I’d figured that since Bentley redesigned the GT, I knew that the redesigning of the Flying Spur was just around the bend.
The Continental Flying Spur and its sporting stablemate the 200mph (322km/h) Flying Spur Speed are the most successful four-door Grand Tourers in Bentley’s history and among the best-selling ultra-luxury saloons in the world.
Since its launch, the Flying Spur has achieved extraordinary sales success across the globe in traditional markets like the USA, the Middle East and UK as well as emerging luxury markets such as China and Russia.
The Flying Spur has attracted a new generation of luxury car buyers to the Bentley marque and has played a pivotal role in the company’s revitalisation. The Flying Spur’s blend of craftsmanship, dynamic performance, style and practicality appeals in equal measure to those who demand an exciting driving experience and those seeking refinement and comfort.
Now the luxurious style of the Flying Spur is even more compelling with the introduction of a range of dramatic Series 51 designs, first seen on the Continental GT and GTC. Customers of both the Flying Spur and Flying Spur Speed models may now select from a range of 14 Series 51 designs, recommended by Bentley’s colour and trim experts. In addition, all Continental Flying Spur and Supersports models are now specified as standard with a state-of-the-art, 30GB touchscreen infotainment system, seamlessly integrated into their handcrafted cabins.
Series 51 represents Bentley design at its most vibrant. It allows customers of both Continental Flying Spur and Flying Spur Speed to order ‘off the peg’ from an innovative and exclusive range of recommended combinations created by Bentley’s colour and trim designers at the company’s headquarters in Crewe, England, as Dirk van Braeckel, Bentley’s director of design comments:
“The Series 51 design concept is inspired by the spirit of the inaugural Bentley styling department in Crewe established by the gifted John Blatchley, who shaped the original and iconic 1950s Bentley Continentals. Today, it provides for a virtually bespoke ordering service due to the thousands of configurations available through Bentley’s expansive colour and trim catalogue.”
For Series 51 designs, the Bentley styling team operates on a ‘rule of three’ principle to create complex but harmonising colour schemes of depth and beauty, inspired by a customer’s simple choice of three contrasting colours. With luxurious wood veneers and leather hides as the main canvas, the colour and trim specialists begin with a main interior colour (typically a darker shade) and then select a second insert colour to provide an eye-catching contrast. A critical skill is identifying the third ‘accent’ colour for the stitching and piping.
The same imaginative use of colour is extended to the coachwork of all Series 51 Continental Flying Spurs. A range of striking John Blatchley-inspired duo-tone paint options, with one accent colour sweeping from the bonnet, over the roof and onto the bootlid, may be specified.
The paint range encompasses cool and crisp hues through to rich and fiery shades and everything in between with the Bentley colour and trim team recommending one of the three selected interior colours to complement and highlight the relationship between inside and out.
Bentley has also created a unique Series 51 graphite-finished nine-spoke, 19-inch sports alloy wheel, while twin Series 51 wing badges, positioned behind the front wheel arches, complete the bespoke look.
All 2012 model year Bentley Continental Flying Spur and Supersports coupe and convertible models are now equipped with a new, highly-advanced touchscreen infotainment system that provides rich map imagery and a 30GB on-board hard drive.
An 8-inch screen displays the car’s audio system, telephone, ride and comfort settings as well as the very latest navigation system, which uses both an in-car hard-disc drive and a DVD player to access route data. It also utilises dynamic navigation to avoid heavy traffic spots, locates destinations using geo-tagged photos from an SD memory card and is Google Maps-compatible for most markets.
The infotainment system, with 7-digit postcode entry, combines touchscreen controls and classic Bentley knurled rotary switches to offer instant usability and crystal-clear feedback. The graphic interface of the screen was specified by Bentley’s interior design team to ensure its visuals are wholly in keeping with the classic, handcrafted interior. The ‘knurled’ switches on the screen for example, are ‘virtual’ echoes of the knurled texture of the jewel-like rotary switches below.
The latest Continental Flying Spur and Supersports models also benefit from telephone and music player connectivity, digital television (where available) and DVD movie playback. Music can be played and controlled directly from an iPod as well as from a six-disc CD changer, SD card reader or directly from the car’s hard-disc drive, which can store up to 15GB of music.
The new 2012 model year Continental Flying Spur, Flying Spur Speed and their Series 51 design options, together with the 2012 Supersports coupe and convertible models go on sale from March 2011.