Flying high in the Bentley Continental

2009, Bentley, Continental Flying Spur

In an automotive marketplace shaken to its very roots during 2008, the variety of responses by automakers has ranged from whistling-past- the-graveyard insouciance to ambitious graspings at the opportunity. But, said F. Scott Fitzgerald, "let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me." So are their cars, as it turns out; and no mere global financial meltdown will ever come between a top- hat swell and his Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed

For 2009, the Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed casts down its gauntlet as the most powerful four-door saloon ever produced by a British automaker. A 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged 12-cylinder engine, featuring an exotic "W"-pattern layout, produces 600 horsepower and 553 foot-pounds of torque. Accordingly, this stately British saloon-car is capable of sprinting zero-to-60 in under five seconds on the way to 100 miles-per-hour in under 12.

The all-wheel-drive powertrain provides the foundation for this Bentley's unflappable aplomb and its unimpeachable command of the road. Within its cocoon-like interior, the world's madding crowds are, but an afterthought; and comfort reigns preeminent. Although a price for the new Flying Spur Speed is unannounced at this writing, its $172,000 sibling—the 552-hp Flying Spur—suggests a reasonable starting point. But an opportunity to enjoy the muscular and commodious calm of a Flying Spur at Speed must surely rank as one of life's special indulgences.

By Marc Stengel

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Images of the 2009, Bentley Continental Flying Spur

2009 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed
2009 Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed