Bentley Motors invited a hand-picked selection of motoring journalists to Monaco on October 16 for the first public test drives of its new model, the Flying Spur.

Handcrafting of the first customer orders is taking place at Bentley’s factory headquarters in Crewe, England, following completion of over one million miles of development testing. The third generation of the marque’s Grand Tourer offers the perfect fusion of performance-orientated agility and exclusive four-door, limousine-style comfort. The start of deliveries is set for early 2020.

Peter Bosch, Board Member for Manufacturing, Bentley Motors, said: “The new Flying Spur is a leap forward in combining state of the art high technology with a modern ultra-luxurious interior and exterior.

“Every single example is an artisanal piece of art, handcrafted using the finest, authentic materials and surfaces that are unmistakably Bentley. The car truly delivers the duality of sports sedan agility and contemporary limousine refinement.”

The most advanced Bentley ever built, and in a sign of the exacting levels of attention to detail, nearly 200 people handcraft every Flying Spur through 84 different assembly stages at the company’s factory in Crewe.

In the front, the unique Bentley Rotating Display is the central feature of an exquisitely crafted dashboard, while the centrepiece of the rear seat experience is a state-of-the-art detachable Touch Screen Remote Control that can operate all the major functions.

The application of light plays an integral part in the Flying Spur experience, with a panoramic glass sunroof that stretches the full length of the roof and an innovative multi-configuration mood lighting system both available. Three superlative audio systems, including a range-topping 2,200W Naim system, will equally satisfy those seeking the ultimate aural thrill.

The all-new Flying Spur leads the way in the luxury car segment for state-of-the-art, innovative technology. A wide range of Advanced Connectivity features are available, as are cutting-edge driver assistance systems such as a Night Vision infra-red camera, Traffic Assist and a Head-Up Display.

The new Flying Spur is powered by an enhanced version of Bentley’s 6.0-litre, twin-turbocharged W12, which sets the benchmark in performance, agility and dynamism for the segment. Mated to an advanced dual-clutch eight-speed transmission, it has a top speed of 207 mph (333 km/h), and a 0-60mph time of 3.7 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.8 seconds).

Testing of the ultimate luxury Grand Touring sedan has seen Bentley’s Flying Spur cover over one million miles (1.6 million kilometres), and has involved the use of 142 prototypes and pre-production cars. The Flying Spur has toured 18 countries across four continents; in temperatures ranging from -34 oC to +48oC; and at altitudes from 61 metres below sea level to 4,300 metres above.

Reliability and usability were analysed in over 507,000 miles (816,000 km) of testing on public roads, while 200,000 miles (322,000 km) were driven on proving grounds to validate components and systems. A total of 1.65 million miles (equivalent to circling the world 41 times) of simulated durability testing of the chassis components was conducted either using test rigs or on the road.

Of the 285,000 miles (460,000 km) of durability testing conducted on proving grounds, over 7,460 miles (12,000 km) were driven at the car’s maximum speed of 207 mph (333 km/h). The chassis testing alone accounted for over 150 laps of the famed Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit.

The price of a Flying Spur starts at £165,000.