The new Bentley Continental GT was introduced last year and is set to go on sale this year. The British brand, under the ownership of Volkswagen, has been kept busy introducing the new GT as well as the range-topping Mulsanne.
To help promote a new performance model, the company has sponsored a record-breaking run for the world land speed record on ice. Over the course of its long history, Bentley has been no stranger to record-setting.
Bentley has held the land ice record since 2007, when it was set at 199.83 mph by Juha Kankkunen, four-time World Rally Champion. Prior to 2007’s run, the record was set in 1995, when a Bugatti EB110 Supersport reached 184 mph.
There is something to be said for breaking your own record, and that is exactly what Juha Kankkunen and his team accomplished. To do so, they returned to the coast of Finland to attempt another run on the frozen Baltic Sea.
The last record was set in a Continental GT, and the car of choice this time was the more-powerful Continental Supersports Convertible. Running on E85, Kankkunen and the Continental set a new record at 205.48 mph.
The logistics for the run are no easy task, with temperatures 30 degrees below zero, and the possibility of sudden blizzards and cross-winds out on what is usually open sea 2 1/2 miles off of Finland.
Bentley engineers helped scout out the exact location, which was 1000 meters long (about .6 of a mile). The Finland Traffic Police was on hand to certify the speed, as well as a representative from The Guinness Book of Records, who based the speed on an average of two runs in opposite directions.
The car’s modifications included aerodynamics tweaks like front and rear spoilers, a fully-welded heavy-duty safety roll-cage, Pirelli winter tires and a bumper-mounted parachute in case of an emergency.
Wolfgang Durheimer, Bentley’s new Chairman and Chief Executive, commented saying: “The ice speed record is an amazing feat by Juha Kankkunen, whose skill and courage in extreme conditions truly make him one of the modern-day Bentley Boys. We will be celebrating this achievement with a very special ‘extreme’ Bentley, which will be the most powerful model ever to bear the famed Winged B emblem.”
Well there you have it – Bentley will be debuting a limited edition model on March 1st that promises to be the “most extreme Bentley ever made.” The new car will be limited to just 100 examples.