Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
At the turn of the century, Bentley came roaring back in a very big way, and amazing, ultra-luxury cars like this 2012 Continental Flying Spur Speed were the reason for the company's renewed success and popularity. Born from the short-lived VW Phaeton, it's the ultimate in both performance and luxury. Featuring an unreal 6.0L W12 Twin Turbo motor, a gorgeous White Sand paint job that cost more than my house, and a spacious interior that's so luxurious all of its passengers instantly turn into VIPs. Oh, and it only has 16,590 miles and is listed for a mere fraction of its original sales price.
2.8 tons of British (well, German to be precise) sedan is going to get noticed, I don't care who you are. But when it moves like a BMW M5 and has the coddling luxury of a Lear Jet, well, things get mighty interesting. If there's a better color for an ultra-luxury car like this, I don't know what it might be, and the artisans who painted it were obviously at the top of their game. Sure, it's almost 10 years old now, but the depth of the finish, the precision of the bodywork, and the hand-rubbed gloss just can't be faked by anyone else on Earth, so this car still looks insanely expensive. Compared to when it left the factory, sure, an expert can tell that it's been gently used and will find an imperfection here or there, but with only 16,590 miles on the clock (just 1,600 miles logged per year) it's probably going to be the best-looking 10-year-old car that you'll ever see. Unlike the Arnage model before it, it's not boxy and gigantic, but rather streamlined and sporty. Don't get me wrong, it's still a massive car, but since Volkswagen AG's redesign of the 1st Generation Bentley Flying Spur's is based on the Phaeton, these gorgeous beasts are as much sporty as they are luxurious. This White Sand sedan will make your neighbor with his 7-Series and his business partner with his Merc-Maybach ask you for stock picks, because despite those other 'obscenely-rich' luxury cars all having their merit, there's nothing quite like a Bentley. The big Bentley grilles up front are easy to recognize, with the mesh insert that denote the fastest models, and yes, the 'Speed' at the end of this Continental's name does mean something, but we'll get to that in just a bit. The chrome is flat-out epic, the lenses are as clear as the water in Cap d'Antibes, and the glass is so thick I'd almost wager that it's partly bulletproof.
There still nobody who can do interiors like the British and the stunning Porpoise leather ('Gray' will not do for a Bentley) cabin of this Bentley is downright stunning, where it takes at least 11 full hides of leather to trim each interior. Four outboard seats coddle the passengers with their elegant diamond-quilted hides that are continued on the doors, the wood is real burled walnut, and there's nothing that you can touch that doesn't feel insanely expensive. Black-faced gauges are simple and elegant, much like the Smiths dials of yore, and the controls are neatly arrayed on the center stack and steering wheel. The $7K Naim entertainment system sounds like the London Philharmonic is on board, with an 8-inch high-resolution touchscreen in the center stack controlling all the infotainment (including the dual screens in the rear), and previous Rolls-Royce owners will recognize the array of controls on the console and the eyeball vents in the dash. It would be ridiculous to list all the options and amenities of this Bentley, so when you have a chance pop over to our pics and read the Jane Austen novel that is this car's window sticker. Everything works, which should be reassuring to anyone contemplating such a complex vehicle, and if you're lucky enough to ride in back, you'll find your own A/C controls, fold-down 'picnic' tables and a sinful amount of legroom. The trunk is likewise gorgeously finished, and offers access to the CD/DVD changer that was probably installed by a Julliard-trained butler.
You'll delight in the way the flex-fuel compliant 6.0-liter, twin-turbocharged W12 engine seemingly defies the laws of physics. Nothing this big should be this fast, but with all-wheel-drive and a quick-witted 6-speed ZF automatic transmission with a floppy- paddle shift facility, this is a heavyweight that can humiliate anything this side of a ZR1 Corvette. 600HP, 553 lb-ft of torque, 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, a 6000RPM red-line war cry that catapults it into triple digits speeds with ease, and insane stopping power from its massive carbon-ceramic breaks all for a 2.8-ton sedan. It hurtles ahead like a cannonball, the power so smooth that you aren't aware of how fast you're going until you're well into felony territory, and just then the W-12 finally starts to groan and practically taunts you to hit the throttle a little harder. Bentley engineers also managed to endow it with exemplary road manners and handling that's the equal
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