40,000 of the big sedan since 2005
Third generation is now Bentley’s flagship model
Bentley is throwing a bit of a party, marking a sales milestone for what they’re calling the “most successful luxury sports sedan in the world.” The Bentley Flying Spur has hit 40,000 models built since 2005 as it rolls (sorry) into the third generation of the monster luxury sedan.
It bowed as the Continental Flying Spur, but Bentley dropped the Conti name to distinguish it from the GT. Now that the Mulsanne is done, the W12-powered Flying Spur is the top of the range at Crewe. Bentley, known for its modesty since becoming part of the Volkswagen group, calls it “the best car in the world,” but then again, they would.
All three generations and 40,000 cars have been designed and built at the automaker’s factory in Crewe. Each taking more than 100 hours to build by hand with a team of 250 affixing each bit of the assembly. In just raw hours, that’s 456 years of building Bentleys at the factory.
Once the cars leave the factory they’re shipped to one of the 68 countries where Bentley operates, but around half of all of the cars have gone to either China or North America. Around 10 percent have stayed close to home with the rest spread throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the remainder of the Asia Pacific region.
Though not counted in the total, the Flying Spur name dates back to 1958, when coachbuilder H.J. Mulliner built 217 examples of the car built on the S1 Continental chassis. A version of that sedan designed with a roofline and sheet metal designed to be a bit more sporting and a lot less uptight than the standard S1. It was named for the heraldric device of Mulliner Managing Director Arthur Talbot Johnstone’s Scottish Clan.