By Mike Cohen
It is hard to believe that I had never met prominent Jewish automobile executive Joel Segal before I was invited to attend a private showing of the 2020 Bentley Flying Spur, the third generation of Bentley’s luxury four-door Grand Tourer.
Segal is the president of Decarie Motors, which has been providing Montreal with some of the world’s finest new and pre-owned automobiles since 1946. With more than 70 years of history and brand-new, modern facilities, the dealership is one of the most spectacular and successful luxury automotive showrooms in Canada. “In 2016, we earned industry and customer praise for our new state-of-the-art Bentley, Aston Martin and Decarie Signature facilities,” said Segal. “In 2018, we brought excitement to the Decarie Motors complex once again with the opening of our new Land Rover Jaguar showroom.”
Working alongside his wife, General Manager Cheryl Blas, Segal is at the helm of a dealership that exudes class. That is what this showing exemplified as brand manager Maurice Assor and sales consultant Wesley Rehel brought the assembled media up to speed with The Flying Spur. The luxury vehicle will sell for around $285,000 and Bentley Montreal, a division of Decarie Motors, will get some demo models in by early spring. As we were listening to the presentation a couple who were browsing in the showroom walked over to check out the loaner model that Assor and Rehel were unveiling and made an order for one.
The all-new third generation Flying Spur, which was designed, engineered and handcrafted at the home of Bentley in Crewe, England, showcases Bentley’s unique integration of British craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology and pushes the boundaries of refinement to deliver the finest super-luxury sports sedan ever built.
The exterior of the new Flying Spur is an automotive work of art, with its modern sculptural design, muscular proportions, latest generation cut-crystal effect LED matrix headlamps, new wrap-around rear lamps with “B” motifs and bold 22-inch wheel designs. Bentley’s iconic “Flying B” retractable mascot adorns its nose for the first time in modern memory, standing atop a gloss black radiator matrix with bright chrome surround and vertical vanes that hearken back to the coveted 1957 Bentley S1 Continental Flying Spur.
The interior is a marvel of design, comfort, and visual beauty. Its modern and spacious cabin cradles the driver in unrivaled luxury and innovation. Its sweeping horizontal veneer flows across the dashboard and into the doors, emphasizing the generous width of the space. Upon pressing the engine’s start button, the central veneer dashboard section rotates to reveal the industry-first Bentley Rotating Display, composed of a customizable three-tile, 12.3-inch touch screen and three elegant analogue dials displaying outside temperature, a compass and a chronometer.
Three-dimensional, diamond-quilted leather door inserts appear for the first time in a production car, inspired by the Bentley EXP 10 Speed 6 design concept, and new diamond knurling adorns the rotary switches, a decorative detail for which a software algorithm was invented to work with the complex curves of the ducts.
The Flying Spur’s all-new seats feature a twin-flute design and enhanced functionalities, including heating, ventilation, multi-mode massage, adjustable bolsters and top tilt. The rear seats provide a posh travelling environment, with a folding central armrest and a manually-deployed central headrest that stows away for maximum visibility when not in use.
In addition to its alluring looks, the new Flying Spur is a technological tour de force. It’s the most advanced luxury Grand Touring sedan available today, with not much more in common with its predecessor than its name. It features Electronic All-Wheel Steering for the first time on a Bentley, coupled with Active All-Wheel Drive and Bentley Dynamic Ride, delivering phenomenal handling and ride. New three-chamber air springs allow a much greater range of suspension adjustments. A multitude of new Driver Assistance Systems, which are integrated as standard features, elevate the Flying Spur to the summit of comfort, power and luxurious driving.
The heart of the new Flying Spur is an enhanced version of Bentley’s renowned 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12 engine that delivers 635 PS (626 bhp) and 900 Nm (664 lb.ft.); 0-60mph in 3.7 seconds (0-100 km/h time of 3.8 seconds); and a breathtaking top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h). The engine, which was developed and hand-built in Crewe, it is the most advanced 12-cylinder engine in the world, setting a new benchmark in performance, agility and dynamics. Its “W” configuration makes it considerably shorter than an equivalent V12, improving weight distribution significantly and maximizing cabin space.
The new Flying Spur redefines personalization and customized luxury in its market with an unprecedented range of paint colors, leather hides, wood veneers and options, which offer a limitless spectrum of color to suit all tastes and preferences.
Will Segal drive home with one of these himself? We will have to check back with him in the spring.