The second-generation Flying Spur is Bentley’s most powerful car to date with 625hp (and 590lb-ft of torque) from its 6.0-litre W12 engine, allowing the Flying Spur to reach 62mph from rest in 4.3 seconds.
With a significantly higher power-to-weight ratio than its predecessor, emissions are also reduced to 343g/km (although still in the highest BIK tax band).
All-wheel drive deploys the twin-turbocharged power with a 60:40 rear axle bias.
Although there are a few signs that components are shared with top end Volkswagens and Audis, the overall feel is that of a bespoke product. Almost 10 square metres of sustainably-sourced, book-matched, mirror-polished wood veneers adorn each interior.
Roof lining and pillars are trimmed in natural leather, and electrically-operated rear window blinds are standard should passengers feel the need for privacy from paparazzi.
Despite materials aligned with the marque's heritage, audio and connectivity are hi-tech, while rear seat passengers can control audio and climate functions.
The Flying Spur, as Bentley's fastest saloon, does a magnificant job of providing top-level comfort with rapid performance and physics-defying roadholding. Its warp-speed acceleration appears incongruous with the grand surroundings, while the car feels much lighter than it should when two-and-a-half tonnes are steered around twisty high-speed roads. The experience really is unlike any other.
It’s difficult to put together a rational argument for buying one in these austere times where displays of wealth might be frowned upon, particularly with business purchases.
However, the argument that driving a Flying Spur supports decades-old crafts honed in the UK and preserves a tradition that for which our most exclusive marques are famous is perhaps a noble one.