Before we actually consider the Flying Spur’s performance, let's make clear the task that faces the 552bhp W12. This is a car that weighs 2515kg with fuel but without occupants; a two-and-a-half-tonne mass of metal, wood and leather. But still the Bentley flies from 0-60mph in 5.0 sec, 0-100mph in 12.8 sec and 0-140mph in 27.7 sec, and to a top speed of 194mph.
From behind the large, flat steering wheel, accessing the Spur’s performance is simply a matter of squeezing the right-hand pedal. At low speeds it glides forward with a subtle murmur; it’s clear that Bentley wasn’t intending to trim back the noise levels for total refinement, and instead opted to leave a sporting edge to the car.
Accelerate hard and the W12 growls with a note just on the pleasing side of coarse and the six-speed automatic gearbox changes ratios quickly and fluently. You can also change gears manually with the stick or by the rather cheap, long plastic paddles behind the steering wheel.
The Spur only truly starts to feel quick above 100mph, and the manner with which the speedometer’s needle stealthily flies past the ‘130’, ‘140’, ‘150’ and ‘160’ markings is faintly surreal.
Stability is excellent, too, and is a reassuring vindication of the aerodynamic work Bentley has done to allow the Spur to handle such high speeds with aplomb.