For 2015, Bentley’s Flying Spur V8 loses four cylinders, but no prestige

It’s hard to picture the stereotypical Bentley buyer becoming concerned about fuel efficiency or cost, but the British carmaker has prepared something for that theoretical penny pincher anyway.

The 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 features the same downsized engine as its Continental GT V8 coupe and convertible cousins. It was first shown at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, but it will make the trip across the pond for the 2014 New York Auto Show this week.

The 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V8 produces 500 horsepower and 488 pound-feet of torque, compared to 616 hp and 590 lb-ft for the 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 that has been the sole Flying Spur engine until now.

Still, 500 hp isn’t bad. It’s enough to get the Flying Spur from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds and on to a top speed of 183 mph, a miraculous performance considering the car’s girth. An eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are mandatory.

However, the main advantage of four fewer cylinders and two fewer liters of displacement is fuel economy, and Bentley hasn’t released numbers for that. It did say that the V8 offers a cruising range of over 500 miles per tank, though.

The Flying Spur V8 is differentiated from its more powerful sibling by a black grille with “wing insert”, model-specific eight-tipped exhaust outlets, and unique badging. Other than that, you’ll look just as ostentatious in the V8 as you would in the W12.

If sensibility isn’t your style, consider the Continental GT Speed coupe and convertible, which will make their U.S. debuts alongside the Flying Spur V8 at the 2014 New York Auto Show.

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