BEST INTERIOR - Bentley Flying Spur
The stunning four-door from Crewe is not only a stylish limo on the outside, but a brilliant blend of old-world Brit charm and modern tech on the inside. There aren’t many places where wood veneer can seamlessly exist alongside things like removable touchscreens and still look elegant, but the Spur does it without feeling ‘over the top’.
But wood veneer isn’t for everyone, and that’s why the interior of the Flying Spur isn’t necessarily just ‘one’ interior. The multiple options for each surface make customisation possibilities numerous, and even Bentley’s own press photos show everything from a cabin lathered in rich burgundy leather with gloss black panelling and chrome accents to one optioned with a mix of creamy off-white and cocoa-coloured leather and glossy mahogany-like veneer.
The level of customisation in the Flying Spur comes thanks to Bentley’s partnership with coachbuilder Mulliner.
Three-dimensional ‘quilted’ walnut door inserts, custom seat embroidery and even jewelled-finish fuel and oil caps are on the menu for Bentley buyers.
In terms of the engineering behind the Flying Spur’s plush nature, Bentley had the full force of Volkswagen Group’s technical arsenal at its disposal, and in turn threw everything at the Spur to make it as comfortable as possible. For example, those in the back seat benefit from an extended wheelbase thanks to the use of the MSB platform shared among other VW Group cars such as the Porsche Panamera.
Underneath the Flying Spur is a set of three-chamber air springs, plus Bentley uses its ‘Dynamic Ride System’ active anti-roll system, which is able to be set to either make the car handle fast driving or level out the cabin against bumps and keep the ride feeling smooth inside.
Extra points for hiding all the VW bits in the cabin, too.
Best Option - Chevrolet Camaro 2SS manual gearbox
This is more a variant than an option, but it’s certainly a choice at the dealers that improves the end result. The Tremec 6060 is a brilliant mate to the 6.2-litre LT1 V8, with a shift that’s both familiar in feel to HSVs past but also vastly smoother. Travel through the gate is bang on, while it also lets you revel in the V8’s lovely noise.
Biggest Gimmick - Renault 4Control
Our love for the previous Renault Megane RS gave the latest version a lot to live up to, but the new rear-wheel-steering system would be a dud on any hot hatch. Dubbed 4Control, not only does it feel out of sync with smooth steering inputs by responding too quickly, we’re not sure it adds any go-fast benefit, as even Renault left it off the ’Ring record Trophy-R.