2021 Bentley Flying Spur V8 Review: Flying Behemoth

Derryn Wong

Page 1 : Introducing Bentley’s third-gen Flying Spur

Interior: Inner City Pressure 

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore - interior cockpit closeup steering wheel

Inside, leather, wood, and chrome are the name of the game, with a classical-looking facade fronting high-tech behind the scenes. 

That’s neatly summed up by the car’s 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, which operates on similar lines to Audi’s but with a Bentley skin and layout on top. Tap the ‘screen’ button, and the display rotates to show three dials (compass, lap timer, temperature), and hold the button to hide the screen and show nothing but a blank central dashboard (remember those?). 

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore - rear seat legroom

The 3,194mm wheelbase means plenty of legroom for rear passengers, though the Flying Spur is big, it isn’t the most spacious limo around – an S-Class has a tad more room. What’s more of a concern is the limited headroom, and we found ourselves brushing our hair against the headliner while moving around the cabin. That’s the price we mentioned: The Bentley’s sleek profile is because of its low height – at 1,483mm tall it’s 13mm less than an S-Class. Plus, our test car packed dual sunroofs too, which reduced the headroom further. 

This test car came with the three-person rear bench, but like most luxury limos you can opt for a more luxurious experience as long as your wallet can handle it – more leather, more chrome, unique colours, a two-seat rear with lounge-esqe chairs. 

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore - gearshifter

As far as cabins go, it’s opulent, refined, and feels expensive. Aesthetically there is a lot going on, to use an Audi as a counterpoint. Bentley hasn’t declared war on buttons, so the lower dash section still has button controls for many functions, which is something we personally enjoy. It doesn’t look futuristic or sleek, but that’s entirely the point with the classic front- tech behind Bentley blend.

Driving : It’s Business Time

The Flying Spur excels on wide, smooth roads where its powerful V8 has room to stretch its legs. 

The familiar 4.0-litre unit copes well with regular driving, serving up lots of torque almost instantly. While it’s well-behaved, it also does have the same aggressive edge we’ve seen in cars such as the Audi RS Q8 and S8, and able to move the car’s 2.3-tonne mass without feeling strained. 

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore - 4.0-litre V8 engine bay

It’s fully capable of a fast turn of speed, and while letting that V8 roar is certainly enjoyable, and there’s lots of grip to be exploited, the car’s 2.3-tonne mass does come into play, so it’s no out-and-out sports car. That will stop you, if the protests of your passengers don’t first. I should know, I had Ju-Len as (the world’s worst) chauffeur for one stint.

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore -  driving cockpit view

There are different drive modes (Comfort, Sport, ‘Bentley’ (automatic), and a custom one too, which changes the character to suit the mood, but like the appearance and comfort, the experience scales with your investment in the options list. 

BMW’s i7 is an electric flagship luxury limou for a new age of lux – and has a cinema in the back!

In chassis terms, the car packs adaptive air suspension, but you can also option roll-control and all-wheel steering. The latter is a must-have for the Flying Spur – the car’s footprint and raked A-pillars make for tricky manuvering in tight spaces. 

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore - driving mode screen 12.3-inch touchscreen

But generally, it’s vault quiet inside and the obvious opulence does deliver a great cruising experience, one heightened by the excellent Naim sound system.  But that sense of sportiness does creep in, with the suspension excellent over most surfaces but with notable thump over small, obtuse bumps such as expansion joints and speed-reducing strips. 

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore - rear 3/4 on the road rolling shot

Pricing and competition: Flight of the Discords 

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore - frontal shot grille lights

The Flying Spur V8 goes for S$979,000 without a COE or options, while the 6.0-litre W12 model goes for S$1,089,000, also without a COE or options. 

The biggest problem with the Flying Spur is not limited to it alone, and that’s the fuel consumption of this large, heavy, and fast limousine. We never bettered 14.0L/100km, which makes it one of the thirstiest cars we’ve driven this year. Regardless of your opinion on saving the earth, the Flying Spur Hybrid makes more sense, and should be priced close to the V8. 

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore -

If four-doors is still part of the brief and you want unrelenting speed, Porsche’s Panamera Turbo is a little less expensive. But the super-lux game is also heating up with Mercedes-Maybach re-entering the game with its Maybach S-Class now back in action. 

Rolls-Royce’s Ghost is a step up in all aspects and far more refined as a luxury limo, but it’s not a direct competitor because it costs at least twice as much.

For Bentley’s target audience though, the Flying Spur ticks one big box: People who don’t really care about cars (i.e. most of them) will be able to tell the difference between a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz, and a Bentley. And more importantly, if a car’s image is powerful enough to disguise me as someone important and successful (at least for a few seconds) it must be a behemoth in size and image indeed. 

Bentley Flying Spur V8

2021 Bentley Spur V8 review - CarBuyer Singapore - Flying B emblem logo
Drivetrain type Petrol engine 
Engine3,996cc, V8, biturbo 
Power542hp at 6000rpm
Torque770Nm at 1370-4500rpm
Gearbox8-speed dual-clutch  
0-100km/h4.1 seconds 
Top Speed318km/h
Fuel Efficiency12.6L/100km
VES Band C2 / +S$25,000
AgentWearnes Automotive 
PriceS$979,000 with VES, without COE, options
Verdict Big on image, size, and power, Bentley’s take on the luxury limo is a big on-road statement

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4-door 5 seat Bentley flying spur petrol sedan v8

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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