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First look: Bentley springs Conti sedan

Four-door express: Bentley hopes to sell the Flying Spur to a wider, younger audience than Arnage.

Twelve months after the Continental GT coupe, Bentley gives us the Flying Spur sedan

20 Jan 2005

BENTLEY has revealed images of the next all-new car everyone expected from the reborn British marque: a four-door version of its successful Continental GT coupe.

Surprisingly dubbed the Continental Flying Spur, the new sedan was developed alongside the two-door GT, which it will follow to market in a rapid-fire 12 months as the second mid-sized Bentley (MSB) from parent company Volkswagen.

To be built in larger numbers than Bentley large sedan flagship, the Arnage, Flying Spur – which takes its name from its original 1957 namesake - will be available globally by mid-2005 and in Australia by September, at a price similar to that of the $385,000 GT.

Exact production numbers are being kept secret at this stage, VW chairman Dr Franz-Josef Paefgen only saying: "If you work in a major capital city you might see a Continental Flying Spur a few times a month, but you will only come across an Arnage a few times a year." Like its two-door donor car, Flying Spur is powered by a 6.0-litre 48-valve twin-turbocharged and intercooled W12 engine producing 411kW at 6100rpm and a muscular 650Nm of torque from just 1600rpm.

The impressive numbers are good enough to propel the substantial sedan, via a six-speed paddle-shifting automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system adapted from Audi’s A8, to 100km/h in "around five seconds" and to a top speed of "in excess of 190mph" (306km/h).

Apart from an extra two doors, Flying Spur is differentiated from GT with its availability of a rear bench seat to accommodate five occupants, as an alternative to the four-seat version with twin electrically-adjustable rear seats separated by a large veneer-inlaid console.

Of course, a plethora of interior combinations are available, including the option of no fewer than 11 leather hides alongside real woodgrain timber and the same top-class craftsmanship the Crewe, UK factory delivered in the GT coupe.

54 center image "As Continental Flying Spur production begins, the Arnage will retain its true position as the most exclusive limousine in the world," said Dr Paefgen. "The Arnage will continue to be a bespoke car with real exclusivity.

"With the Continental Flying Spur we are opening our doors to new customers who value that unique combination of luxury, style, excitement and practicality. Nowhere else will they be able to enjoy a car that possesses all this as well as the dynamic qualities and power of the Continental GT coupe.

"The Continental Flying Spur promises a new motoring experience and we look forward to welcoming a new breed of discerning customers to our marque."

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