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The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: Bentley Flying Spur is very fast and very expensive

If you've ever wondered what a $300,000 car looks like, this is it. The 2014 Bentley Flying Spur starts at $242,660 for the base model

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2014 Bentley Flying Spur: The company claims the car is its fastest, most powerful four-door Bentley model ever.

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With its 6.0-litre engine and 8-speed transmission, the Flying Spur can reach 60 mph (96.5 km/h) in 4.3 seconds. Its top speed is 322 km/h.

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Fuel economy is well, not economical. The car’s rating is 22.4 litres/100 km in the city, 10.2 on highways, and 14.7 combined. The Flying Spur weighs 2972 kg. For comparison, a Honda Civic sedan weighs 1296 kg, and gets 7.1 L/100 km city/5.0 highway.

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Bentley uses its diamond quilted upholstery on the door panels and seats. They claim the interior of this model includes some 600 new parts, with only a handful carried over from the previous model.

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Available in either a four or five-seat configuration, the leather interior can be created in one of 12 colours with a new “softer yet more durable hide.”

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Each car has almost 10 square metres of wood. The book-matched veneer is found on the fascia panels, consoles, waistrails and picnic tables. The wood pieces are crafted by hand and cured for 72 hours. Burr walnut and dark fiddleback eucalyptus are the standard wood options, five others available.

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Eight-inch touch screen with satellite navigation and Bluetooth, infotainment features with voice activation. Eight speaker-audio system plays music from an on-board hard drive, CDs, DVDs, SD cards and via an iPod.

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The car’s roof and pillars are trimmed in leather, adding to the luxurious feel of the cabin.

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Standard, electrically-operated rear side blinds give privacy to rear-seat passengers.

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With the optional BCU, or Bentley Connectivity Unit, rear passengers can use the car’s own WiFi with laptops and portable devices. Two 10” LCD screens will display multimedia content via DVDs, SD cards, USB devices including iPods and iPads, and HDMI devices.

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Touch-screen remote allows rear passengers to control temperature and multimedia.

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A new Thermostatic Expansion Valve improves the heating and ventilation system, decreasing the time to cool the car’s interior.

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Standard, electrically-operated rear side blinds give privacy to rear-seat passengers.

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In 2012, Bentley sold 8510 cars world wide, with 2457 cars going to customers in the Americas, 2253 to China, 1333 to Europe and 815 to the Middle East. They sold 1104 in the U.K.

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Approximately 4000 people work at Bentley Motors in Crewe, England, which is home to the company’s entire operation, including design, R&D, engineering and production.

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