Tours de Force: Exploring Scandinavia in the new Bentley Flying Spur
by Jennifer Read-Dominguez
The all-new Bentley Flying Spur is put to the test on a road trip north, through Denmark and past the fjords of west Sweden to the charming Norwegian capital, Oslo. Representing a quantum leap in technology, performance and innovation, advanced engineering meets luxury as the third-generation Bentley Flying Spur makes its official debut on the open road.
On the A7 autobahn north to Flensburg, the new Flying Spur’s state-of-the-art powerful W12 engine comes into its own. Shared with the Continental GT, the six-litre W12 delivers 635PS (626hp) of power and 900Nm of torque.
Many German motorways now have a recommended maximum speed of 130km/h, but this section of the A7 is unlimited. If you choose to take advantage of this and unleash the dynamism of the Flying Spur (its top speed is 330km/h, and it can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 3.8 seconds), the all-wheel drive system and ZF dual-clutch transmission ensure excellent and smooth acceleration on any long straights.
Active all-wheel drive constantly varies the torque to all four wheels for optimum traction but with a spirited feel. Drop into sixth gear for maximum speed, or ease into overdrive gears (seventh and eighth) for the most economical cruising.
Drive out of Schleswig-Holstein and over the border into Denmark, across the Danish island of Funen and onwards to colourful Copenhagen on Amager. Here, make a pit stop at the Torvehallerne gourmet market to stock up on the best fresh smørrebrød (rye bread), smoked herring and cinnamon rolls that Copenhagen has to offer, and keep them cool in the in-built fridge/drinks cooler in the rear cabin.
This is a true grand tour, and you’ll be nothing but comfortable enveloped in the car’s refined interior, especially in the all-new 24-way adjustable twin flute seats with adjustable bolsters that cocoon you. Drive controls are ergonomically and logically placed, making the driving experience as intuitive and seamless as possible.
In addition, three ride modes can also be personally tailored to best suit your particular mood and road conditions, whether that’s sit-back easy in Comfort, exhilarating drive-it-hard Sport, or Bentley, for something in between.
Linking Copenhagen and the Swedish town of Malmö is one of the 21st century’s most impressive feats of engineering, the Øresund Bridge. Opened in 2000, forging stronger links between Denmark and Sweden, the road part of the 16-kilometre Øresund crossing (there is also a railway) comprises a tunnel to the artificial island of Peberholm, followed by the sweep of the bridge itself. Architect Georg Rotne’s masterpiece combines strength with elegance – qualities the Flying Spur, with its sculpted surfaces, shares.
The car uses SIM-networked smart technology to keep you connected. Its systems will keep the car up to date on real-time road and driving situations ahead, help you to avoid any hazards and provide assistance should you need it.
Once across the water, enjoy the famous Swedish hospitality and pull in for fika in Malmö, or take time out to browse the cool curated vintage boutiques of Gothenburg. Push on along the coastal E6 route past the glimmering fjords of the west coast; the main road lies just a couple of kilometres from the sea and Kosterhavet, Sweden’s only national marine park.
The Flying Spur’s unique 21-inch and 22-inch wheels have been specially designed to promote slightly more tyre flex. These, coupled with the improved air suspension system plus continuous damping control, mean you’ll be just as comfortable whether you’re traversing the cobbled streets of Malmö or the Bohuslän back roads.
On the open road once again, less than an hour’s drive north will bring you to Østfold county, Norway, and the area where the great polar explorer Roald Amundsen was born.
Continuing your own expedition, just before the 1,000-year-old town of Sarpsborg you’ll cross the Glomma, at 621 kilometres Norway’s longest river, which brings chilled water all the way down from Aursund lake.
From here, it is only an hour or so further to Oslo, skirting the outer Oslofjord. Sample the varied delights of the Norwegian capital, such as the museums celebrating the voyages of Amundsen, and Thor Heyerdahl on the balsa raft Kon-Tiki, or the art of Edvard Munch.
Picnic with the locals among the medieval fortifications of the Akershus Fortress, and walk on the marble-embellished roof of the Oslo Opera House. Afterwards, you might choose to rest at the Amerikalinjen hotel. This was once the headquarters of the Norwegian-American shipping line, and is now the newest hotel in the city with a seafaring travel legacy – perhaps a fitting end to your own adventurous northern European and Scandinavian journey.
For more information on the new Bentley Flying Spur, visit bentleymotors.com/newflyingspur