Bentley’s Flying Spur Azure has arrived and it’s such a striking vision in its signature blue, you’d be hard pressed to miss it even in the darkest of sunglasses.
The UK manufacturer’s latest four-door offering is a luxury sedan with enough splendour and fanciness to make a lot of us somewhat dowdy dressers mess up its aura by even standing near it.
It isn’t just about the looks, though. This is a Bentley, after all.
Shiny externals aside, driving along in the Azure is nothing less than a grandiose experience.
Two of the main selling points of all big, luxury sedans are comfort and ride quality, and the Bentley does not disappoint in either of these departments.
If you get some lighter sedans up to the 160kph speed limit, which you can on the UAE’s fastest roads, it can feel like you’re experiencing the unsettling double whammy of a hurricane and earthquake at the same time.
Not so with the Azure. It maintains its cool at all speeds, with nary a hint of hubbub whether you're pootling around the neighbourhood or really getting a move on.
Muscle cars wish they had even an ounce of this kind of poise, but (whisper) none do.
Despite the name, the Azure is available in more than just shades of blue, with 16 subtle hues on the list of options.
There are a number of notable stats connected with this particular vehicle, so we’ll keep it simple and go for the headlines.
The Azure is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4-litre V8 (although a 2.9-litre V6 hybrid is also available), which will get you up to 100kph from a standing start in about four seconds.
The top speed of the vehicle nudges 320kph.
The combined fuel consumption figure of about 9.5km per litre is, of course, less impressive, but that’s only to be expected in cars of this build.
That said, those numbers aren’t outrageous in an engine of this size and you can eke out more than 700km on a single (admittedly large) tank if you can resist too much tearing around.
It’s worth taking note of those spectacular wheels as well – the 22-inch diameter puts them at a height drivers of smaller industrial diggers would be envious of.
To talk more about size, even if the Azure weren't as eye-catching as it is, everyone would see you coming a long way off anyway as the car is more than five metres long.
It's roomy decor is suitably swanky, with the leather interior coming in a choice of 15 colours.
A lot of European luxury vehicles do the classic / modern mix well, but the Azure shows a distinct attention to detail in this regard – hit the start button, for example, and the dashboard revolves in a distinctly 1960s James Bond-esque fashion from a series of pleasingly old-school dials to reveal a rather more up-to-date 12.3-inch touchscreen.
Sure, this vehicle is about as far from a budget option as it’s possible to imagine, but there are plenty more expensive cars in the same class on the market now, with rather fewer accoutrements to justify their heftier price tags.
There it is, then – you cannot help but feel pretty special in the Azure, even if you don’t deem yourself smart enough to be driving it.
This being the case, it’s just a matter of putting your foot down and enjoying it.
After all, if the windows are dark enough and you’re going at a fair lick no one will notice what you’re wearing.
Ripped jeans and shredded T-shirt? That’ll do nicely – as long as you stay inside and keep moving at all times, but that's not exactly a chore.