Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Weekends: Flying High in Phoenix, Arizona

The sound of the sandstorm churning a frenzied path across the desert was deafening. Caught completely off guard with their backs turned to the approaching tempest, a bride and her wedding party scrambled for cover at the Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, Arizona.

We stared in awe as the wind surged over the distant mountain, bridging the gap to where we watched from above in a mere ten minutes. Our attempts to get their attention had gone unheeded as an oblivious photographer continued to shoot while tables and chairs started to topple. The day’s festivities were about to take a dramatic turn for the newlyweds below.

Arizona is known for dramatic changes in weather and topography. A breathtaking State that stretches from Mexico’s borders in the south to Utah in the north, it morphs from serene to sublime with the turn of a corner.

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur offers the equivalent characteristics in an exotic automobile. Few vehicles provide the lavish comfort and superb ride quality of this massive four-door dynamo. Cruising in a Bentley at 100 km/h is akin to asking DeMar DeRozan if he is capable of scoring from the foul line. Neither will break a sweat in the attempt.

But step on the gas of the Continental Flying Spur and suddenly you’re catapulted down the road on a steel and aluminum sleigh ride that would cause Clark Griswold to turn green with envy. Changes in character this dramatic are enough to make anyone question the sanity of resorting to small, two-seat sports cars in order to drive fast.

Horsepower numbers, 552 horsepower at 6,100 rpm, and torque ratings, 479 lb-ft at 1,600 rpm, are off-the-chart for the seductive sedan. Top speed is marked at 312 km/h and 0-100 km acceleration is achieved in a scant 5.2 seconds. This astounding level of performance is achieved while carrying a gross vehicle weight of 2,940 kg.

Elvis sightings and great burgers in Jerome, AZ

Perfect roads are a foregone conclusion in this part of the U.S. and piloting the Bentley Flying Spur north to Sedona, Arizona by way of Prescott and Jerome was an experience not to be missed.

Nestled on the outskirts of Phoenix, the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge resort rises from the sand like the mythical being from which the city takes its name.

With 950 rooms including 81 suites, Palmer and Faldo 18-hole championship golf courses, a world-class Revive Spa and numerous restaurants including Starbucks for that quick caffeine fix, there truly is no reason to leave. That is unless the valet is holding the keys to something equally as compelling as the spending hours by the heated pools and lazy river. It was soon time to get behind the wheel and experience Arizona for myself.

Considered one of the most exhilarating drives in North America and only a 90 minute drive from the resort, AZ 89 winds upward to an elevation of 1,600 meters. A two-lane highway with many blind corners, the posted limit in several sections is 32 km/h, (20 mph).

Pushing the majestic Bentley Flying Spur through a series of hairpin turns is much easier than you would think. Squealing tires and raucous gasps from the backseat were a reminder of its unique abilities on an unforgiving stretch of road.

Riding on a 3,065 mm wheelbase, front and rear seat legroom is superb. Standard interior appointments include steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles, full premium grade leather, (available in 17 colours) and matching carpets and seatbelts. Stainless steel surfaced foot-pedals, drivers footrest and shift knob add a crisp touch to the classic burr walnut unbleached premium veneer dash and upper door panels.

Hot Air Ballooning near Phoenix, Arizona

Individual seating for four offers unique electronic climate zone temperature control for all. Our “Arizona Express” was equipped with optional lumbar massaging front seats and stunning 20” 7-spoke alloy wheels. Resplendent in Beluga Black with Ochre main and Nautic secondary hides, the Continental Flying Spur is neither hard on the eyes or backside.

Once in Jerome, we stopped for lunch at the infamous Haunted Hamburger. Celebrated for its amazing food as well as the unlikely characters who visit, we spotted Elvis enjoying a healthy dose of beef on a bun. Two hours later he was still comfortably rooted to a chair, disproving the theory Elvis is always the first to leave.

A stopover in Red Rock Country, and we were back on the road, this time heading south on Hwy 17 towards Phoenix. Our destination at the end of the day would be the AAA 5-Diamond, Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

Home to one of golf’s most challenging layouts, the TPC of Scottsdale- Stadium Course, it boasts size and splendor with 651 guest rooms, a AAA 4-Diamond restaurant- La Hacienda and enough walking trails to challenge even the most fit. Well & Being Spa is rated one of the finest resorts spas in the state.

The next few days were spent hot air ballooning over the Arizona desert, relaxing in endless sunshine and enjoying the unfathomable depths of performance available with the Bentley Continental Flying Spur. A powerhouse capable of kicking sand in the face of even the most exotic sports car, this is a superior ride that flies in the face of conventional thinking.

Related links:

Bentley Motors
JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess


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