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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
Impressive blend of raging power and silky delivery
a bit like riding a skyscraper shot out of an artillery piece
Car and Driver
tackles back-road curves like a much smaller car
The 2010 Bentley Continental Flying Spur goes rogue under the hood, where it features a twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter W-12 engine that produces 552 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. The unusual engine layout offsets pairs of piston cylinders in a way that generates very well-balanced engine motions and prodigious power, and it's more compact than a traditional V-12. Edmunds confirms the "6.0-liter twin-turbo W12...produces an astounding 552 hp and 479 pound-feet of torque." Car and Driver details a new Speed version, which is "now good for an even 600 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque." ConsumerGuide is impressed by the W-12 engine, observing that "power comes on immediately, even from a stop."
The massive horsepower and torque are distributed to an all-wheel-drive system through a six-speed automatic that's up to the chore of pushing around the 5,400-pound Spur. Edmunds adds that the engine's "power is channeled through a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control," while ConsumerGuide notes "some testers found the transmission slow to downshift as needed at highway speed."
However, their testers warn "wheel slip is non-existent thanks to standard AWD."
Road & Track reviewers report that the combination of the six-speed and AWD allows the 2010 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed to "charge to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds." Even in the base Spur, Edmunds records "a 0-60-mph time under 5 seconds...and a top speed of 194 mph," which might lead you to "think there was a supercar underneath" the skin of this luxury sedan.
Fuel economy is disappointing. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates the 2010 Bentley Continental should return 10/17 mpg. However, Road & Track says "the Speed model also sees a 3.5-percent improvement in fuel economy," thanks to increased drivetrain efficiencies.
Though it's capable of super speeds, the 2010 Bentley Continental Flying Spur is focused on a refined, sophisticated driving experience. It's strong, silent, and fast, as it should be. ConsumerGuide says it "imparts more sportiness than might be expected," and Edmunds asserts it has "respectable handling ability." Cruising at 100 mph is effortless, and the Spur quietly glides over road imperfections to convince you it's actually going much slower. The driver-adjustable suspension offers several settings, and in the softest setting, the Bentley offers a "serene ride," Edmunds reports.
The engine emits a low, distant rumble and pairs it with a slight turbo whoosh, though it's all muted properly, and thanks to a complex computer-controlled suspension, the Spur feels tremendously stable even when the road coarsens. The sport of driving is very subtly enjoyed from behind the big leather-wrapped wheel-smoky burnouts are entirely possible, but restraint, please-especially with the Speed edition and its lowered suspension, 20-inch wheels, and available carbon-ceramic brakes. Road & Track comments, "Speed definitely rides more stiffly (even with the suspension set to its softest), and the steering transmits more road imperfections back to the driver,"
The Spur's incredible heft and power require great stopping, and Bentley claims the Spur's huge discs are the most powerful on the road today. In the Speed, Car and Driver takes down a "165-foot 70-to-0-mph stopping distance-a foot shorter than a Lamborghini Murcielago LP640." However, ConsumerGuide says on its stock Spur, "a spongy pedal marred overall brake feel."
The 2010 Bentley Continental Flying Spur cloaks its supercar performance behind its tailored Savile Row suit.