The 2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Is Slower, Weaker, and Better Than the W12
The phrase “less is more” hardly ever applies to cars. Manufacturers are continually jamming larger engines and adding turbochargers to no end. The Bentley Flying Spur V8, on the other hand, debuts as a slower, weaker, and cheaper alternative to the W12. What the Flying Spur lacks in outright stats, it more than makes up for in added driving dynamics. It is still by no means a Ferrari 488 Pista weighing over 5,000 pounds. According to Bentley, however, this new Flying Spur is one you’ll want to drive, not be driven in.
The new weaker model still produces 542 hp
Calling a 542-hp car weak is a real rarity. However, the Flying Spur lineup needs context to make sense. The powerful Flying Spur W12 produces 626 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbo W12. The new V8 model, on the other hand, generates 542 hp and 568 lb-ft of torque from its twin-turbo 4.0-liter engine.
Both engines develop their peak torque figures below 2,000 rpm, making both Flying Spurs agile despite their 5,000+ pound weight. The big draw here is that despite the massive difference in power, the V8 is only 0.3 seconds slower to 60 mph. While Bentley did not specify, the Flying Spur V8 will most likely use the Porsche-designed eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that lives in the Continental GT V8.
The Flying Spur V8 is over 220 pounds lighter than the W12
Aside from raw power, the Flying Spur V8 has gone on a significant diet. The new V8 model is over 220 pounds lighter than the equivalent W12. Most importantly, all of that extra weight is coming off of the nose of the car. The result is that the Flying Spur V8 has better weight distribution and should drive significantly better. While a 220-pound weight loss may not sound like much in a 5,000+ pound car, that is about the weight of an average full-size refrigerator.
To make use of the weight savings, the Flying Spur’s air suspension stiffens up the ride via various driving modes. Torque vectoring by brake is also standard and should help the massive Bentley take corners decently well.
In terms of hardware, the Flying Spur features hollow anti-roll bars and a 48-volt active anti-roll system called Bentley Dynamic Ride. All-wheel-steering is available as an optional extra and should provide greater agility.
The V8 should be significantly cheaper
While official pricing hasn’t been released for the Bentley Flying Spur V8, it should be far cheaper than the W12. Taking a look at the Continental GT V8 and W12 reveals a price difference of about $16,000. Given that the Flying Spur is priced similarly to the Continental GT, the price difference should be relatively similar.
If the cheaper, lighter, and weaker Flying Spur has stolen your heart, Bentley is taking orders with deliveries scheduled to begin toward the end of 2020.