The car that exploded this week at a border bridge in Niagara Falls, N.Y., was a 2022 Bentley Flying Spur, the authorities said on Friday, an ultraluxury model capable of reaching a speed of 60 miles per hour in four seconds.
The police identified Kurt P. Villani as the driver and his wife, Monica Villani, as a passenger. The couple, both 53 and from Grand Island, owned several businesses in western New York and were headed to a concert in Toronto before the fatal crash, which remained unexplained.
The base model Flying Spur was powered by an eight-cylinder engine generating 542 horsepower and weighed 5,137 pounds, according to specifications from Edmunds, which provides data about automobiles for consumers. Used models cost more than $200,000, and Car and Driver magazine said that “the Flying Spur’s unbeatable blend of luxury and performance comes with an eye-watering six-figure price tag.”
Speculation had been percolating online about the car’s make and model since the incident occurred just before noon on Wednesday, and investigators were exploring whether a mechanical problem had caused the car to accelerate out of control. The vehicle was shown on video moving toward the bridge at a shocking speed before striking a median and taking flight. It burst into flames on impact and shattered, strewing metal over a wide debris field.
Erin Bronner, a spokeswoman for the Americas arm of Bentley Motors, said on Friday that she could not release information about the Villanis’ car.
Ms. Bronner said the incident was not tied to a recall in 2021 of some models over a risk that their accelerator pedals could become stuck. She said there had been no such problem on left-hand drive cars — the kind sold in the United States and Canada.
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