Prior to the economic crash of ‘08, I was a full-time editor for an online automotive startup. It was a magical time; the top-shelf booze never stopped flowing, and our office had a secure, covered place to store my sometimes-running Integra. I was living the high life, making dozens of dollars a day and thinking that the good times would last forever. Well – spoiler alert – they didn’t. And unlike my peers, I didn’t have a slew of backup editorial outlets to work for, so I had to jump industries.
So I became an ad man. I now work at a big-time advertising agency where I spend my days crafting brand stories that build awareness and inspire engagement. One day I’ll write something like, “Buy this soap. It’s good.” And on another, I’ll crank out a masterpiece like, “Eat these tacos. They’re good.”
And since work like that is pretty much guaranteed to earn me a Cannes Gold Lion or two, I’ll soon be among the creative elite who command day rates in excess of $3,000. And when that day comes, I’m buying me a Bentley Flying Spur.
The Flying Spur V8 is by far my favorite of the Bentley lineup. It’s the sporty Bentley saloon, lighter and more athletic than the standard W12-powered version. And what’s more, this Bentley even has the requisite red badging to help add an extra horsepower or five. It’s the “just-right” Bentley, feeling less “soccer player” than the Continental, and less “aircraft carrier” than the Mulsanne.
But it’s still big, and man does it ever have a presence. Especially when – like my loaner – it’s sprayed in Dark Sapphire. It’s an elegant color, with a beautiful depth and richness that quickly turns vibrant when the light hits it just right. It also provides the perfect backdrop to let the jeweled headlamps and hand-polished grille pop. It’s a look that can’t be replicated in the more sedate, sensible colors usually found on this car.
And as this Flying Spur V8 sits on some mentally massive 21-inch, 6-spoke rims, this car signals to everyone that its driver has arrived. It sure made me feel like a boss, so I did what any sensible person would do: I parked it right outside the front door of my office building, and then got in and out of the car several times so that everyone would know that this was my Bentley, and therefore I am important.
My ego thoroughly satiated, I strutted my way into the office, flashing the leather-wrapped Bentley key-fob at every opportunity, and made my way to the Chief Creative Officer’s office. Noticing the seat was empty, I immediately plopped myself down, kicked my feet up onto the desk and congratulated myself on a job well done.
And when the CCO walked in and asked what the hell I was doing – and not accepting, “Look at me. I’m the captain now.” as a valid excuse – I made another powerfully confident walk back to the Bentley, took advantage of the convenient keyless entry and push button start feature, and utilized the car’s twin-turbocharged 500 horsepower and 4.9-second 0-60 time to whisk me away before HR could finish telling me that I was fired. And while bathing in the quiet luxury of the Bentley, the only thing I feel is a serene calm. It’s hard to feel anything but when sinking into the buttery soft leather seat and letting the heat and massage feature do its thing.
Now to be serious for a moment, it’s not until you get into a lesser vehicle – like, say, an Audi – where you start to see why the Bentley costs so much. Every single millimeter of the vehicle is an exquisitely crafted piece of art. The leather seating surfaces really do feel that much better, the deep-pile carpet is soft and plush, and the heft of the metal control knobs and door handles further reinforce the perception of quality. And the fact that it’s incredibly easy to drive despite its large size, well...it’s damn-near a perfect vehicle.
That’s not to say that there aren’t a few items that could be better. The column-mounted paddle shifters feel to be of a cheap plastic. And since even brands like Infiniti let us shift by pulling hunks of actual metal, there’s no excuse for Bentley to cheap out here. And after experiencing the jeweled elegance of the Mulsanne’s polished-glass buttons, the standard plastic infotainment controls feel a bit underwhelming. Same goes for metal surfaces like the door handles – they’re knurled and brilliantly detailed in the Mulsanne. In the Flying Spur, they’re just simple, smooth surfaces. Oh well, at least they’re not plastic.
That aside, if you can afford one, it’s hard to find any real serious flaw with the Bentley Flying Spur V8. It offers an exquisite amount of comfort, excellent performance and a luxury pedigree that just can’t be beat. And now that I’m back on the job market, perhaps I can now make that leap to making ads for a premium brand like Bentley.
And when they rightfully give me the Creative Director title I deserve, I even have a headline ready: “Drive this Bentley. It’s good.”