I designed my perfect Bentley and now they’re going to build it
From configurator to actual car - this is how Bentley decided to make my own spec of Flying Spur
Presenting the Bentley Flying Spur Tromans Edition. It’s a limited edition model, one of one, and it’s coming soon to my driveway. Well, for a week or so. Once lockdown's over.
The journey to the creation of this most prestigious of bespoke motor cars started on Twitter. Bentley’s PR team was planning to add some new machines to its press fleet. These cars span the Bentley range and are sent out to journalists for road testing.
So during my lunch hour I delved into the online configurator, splashed on some paint, tweaked some wheels, ticked a few options boxes and sent it in.
And then a couple of weeks later I got a Twitter notification. I’d won, and now Bentley will build a Flying Spur to my own specification. And I get to have the first go in it. Sweet.
Seeing as I am now a bona fide, award-winning car designer (shut up, I am), I thought I’d run you through my process.
First off, I chose the Flying Spur because I’m a family man and need space to lug my daughter and her stuff around. Sure, a Continental GT is nice but it’s too small (even though it’s still huge). I could have chosen a Bentayga, and it’s a cracking machine, but I haven’t tried the latest Flying Spur yet and also I don’t really need an SUV. I went for the First Edition model, because I could. That includes some extra goodies as standard.
Blue. Blue with shiny bits. Perfect
For the exterior, I decided on a sporty look. Bentley has always mixed sporting prowess with luxury, and let’s face it, the luxury side of things is already covered because, well, it’s a Bentley. So, metallic Sequin Blue paint, 22-inch Mulliner bright machined alloy wheels (with dark grey painted bits for extra contrast) and a bright polished stainless steel Flying B mascot on the front, with wings that light up. Also a chromed matrix grille on the lower bumper, like a racing car. Oh, and red brake calipers. Because red, as we all know, is sporty.
Cricket Ball red leather means I can rub it on my trousers to make it spin
Sure, my Flying Spur is all about speed on the outside, but don't think I'm going for the stripped out and roll cage vibe inside. No, I'm still all about that swag, so the ambience when you climb in is more refined and luxurious. For the upholstery I’ve opted for a split between cream Portland leather and Cricket Ball red, a slightly darker, more subtle tone of red that contrasts nicely with the lighter hue. Also, cricket is super British, which is fitting for a British marque. The seats are piped in red again, and I've gone for red seatbelts.
The steering wheel? Two-tone leather covered, and heated for those cold mornings. The wood? Burr Walnut over Grand Black, for that half grand piano, half fancy table look. The carpets? Red again, to match the leather and hide the blood. Er, mud. Mud.
Screens. Space. Swag
Deep breath here, because Bentley let you pick plenty of options. And no one wants a base-spec Flying Spur. No, it's got to be loaded, so I did a lot of box-ticking. I added the Diamond Knurling specification, which adds some intricate decoration to the vents, controls and bezels, because it looks awesome and, for some reason, I always associate knurling with Bentley. And shotguns. Shotguns weren't on the options list though. BOOO.
I intend to do some big miles in this car as soon as I get half a chance, and that can be thirsty work, so my Spur will have a refrigerated bottle cooler between the rear seats. And I'm a musical sort, so I've opted for a top-of-the-line Naim stereo system, which has 19 speakers, two subs, 2,200 Watts of power and various clever software bits to make everything sound awesome. It gets me some cool illuminated speaker grilles too.
Even though the only regular rear-seat passenger will be my baby daughter (unless my wife decides not to sit up front), I've added some rear seat entertainment in the form of two 10.2-inch tablets that can either act as screens on the back of the front seats, or detach for use outside of the car. Naturally there'll be some Bluetooth headphones too.
Under the bonnet
Suck my horsepower, you mothers
I didn't have much say over what goes on under the bonnet, but I'm not bothered, because the Flying Spur comes with a 6.0-litre W12 engine with 635 horsepower and a top speed of 207mph. And yes, it will cost me a fortune in fuel. But I don't care. Because I'll have my own Bentley. Until they come to take it away, anyway.
Obviously with the coronavirus pandemic, it'll be a while before I get to see my creation in the metal, but stay tuned, as I'll be updating you on whether my virtual decisions panned out once it arrives.
Have a go at speccing your own Bentley by going to the company's online configurator.