2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8

2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8

Episode 3417
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Last year, the Bentley Flying Spur dropped Continental from its name, but it lost nothing when it came to showcasing British luxury performance motoring at its best. Well, this year it loses something else…4-cylinders from its signature W12 engine. So, let’s see if less turns out to be more. 

Yes folks, as much as we hate to admit it, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. That’s where this 2015 Bentley Flying Spur V8 comes in. 

For some, 12-cylinders pumping in harmony to produce glorious amounts of power is just more than they can handle or perhaps wish to pay for. 

But this is no lightweight V8 we’re talking about here. It’s Audi’s aluminum 4.0-liter twin-turbo unit that, after some unique Bentley tweaks, performs some internal combustion magic of its own, pulling 500-horsepower and 487 lb-ft. of torque. That may be over 100-horsepower less than the W12, but with 100-pounds of weight also removed from the front end, it should translate to a more enjoyable experience at the track.

So we “suited up” in proper Bentley fashion and made haste to our test facility. And unless you’ve recently driven the W12 Flying Spur, you’d be hard pressed to notice a difference in acceleration, as this thing just flat takes off. There’s gobs of power off the line, and rear-biased all-wheel-drive to apply it.

Power continues to build in a very linear fashion, and 60 miles-per-hour arrives in just 4.6-seconds. That’s only a tenth off  our time in the W12. The 8-speed automatic transmission provided smooth and fast shifts, and in 12.9-seconds, we were at the end of the ¼-mile with the needle pointing at 111 on the speedo. So, unless you absolutely will settle for nothing but the best or are always in a real hurry, there’s not much need for the 12. 

At 5,300-pounds plus, there’s still a lot of weight to hustle through the cones. But this Flying Spur does so with surprising agility, though you want to make sure suspension is at its firmest setting to keep body roll at a minimum. You can find both under and over steer should you go looking, but initiating either requires some very aggressive inputs with the wheel or with the throttle. 

Even more amazingly, bringing this 2½-ton dreamliner to a halt from 60 happens in just 107-feet, with smooth and steady stops that belie the frictional ferociousness that is transpiring behind this car’s 21-inch painted alloys. 

Though technically no longer part of the Continental family, the Flying Spur sees similar exterior embellishments to last year’s Continental GT Coupe V8. That means it’ll take a keen or perhaps distinguished eye to spot the dark finish to the grilles, red background of the flying B logo, and figure-8 shaped exhaust finishers.

There’s always lots to love when you’re talking about Bentley interiors. Now, we can’t say this Newmark tan motif would be our first choice in color as we prefer to leave the saddle-brown theme to our pickups, but material quality and finish are every bit as exquisite as you would expect.  

Amenities include beautiful Eucalyptus wood veneer, picnic trays, Naim for Bentley Premium Audio, refrigerated bottle cooler, massaging seats, full length center console with seating for just two in the back, dual LCD screens, and a remote to control most of the cars functions from the back seat. 

If you’re smart enough to send the chauffeur home for the day and take up residence in the front seat, you’ll agree that this may be the best handling close to 3-ton sedan out there. It does indeed feel massive, but highly capable and stable. Just plan ahead a bit for turns as there’s no dartiness to it. 

While this basic chassis has been around for quite some time, and we wonder just how much further corporate parent Volkswagen can go with it, does the average luxury buyer really care about any of that? Probably not, and you won’t either. Just relax and enjoy the ride. 

Despite the smaller V8 engine, there’s still a gas guzzler tax, as Government Fuel Economy Ratings come in at 14-City, 24-Highway, and 17-Combined. Our average of 18.0 miles-per-gallon of Premium was around 8% better than we achieved in the W12 Flying Spur. That still makes for a very poor Energy Impact Score however, burning through 19.4-barrels of oil per year while expelling 8.5-tons of CO2. 

Priced about $20,000 under the W12 at $200,245, it may be the everyman’s Flying Spur, but it’s still not for every man or woman; more for those with the necessary “funds” be they trust, hedge, or otherwise.  

Much as in the Continental GT Coupe, the V8 engine in the 2015 Bentley Flying Spur sedan makes for a better overall car. Sure, in the luxury realm there is always an accepted space for prestigious overkill. But as far as we’re concerned, this is a case of less is more. 


  • Engine: 4.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 500
  • Torque: 487 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 12.9 seconds @ 111 mph
  • EPA: 14 mpg city/ 24 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 19.4 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 8.5 tons/yr
2024 Polestar 2 3/4 Front

2024 Polestar 2

More Range And More Power For The Polestar 2

Episode 4333
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

Volvo is well on their way to making the transition to an all-electric brand, but their sister-brand Polestar is already there. Now, we’ve spent lots of time in their all-wheel drive, five-door Polestar 2, having tested it in 2021, and a year later when a two-wheel drive version arrived. But, EV updates are coming quickly. So, let us be your guide for all that’s new with the Polestar 2.

While we are driving more EVs than ever, we’ve also been spending a lot of time recently circling back to ones we’ve previously tested. As in this new era of electrified vehicles, significant updates are arriving quickly, with R&D investments increasing and retrofitting them easier than ever. This is often done through software updates that can even be accomplished over the air. For 2024, the Polestar 2 has indeed gotten some software updates, but some physical ones as well.

Clearly aimed directly at Tesla’s Model 3 when it arrived; the Polestar 2’s build quality was vastly better, but range definitely came up short. So, addressing that was priority No. 1; and for ’24 the Polestar can travel up to 20% farther than before while consuming 9% less energy, and when it comes time to charge it back up, it can do that 34% faster too.

2024 Polestar 2 Dead Front
2024 Polestar 2 Profile
2024 Polestar 2 3/4 Rear
2024 Polestar 2 Dead Rear
2024 Polestar 2 Charge Port
2024 Polestar 2 Wheel
2024 Polestar 2 Badge
2024 Polestar 2 Badge 2
2024 Polestar 2 Dead Front2024 Polestar 2 Profile2024 Polestar 2 3/4 Rear2024 Polestar 2 Dead Rear2024 Polestar 2 Charge Port2024 Polestar 2 Wheel2024 Polestar 2 Badge2024 Polestar 2 Badge 2

Range in the Single Motor version increases from a max of 270 to 320 miles thanks to a larger 82-kWh battery pack, and that solitary motor now powers the rear wheels, not the front wheels. It’s also bigger, coming in at 220 kW compared to the previous 170 kW front-wheel drive version, going from 231 to 299 horsepower.

Dual Motors keep the same 78-kWh battery, but still sees a boost from 260 to 276 miles and takes advantage of the larger rear motor for a new combined 310-kW output with 421 horsepower. Our test car has the added Performance Pack, which uses an additional 35 kW to deliver 455 horsepower and 546 lb-ft of torque, though max range drops to just 247 miles.

The new battery in rear-drive 2s will also charge faster, now accepting up to 205 kW for an 80% charge in 20 minutes; max for dual-motors stays at 155 kW, which puts an 80% charge at 34 minutes. Using 32 kWh of electricity per 100 miles, the Dual Motor earns a good efficiency rating.

The [Polestar] 2 has always been one of the most enjoyable EVs to drive, even more so now with that additional power coming from the rear motor.

Unfortunately, extremely cold temperatures kept us from seeing that increased range, as we were only on pace for about 194 miles in our test.

The 2 has always been one of the most enjoyable EVs to drive, even more so now with that additional power coming from the rear motor. And especially when equipped with the Performance Pack as it not only includes more power, but adds 20-inch forged wheels, upgraded brakes, and adjustable Ohlins Dual Flow Valve performance dampers. It greatly improves handling prowess without affecting ride quality, and is easily worth the $5,500 charge if you at all enjoy driving.

Even on a 20-degree track day there was plenty of grip through our handling course. No understeer or oversteer, and lots of feedback through the wheel. There was a nice, strong launch off the line that properly planted us firmly in the seat, and rocketed us to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Power delivery stayed pretty intense up until about 80 mph when there was a definite tapering off. Still, it was a 13.4-second quarter-mile at 102 mph; smooth, quiet, and stable the whole way.

2024 Polestar 2 Driver Side Dash
2024 Polestar 2 Passenger Side Dash
2024 Polestar 2 Front Seats
2024 Polestar 2 Steering Wheel
2024 Polestar 2 Instrument Cluster
2024 Polestar 2 Center Display
2024 Polestar 2 Shifter
2024 Polestar 2 Rear Seats
2024 Polestar 2 Front Trunk
2024 Polestar 2 Trunk
2024 Polestar 2 Driver Side Dash2024 Polestar 2 Passenger Side Dash2024 Polestar 2 Front Seats2024 Polestar 2 Steering Wheel2024 Polestar 2 Instrument Cluster2024 Polestar 2 Center Display2024 Polestar 2 Shifter2024 Polestar 2 Rear Seats2024 Polestar 2 Front Trunk2024 Polestar 2 Trunk

When this car debuted, its Google-based infotainment setup was a novelty, but since then, more and more manufacturers are just “Googling it” so it doesn’t seem out of place at all. The wireless phone charger is easy to access, and there’s a great Harmon/Kardon sound system and panoramic sunroof to enhance the in-cabin experience. Exteriors have also been enhanced with a smooth grille insert and new wheel choices.

Hatchback practicality means 14.3 cu-ft of easy to access cargo space with split-folding seatbacks for longer items and expanding the space to 38.7 cu-ft. Plus, there’s even a sizeable storage bin up front under the hood.

Single Motor Polestar 2 pricing now starts at $51,300, with Dual Motors starting at $56,700; topping out at $64,400.

For a car manufacturer that hasn’t even been around for a decade yet, Polestar has kept itself busy, totally transforming their latest model in just a few years, making the 2024 Polestar 2 even more appealing. They are certainly off to a good start, and with a host of Polestars just over the horizon, including some all-important utility vehicles, this star will be shining even brighter.


As Tested

  • Motor Setup: Dual Motor
  • Horsepower: 455
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • EPA Range: 247 miles
  • Efficiency : 32 kWh / 100 miles
  • Battery Size: 78-kWh
  • Torque: 546 lb-ft
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.4 seconds at 102 mph
  • MW Test Loop: ~ 194 miles
  • Peak Charging Rate: 155 kW