wiper system.

Power-latching to all

Chassis Engineering

Bentley a unique position in the marketplace. other manufacturers offer hard-edged sports saloons or orientated limousines, Bentley straddles the gap between these two building grand touring that offer refinement and in equal measure. The Bentley Flying Spur is no different, as of the board, engineering, Dr Ulrich explains:

All Bentleys must be to pamper and perform when upon. In the Bentley Continental Spur you can be cruising along the highest comfort and luxury superb ride quality. all you need to do is press the accelerator and the car is

That is the character of the Continental GT and one of our engineering challenges was to keep the characteristics that people so much.

To ensure that the Bentley Continental range those qualities it was essential both models had the right blocks. The basis of the cars is an stiff steel chassis and by the wheelbase of the Bentley Continental Spur by 300mm (12 inches) the team ensured the car had the spacious legroom that was a key objective.

The of the new Bentley Continental Flying is immensely stiff (46Hz frequency) and this provides an stable platform for the suspension and components for optimum on-road

An increase in wheelbase helps the and ride quality of any car, but didn’t stop the engineers out a complete chassis retune. The Flying Spur shares the basic suspension system as its equivalent — a four-link at the front and a trapezoidal multi-link axle with computer-controlled air and fully variable, electronically shock absorbers in place of coils. To optimise refinement and quality for the longer four-door however, significant changes been introduced:

Redesigned dampers within the air spring ensure a suitable blend of and refinement.

New suspension bushes and software are also introduced to the revised dampers.

A new aluminium at the rear provides a light, and strong platform for the multi-link suspension.

New aluminium uprights at the lower the unsprung weight of the car and improve all-round steering and rolling comfort.

One of the immense of computer-controlled suspension is the ability to a static ride height of the load the car is carrying, as Keith manager, chassis, suspension and dynamics, explains:

By adjusting the suspension to control the height we can constantly ensure the level of ride refinement. The major advantage is that we can use the air to change the attitude of the car at higher to improve stability. We have the Bentley Continental Flying suspension to lower the nose by and the rear end by 25mm at speeds 155mph (250km/h).

This rear end lift at high and means our car feels very rather than nervous, as speed increases.

Thanks to a all-wheel drive system, the Flying Spur is blessed astonishing traction and poise the weather. In standard conditions the is transferred equally between the and rear axles via a highly centre Torsen differential. If, the differential detects a deviation in demand between the two axles it sends more power to the indicating greater grip.

As as its advanced all-wheel drive the Bentley Continental Flying incorporates traction control and an Stability Programme (ESP), of which can be disabled at the discretion of the These driver aids discreetly, offering additional and governance over the car’s potential but without being thereby ensuring the unique driving experience remains

The advanced technologies used in the Flying Spur’s suspension rigorously tested on proving test tracks and roads the world. The result is a car whose and capability, in any weather, on any road is simply awesome. Over the of its development the car was subjected to a drive that saw it complete nearly a miles.

When it came to driving and development we utilised the facilities all around the world, Dr Ulrich Eichhorn, member of the engineering. The car was extensively tested at recognised venues such as the Nardo and the Grossglockner mountain We also adopted some new processes that married and tested practices with specifics.

The result is a car that has developed to the highest possible

Evidence of this thorough process is seen in the Bentley Flying Spur’s revised To ensure that the car handles in a way is suitable for a luxury saloon as as a high-performance grand tourer, a new rack was engineered. To improve feel friction was reduced in the column, rack and suspension joints.

The system’s responsiveness was adapted to suit a four-door tourer, with a slightly weighting around the centre for relaxed driving at high and a more linear increase in as it begins to corner. The new rack means the Bentley Continental Spur has a highly competitive turning circle kerb-to-kerb an impressive figure for a car with generous accommodation.

Wheel and choice is a vital part of the and dynamic characteristics of the Continental Spur. The car will come single-piece 19-inch alloy as standard and will run on bespoke R19 tyres produced by Pirelli and

A final visual aid to help that unmistakeable sporting is an optional 20-inch two-piece sports wheel. This rim has a combination of chrome and silk and retains the distinctive ‘Bentley hub. The new two-piece sports also wears a brand new created exclusively for the larger rim and introduced as part of the Continental optional Mulliner Driving

Designed on behalf of Bentley by the Advan Sport 275/35 R20 provides significant benefits for looking for even sportier and improved steering feel and

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The culmination of an intensive development carried out by both Bentley and engineers, the new tyre has a lower that provides sharper feel and precision. The Yokohama Sport manages to deliver performance without noticeable in overall ride quality, drivers will continue to the unparalleled luxury of the Bentley Flying Spur and now benefit its increased sporting characteristics.

is provided by huge ventilated brakes — the largest of any passenger car on sale today. The discs are 405mm in diameter and wide, and the rear discs in diameter and 22mm wide. are retarded by aluminium single-sided branded with cast ‘Bentley’ logos.

The braking features a Bosch anti-lock with Brake Assist and pressure distribution. The Continental Spur also has a unique parking brake — the driver has applied the brake it automatically re-apply one and five later. This prevents slippage should the brake cool after use. The brake system can also be as an emergency brake.

In this instance braking is to all four wheels and the car’s safety systems remain operational allowing the driver to as normal.

The Bentley Continental Spur also offers occupant safety with the use of a monitoring system that measures the tyre pressures in all wheels and instantly warns the should a significant reduction

The heart of the Bentley Continental Spur is its magnificent 6.0-litre, 12-cylinder engine which propel the car to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a top of 195mph. This awe-inspiring of engineering was created for both the and four-door versions of the Continental and phenomenal power (552bhp/411kW) as as that legendary wave of (479lb ft/650Nm) from low that is the hallmark of every

When the decision was taken to the Continental family, we knew we need an engine that was compact and well packaged to both its styling requirements and powertrain, reveals Dr Ulrich member of the board, engineering. the outset the W12 concept was created all the group’s top products in mind. is why we had significant input into the architecture of the engine.

This was then developed extensively by to meet our exacting requirements high torque at low revs and acceleration.

Brian Gush, powertrain and motorsport director, the unique development process:

The block is made from a aluminium alloy with concentrates that reduce in the cylinder bores. Aluminium were also specially to cope with the increase created by the turbochargers, which themselves created exclusively for Bentley engine.

The 12-cylinder has a 48-valve head with camshafts that operate continually variable valve-timing. is transmitted via a seven-bearing crankshaft to the six-speed automatic transmission. To that the large powerplant met Euro IV and US LEV emissions regulations the turbochargers were designed a unique bypass valve automatically sends exhaust to heat the catalytic convertors the car is started from cold.

valve then operates as the wastegate at all other times.

The turbochargers are also the ideal for producing the flat torque that is a key characteristic of every engine, ensuring that the has instantly available performance a hint of turbo lag or having to down through the gears. mighty torque curve is with no drop-off from its output of 479lb ft (650Nm) at 1600rpm.

Packaging all those was a remarkable challenge in itself. The compactness of the engine — it is 653mm long — was a target and with such amounts of torque it was equally to have impressive traction in any What was called for was an all-wheel system that could with the Continental Flying performance capability and consequently as an engine as possible to allow for the extra componentry.

The internal of the engine is amazing, says Ellison, module leader, And that helped when it to designing all the other elements of the powertrain assembly. Because of the requirements, we wanted the centre of to remain as low as possible and this we couldn’t have the front under the engine.

Instead we it between the engine and the gearbox. You can do that if you have a very engine to begin with, you would have a car with a long nose.

With positioning of the main parts of the the Bentley Continental Flying has a 56:44 weight distribution the front and rear axles. rear-wheel drive cars large amounts of power, are forced to put more weight the rear wheels to improve the Bentley’s all-wheel drive means the weight balance can be towards the front, thereby both the agility and handling of the

Because we have a close to distribution of weight, the Bentley Flying Spur has excellent grip and turn-in when you cornering, says Dr Ulrich You also get very good stability and it is much easier to an inherently stable chassis ours to be agile than to a nervous one stable.

Work was not carried out on the performance capabilities of the but also its acoustic properties. The Flying Spur has a re-engineered system that provides refinement for a car that has a broader than the coupé.

We have a cross-tube in the centre of the exhaust and we have also optimised the valve system to get the right pattern, explains Cameron head of engineering for the Bentley Flying Spur. The exhaust in the Continental GT coupé was deliberately noticeable — it is a sports car all. For the Continental Flying we wanted to ensure more when you are driving in a leisurely but still create that Bentley sound when you are on.

With this new exhaust we can achieve that by closing off one at differing engine load

The Bentley Continental Flying prodigious power is channelled a six-speed automatic transmission for Bentley by ZF. This is the same as used in the coupé but it has been The principle behind the reworked is to give a more relaxed style but to retain the car’s performance when called

At most times the transmission rely on the enormous torque by the engine to do more of the propulsion, avoiding unnecessary downshifting and the driver to enjoy the tremendous power of the engine as well as a smoother driving experience.

the driver will always be a push of the accelerator away instantaneous response and the car’s potential. The ability of the gearbox to its torque converter during driving conditions replicates the of a manual transmission but without any of the smoothness of an automatic gearbox.

The transmission can be left in full mode or changed to a Tiptronic that allows it to be used as a manual where gear take place only on the of the driver, via either the gearlever or mounted behind the steering Naturally the transmission constantly the engine speeds and selected to ensure that it is not possible to the engine when changing in tiptronic mode or stall the car by too much in a high gear.

subtle but essential points sum up the of this remarkable car. a sound basic concept was a four-door grand tourer delivers on every front. Our job was to that the car was exceptionally sporting and yet still refined and luxurious, Dr Ulrich Eichhorn.

I always my teams that it is the concept defines the potential but the detailed determines the result.

The increase in over the Continental GT coupé the Continental Flying Spur react differently to the physical created in the event of an accident. The in what is known as its ‘crash means it has a revised crash between the engine and front To ensure the highest possible in the event of a head-on crash the car was to a series of advanced simulated on a super-computer as well as more real world tests.

advanced Dynamic Crash (DCA) capability means of the trial and error traditionally with providing a car with impact resistance has been Indeed, so highly developed are the that Bentley’s engineers can put the Continental Flying Spur a real world crash with great confidence the result will vary in no way from those predicted in the world.

Nevertheless it should be that DCA, as with all design work, will replace real world procedures, nor was it ever designed to. Its is simply to ensure that by the these tests are conducted, the is in as good a shape as possible to each new challenge.

To protect its the Continental Flying Spur is with a full suite of equipment. There are two front four side thorax for the front and rear-seats and full-length bags that extend to the of the cabin. Seat-belt pre-tensioners are for all seats and a passenger occupant system in the rear seats raises the rear headrests to the best possible protection whiplash injuries.

It’s not the range of safety systems protect the car’s occupants, for the Continental Flying Spur’s abilities mean the driver is of having the performance to avoid accidents in the first place. The drive system offers safety advantages not only in road and weather conditions, the latest traction, stability and control systems offer opportunities to avert potential Similarly the powerful 6.0-litre means outstandingly fast and a reduction in the time spent on the side of the road during

To this end, the Continental Spur is specified like no four-door in the world.

The Bentley Flying Spur perfectly the existing range of Bentley The Continental GT continues to fulfil our desire for a dynamic coupé offers the very essence of sporting prowess and Grand performance. Similarly the Arnage represents a unique proposition: the purchase of a truly bespoke, and entirely individual limousine.

The Bentley Continental Flying will appeal to customers a sumptuous four-door Grand sharing all the virtues of its coupé high-performance, timeless design and craftsmanship.

Bentley chairman Dr Paefgen says the distinction the new Continental Flying Spur and the Arnage range is simple:

As Continental Flying Spur begins, the Arnage will its true position as the most limousine in the world. If you work in a capital city you might see a Flying Spur a few times a but you will only come an Arnage a few times a year. The will continue to be a bespoke car real exclusivity.

With the Continental Flying Spur we are our doors to new customers who value unique combination of luxury, excitement and practicality. Nowhere will they be able to a car that possesses all this as as the dynamic qualities and power of the GT coupé. The Continental Flying promises a new motoring experience and we forward to welcoming a new breed of customers to our marque.

The business for the new four-door is just as compelling. believes that by offering a car appeals on both an emotional and level to customers it will a gap in the market that until day remained empty. Bentleys are cars and the Continental Flying holds a unique position in the above more commonplace and below truly bespoke like the Arnage. Adrian member of the board, marketing,

We know there is a great for a car like this. Like the Flying Spur, the new Bentley is purposely positioned as a premium above a crowded market. asking our future customers their needs they very clear — and luxury, style and practicality, and solidity, excitement and safety.

The Continental Flying Spur is our to their ‘no compromise’ and our desire to further the Bentley

Bentley is confident that the production of the new Continental Flying will naturally increase sales volumes, the exclusivity of brand will be retained a factor that has been to its mystique since its beginning in In the 85 years since, the marque has a heritage and authenticity based its understanding of its customers and the passion for it does. Whether competing at Le creating bespoke cars for clients, or introducing new members to the Bentley family, it has always done in a manner that the spirit of its founder W.O.

To that purpose, every customer will still the most personal treatment his local dealer right up to the gates at Crewe where can come and watch their car built.

The introduction of the Bentley Flying Spur marks the step in the revival of Britain’s revered automotive marque. on from the hugely successful of its sister car, the Continental GT this stunning new car will people’s perceptions of what comfort and style from a grand tourer means.

And the of the Continental Flying Spur is not the end of the Bentley remains committed to a future model programme, one will reflect the core of the company, ensuring its public is not diluted by over-production or unnecessary products.

The purity of our brand is in focus now, says Hallmark, member of the board, We can behave as an independent company the economics of our business plan are and we don’t have to compromise our because of short-term financial We are that rare thing in the automotive world — a car that is expanding and we have so by producing models that to a demanding and growing customer

Our aim is to restore Bentley to the position it owned — the creator of British Grand Tourers and the Bentley Continental Flying is our next step in the fulfilment of ambition.

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