Bentley on Ice
Four-times World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen recently took a Bentley Continental Supersports convertible for a spin on the frozen waters of the Baltic Sea, and pushed the needle up to 205.48mph – on ice – to set a new world record.
The 4WD, 6-litre, 12-cylinder convertible ran on biofuel when it shattered Kankkunen’s own 2007 world ice speed record, then a paltry 199.83mph. He and his team overcame temperatures as low as minus 30 degrees, as well as sudden snow blizzards and vicious crosswinds.
“Last time, I narrowly missed the magical 200mph mark in a Continental GT. When I heard about the Supersports I was determined to go record breaking again with the Bentley Boys. This time, with over 600bhp under the bonnet, a Quickshift transmission and the security of the all-wheel drive system, the Supersports convertible was the perfect car to go for the record,” said Kankkunen. “200mph came up after 5km on sheet ice. Then it was just a question of getting everything right in the timing zone and hoping the snow kept away. There’s nothing to beat driving a Bentley at these speeds; the conditions may be perilous but the car responds so well to the slightest adjustment, which gives you the confidence to push even harder.”
There were only minimal modifications to the car to prepare for the record-breaking drive: a fully welded, heavy-duty safety rollcage, along with Pirelli winter tyres and a rear bumper-mounted parachute, with front and rear spoilers for high-speed stability.
A limited edition of just 100 examples of this most extreme Bentley will be made, with the car due for its global debut at the Geneva Motor Show on 1 March.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
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