Let’s just say the $214,000 Bentley Flying Spur stood out.
Each year at this time, auto scribes from around the Northwest take leave of family and desks to drive the latest go-fast hardware from two dozen or so carmakers on some of the most scenic and twisty roads the region offers. It’s called the Run to the Sun.
This year, amid the hot hatches, performance sedans, pocket rockets, roadsters and pure sports machines, sat the gigantic Flying Spur, a black hole among a swirl of shining sports car stars. No, event organizers said, it was not some joke. Just drive it. Bombing down the back roads of Oregon, the Silver Spur is regal, royal, composed and assured, ne, unflappable.
Nothing in the car is lightweight.
V8? V10? V12? Pshaw, those engines are for luxury pretenders. Apparently, only a pair of 3.0-liter V6s, supported by two turbochargers and arranged in a “W” formation, can make the nearly 600 horsepower needed to properly send this 6,000-plus pound ballerina down the road at speed. And speed it has, hitting 60 in under six seconds as the mighty 12 cylinders roar while churning out over 550 lb-ft of torque.
The creamy-colored leather seats, wood trim and chrome switches make you feel underdressed for such a chariot.
In the twisty bits, the Bentley’s all-wheel drive keeps the car settled while gripping the road through fat tires tires on 21-inch rims. Giant brakes drag it down from speed and the Bentley was oddly capable in the curves for what it is, but it was no sports car. However, I’m pretty sure it may have flattened down some of the smaller bumps in the roads I drove it on.
Inside, off the throttle, it’s as quiet as a luxury tomb. Talk normally. Or even quietly. The creamy-colored leather seats, wood trim and chrome switches make you feel underdressed for such a chariot. The tech suite does everything you expect save drive the car for you, just about every tech trick is accounted for, dozens of LEDs help light the way and signal your intentions. Each seat is heated, cooled and massages your back. Every. Seat.
Shiny surfaces and tiny details catch the eye throughout the car. The optional “dual tone, 3-spoke hide-trimmed” steering wheel is a $2,235 tick on the options list, which would buy you a whole leather interior or top-tier tech suite in many other cars. The piping alone on the super seats tacks on another $2,300 or so to the options orgy, which timed out at just over $13,000. The analog clock in dash center is made by Breitling. You can put numerous golf bags or bodies in the voluminous trunk.
It’s hard to compare it to other luxury cars. The 560hp Cadillac CTS-V sedan I recently careened around Portland in comes close but the level of luxury and the weight of the Silver Spur are just in another universe. The fast Caddy would crush the Bentley in a stoplight race – unless the Bentley hit it and ate it first.
I figure you don’t buy a Bentley to go fast. It’s an ego car, and mine is just too small to ever contemplate deflating a pair of college funds to even halfway afford it.
But I am glad I got to drive it, and quickly at that.
Top photo by John M. Vincent/NWAPA. All other photos by Bill Roberson