Ettore Bugatti was wrong: Bentleys really are the fastest trains in the world because that’s how they run. And I mean that in the best possible way; Bentayga ISF 2023, anyone? Soon, however, they will be the fastest electric trains as the brand becomes EV only. But before that happens, Bentley is slowly upgrading its leather speedsters to hybrid power. And the next step in that plan is the 2023 Bentley Flying Spur S.
The 2023 Bentley Flying Spur S subtly hones the brand’s cheapest sedan into a fine flying mallet
Although the Continental GT is one of the models “entry-level” brand, it’s not the cheapest Bentley. That would be the Flying Spur, which unlike the two-door Conti is a sedan. But just because the Flying Spur is the most affordable Bentley doesn’t mean it isn’t luxurious. And keep in mind that this 2.5-ton sedan tops out at 200 mph.
However, while that all-consuming speed on the road is what defines many Bentleys, not all owners stick to straight lines. For those customers, Bentley offers S versions of its vehicles with a bit more athleticism. The current-generation Bentayga and Continental GT have already shown their S incarnations. And now it’s the Flying Spur’s turn.
The biggest visual difference between the 2023 Bentley Flying Spur S and the standard car is the former’s lack of chrome. Aside from the Bentley badge and trunk script, all the usual gloss work is blacked out. The grille, lower front fascia, mirrors, window trim, even the headlights and taillights – they’re all black or tinted black. The same goes for three-spoke wheels. However, the brake calipers are painted red.
As for the interior, the 2023 Bentley Flying Spur S offers several two-tone leather and microfiber color combinations. Upholstery costs more, but replacing the ‘S’ decal on the headrests with the Bentley winged logo is a free option, Car and driver said. Additionally, the Flying Spur S receives model-specific illuminated scuff plates, a metal “S” instrument cluster and gauges derived from the motorsport stopwatch like the Continental GT Speed.
But Bentley doesn’t just give the Flying Spur S a new trim and call it a day. The sedan also comes standard with a Sport mode, as well as rear-wheel steering and active anti-roll bars. While it won’t beat any Porsche on the autocross track, it should make the Flying Spur S sharper in the corners.
For the first time, an S-badged Bentley is available as a hybrid
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The biggest news for the 2023 Bentley Flying Spur S, however, is under its hood. Although the standard Flying Spur offers a twin-turbocharged W12, the Flying Spur S does not. Instead, its quickest powertrain is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 hooked up to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic and all-wheel drive.
However, I don’t think potential buyers will miss the W12 very much. With 542 hp and 569 lb-ft of torque, the Flying Spur S goes from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.0 seconds. Moreover, if Car and driverThe Flying Spur tests are all the best, Bentley perhaps underestimates the speed of the Flying Spur S. Plus, the S gets a redesigned sports exhaust to give more sound to the fury .
But the big news is that the 2023 Flying Spur S is the first Bentley S model with a hybrid powertrain. Specifically, it’s the same plug-in powertrain used by the non-S Flying Spur hybrid. That means a 2.9-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 hooked up to an electric motor and a 14.1 kWh battery.
The Flying Spur S Hybrid has no “that” 536 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque, so its top speed isn’t “that” of 177 mph. However, it has a purely electric driving range of 26 miles. And while it doesn’t have a sports exhaust, Sport mode improves engine sound, but only for the driver. After all, it’s still a Bentley.