24/07/2024

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Greatness On The Road

Kankkunen Breaks Ice Speed World Record With Bentley Continental GT

Kankkunen Breaks Ice Speed World Record With Bentley Continental GT

Bentley, Volkswagen Group’s British luxury vehicle brand proved that the Continental GT is really a high-performance grand tourer coupe. The Bentley Continental GT made a record-breaking attempt early this March when it runs on the frozen sea in Finland reaching a top speed of about 200 mph, breaking the current world ice speed record set by a Bugatti EB110 Supersport, which was also made in the same Finnish location. Aboard the Bentley Continental GT is the popular Finnish rally car driver and four-time World Rally Champion, Juha Kankkunen.

Kankkunen was so proud of his achievement and said: “The Bentley performed impeccably. I was amazed how stable and secure it felt at these high speeds, despite the track’s rough and icy surface being scattered with powdery snow. I even managed to stop the car from its top speed within 600 metres.”

Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, Member of the Board of Bentley Engineering, also commented:
“Juha’s record-breaking achievement is just what we’ve come to expect from some of our more adventurous owners. It shows that the spirit of the famous Bentley Boys lives on and is still harnessed by drivers with sufficient skill and courage to extract the full potential of our motor cars in extreme conditions – though, naturally, we would not recommend our other owners try to attempt such high speeds on sheet ice!” he added.

Juha Kankkunen, along with his team went to the location and endured the 30 degrees Celsius
of low temperature. Kankkunen drove on to the thick ice and his team measured the rally car’s speed. After the record-breaking success, he and his team checked the Continental GT and Kankkunen decided to once again attempt to increase his acceleration and make a higher recorded speed. He continued attempting to achieve a top speed of 206 mph for few days before realizing that accelerating that much is impossible because of terrain factors like rough track, and snow covered areas.

Before the actual record attempt, Bentley made some few technical modifications on the Continental GT to cope up with extreme low temperature in the area and for some safety reasons. A roll cage was installed on the vehicles along with special snow tires to obtain maximum grip and traction when driving into the slippery and snowy track. Bentley retained the powertrain features but during the record breaking attempt, the rally car runs on a non-standard fuel to suit the low temperature condition at the location.

Meanwhile, the Bentley Continental GT grand tourer coupe is equipped with a monstrous 6.0L W12 engine under the hood featuring twin turbochargers. It is coupled with a six speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted gearshift paddles powering the all-wheel-drive configuration. The grand tourer coupe also comes with standard quality Bentley parts from Volkswagen, just like those VW Corrado parts for the VW hatchback model.