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It is a tradition at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to run up the hill of this famous estate. Just about every type of road and racing car make this trek, and the Bentley ice racer is no exception.
Earlier this year, Bentley set a new record of the highest speed achieved by a car on ice when it hit 205.48 with their 631-horsepower Continental Supersports convertible. The record run took place on a section of the Baltic Sea on a 10-mile track, just off the coast of Finland, and the car was driven by rallying superstar Juha Kankunnen.
The weather at Goodwood was a lot warmer and the crowd was much bigger for the run up the hill, but Kankunnen delighted the crowd with some quick runs. He said; “Driving this very special Bentley Continental in front of the packed Goodwood grandstands was a special experience for me. Driving on a frozen sea was a unique challenge and only a few Bentley engineers and my support crew were there to witness the new world record. So it was a pleasure to provide a glimpse of the capabilities of this Bentley to a huge audience of motorsport enthusiasts on a beautiful summer’s day.”
However, Kankunnen wasn’t the only celebrity on the Bentley grand stand, as five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell was also in attendance. Bell, who now works as a driving consultant for Bentley also made the run, choosing to drive the new Continental GT coupe up the hill. Bell who was part of the winning 2003 Bentley Le Mans team said; “Driving the GT at Goodwood was a lot of fun. The new car maintains all the luxury and refinement for which Bentley is renowned, but is even quicker, dynamically sharper and more powerful than its predecessor.”
Bentley customers know what they want. They want a luxury behemoth with animal-crushing abilities, swathed in more cow than a Texas Roadhouse, and the ability to “waft” from nightclub to penthouse and back. What they don’t want, according to Bentley, is a small one—after all, what is this, Rolls-Royce?
Oh ok, fine, Bentley said, we’ll give them a concession to fuel efficiency. A 4.0-liter V8 will be an option on future Continental GT models, cutting fuel consumption by up to 40 percent compared to its 6.0-liter W12. But that’s as far as Bentley will go.
”Our customers at the moment don’t want a light car,” said Robin Peel, regional coordinator for Bentley in South Asia and Australia, and possessor of the most British name in the kingdom. ’They want lots of things in a car. The characteristics of a Bentley are partly derived by its weight, its rigidity and its strength.
Unlike parent company Audi, Bentley will not dabble in aluminum space frames or composite panels—the Bentley Continental Supersports was an experiment, according to Peel, but not something the company will focus on.
“The Supersports was clearly our toe in the water about lightening a car … and that was received very well. It’s got a short life, so it was an experiment. So then we review that, sit back, what was your reaction to it. Did it touch what customers wanted in terms of rawness from a Bentley, or did it go too far?”
So that means no “baby” Bentleys, no more lightened track specials, just more of what Bentley does best—building “the fastest lorries in the world.” The day that they build an Aston Martin Cygnet will be the day that future Bentleys are powered from the kinetic energy contained in W.O. Bentley’s spinning grave.
”Bentley has always been about grand touring,” said Peel. ”It’s not about small, frantic, high-revving, high-performance cars, but about oodles of power and torque, and about performance, but in a way that is relaxed and easy and luxurious. That’s embedded in us, absolutely.”
[Source: The Age]
MC Customs, based out of Miami, Florida, specializes in high-end builds for celebrities, professional athletes and the layman with a thick enough wallet to satisfy their customizing tastes. Their collection of vehicles include Rolls-Royces and Bentleys, one of which is this custom widebody Continental Supersports. While its styling may not be for everybody, there’s no denying the quality and craftsmanship in the work in addition to being one of the most extreme Continental Supersports in the world.
On the outside, it’s hard to not notice the custom widened body which features a set of Savini Forged SV-31c Xtreme Concave wheels on all four corners. Clearly along with the widebody conversion came a custom body kit featuring carbon fiber accents that goes well with the carbon fiber barrels on the Savini wheels. The entire exterior transformation was completed with a custom paint job.
The interior also got some work done, though details weren’t really revealed. The vehicle was recently shot for this month’s DUB magazine and belongs to MLB pitcher Carlos Silva.
GALLERY: MC Customs / Savini Widebody Bentley Continental Supersports
[Source: GT Spirit]
In case owners of the Bentley Continental Supersports convertible feel that they blend in too much, there’s a new appearance package available that transforms their cars into looking remarkably like a Porsche 911 GT3.
Who would tart up their expensive British luxury car to look like a mere Porsche? Hey, there’s a market for that: the ISR Mulliner package attempts to mimic the sticker-festooned appearance of the Ice Speed Record Bentley. Inside, carbon fiber blankets the dashboard and center console with a matching red weave, and diamond-quilted Alcantara add to increasing the value of the appearance package.
The contrasting red wheels do look snazzy, especially in white, but now that Porsche is being slowly brought into the Volkswagen mothership…consider it an homage, if anything.
As if Bentley needed yet another excuse to launch a special edition of their Continental GT line, the Continental Supersports Ice Speed Record edition will debut at the 2011 Geneva Auto Show. The model, released in a 100 unit production run, will commemorate Finnish rally hero Juha Kankkunen’s record setting 202 mph blast on ice in an E85 powered Conti.
A new intake, intercooler and exhaust system help the turbocharged 12-cylinder motor pump out 631 horsepower and rocket to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. E85 can be run as a “green” alternative fuel, and buyers will also be swaddled in the finest hides available. Check back tomorrow for live pictures.
In Finland, rally champion Juha Kankkunen has cracked the 200-mph barrier on ice in a Bentley Supersports, setting a new world speed record on ice.
Atop the frozen Baltic Sea at temperatures of minus 30 degrees, he drove the AWD, W12-engined, biofuel-powered Bentley Continental Supersports convertible to a record 205.48 mph, which bested his own previous world record of 199.83 mph set at the same location in 2007.
“The last time, I narrowly missed the magical 200 mph mark in a Continental GT,” he said. “When I heard about the Supersports I was determined to go record breaking again with the Bentley Boys.”
One of the goals of the British/Finnish team was to keep the car as stock as possible: modifications included a roll cage, low-resistance Pirelli winter tires, front and rear spoilers, and a bumper-mounted parachute. Juha Kankkunen fought crosswinds and sudden blizzards on the 10-mile track, atop 27 inches of ice, to complete two runs in opposite directions. The speed was verified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Of course, Kankkunen is no stranger to racing in extreme conditions. Since he started rallying in 1978, he has over 23 World Rally victories under his belt, been crowned World Champion four times, and won the Dakar Rally outright in 1988. Finland breeds rally champions, so the saying goes, and off the coast of Finland Kankkunen seemed within his element.
Bentley is planning a limited edition 100-car run of the Supersports to reflect this achievement, in case well-heeled buyers want to tackle the record on their own.
Hit the jump to read the official press release.
As if the standard Bentley Continental GT Speed wasn’t enough, Bentley went ahead and put out the Continental Supersports, boasting 630-hp in a luxurious coupe. If you ever get the opportunity to place yourself in the driver seat of a Continental Supersports, take advantage of it. The car is truly a whole different experience than any other luxury sports coupe out there. But we digress, apparently there are people out there that find 630-hp lacking in the performance department and thankfully Anderson Germany is here to save their day.
After a quick ECU reflash, installation of a sport exhaust system and air filters, your Bentley Continental Supersports puts out 695-hp, a 65-hp gain. And if the stock Supersports styling is just too mundane for you, Anderson Germany also outfits the aesthetics with a limited edition body kit (300 will be produced). The kit includes a new front, rear, side skirts and rear spoiler. Of course the kit also fits your standard Bentley Continental models from GT to GT Convertible to GT Speed.
The wheels are a little plain for our taste, but they are 22-inch 3-piece wheels in a 22×10 setup, wrapped with 285/30/22 rubber. Lastly, no Anderson Germany vehicle is complete without interior upgrades, and this Supersports features carbon fiber accents and a mixture of Alcantara with black leather with color-matched stitching.
GALLERY: Bentley Continental Supersports
Looking more like something that might roll out of a SoCal tuning shop like Platinum Motorsport, German tuning house Edo Competition has just released details of its version of the Bentley Continental GT Speed.
The Edo Conti GT Speed makes a total of 680hp and 649 ft-lbs of torque, thanks to a modified ECU and a stainless steel exhaust system. The new exhaust system even features butterfly valves with an optional remote so driver’s can decide when they want to open up the valves and let the full sound of the W12 engine be heard.
Thanks to these performance mods, Edo Competition claims its new GT can hit 62 mph in just 4.2 seconds and blast on to a new top speed of 211 mph!
Other modifications include 20-inch wheels (which can be custom painted) and new control unit for Bentley’s air suspension, which allows the car to sit up to 35mm lower than stock.
Surprisingly, the aftermarket extremists seem to have been outdone by the OEMs this time, as Bentley’s Continental Supersports, while making less power, has a significantly faster 0-60 time of just 3.7 seconds.
For more on Edo Competition visit:
GALLERY: Edo Competition Continental GT Speed
Just ahead of it’s unveiling at the 2009 Geneva Auto Show, Bentley has release full details and specifications of its most powerful production car ever, the Continental Supersports.
As predicted, the car makes 630PS (that’s 621hp) and is capable of a top speed of 204 mph. Torque is rated at 590 ft-lbs at just 1700 rpm. It is also, as the rumors suggested, a two-seater, making use of two carbon fiber bucket seats in an extraordinarily lavish interior.
Through the absensce of rear seats and the use of lighter 20-inch wheels and lighter componenets for the suspension, Bentley engineers were able to chop 243 lbs off the weight of the Continental GT. The result of the added power and decreased weight, as well as a new “Quickshift” transmission that cuts shift times in half, is a 0-60 mph time of just 3.7 seconds! Even beter, the sprint to 100 mph takes just 8.9 seconds.
But the Continental Supersports is also more fitted to hit the corners now thanks to a modified suspension and steering system, a 40/60 rear biased all-wheel drive system, a modified stability control program and a track that is 2-inches wider.
As for the promise of a FlexFuel vehicle, Bentley has delivered. The more powerful W12 engine is capable of running on both gasoline, ethanol or a mx of both and according to Bentley this new vehicle reduces overall CO2 emissions by up to 70 percent. Don;t get too excited, however, as Bentley’s measurement is what the call “well-to-wheel” and includes not only the emission reduction of the car but the lower emissions involved in obtaining and refining the fuel.
The reality is that the Continetal Supersports gets a fuel-economy rating of 11.5/23.8 mpg (city/highway).
We are a little disappointed, but not surprised, that it looks almost identical to the Conti GT. The front intakes are larger, to help feed air into the two turbochargers and the hood does feature some air outlets. Bentley has also said that the Continental Supersports will be available in two matte colors: Light Grey Satin and Dark Grey Satin.
As for the interior, it’s incredible with quilted Alcantara everywhere and plenty of carbon fiber detailing.
Commenting on the new Supersports model, Dr. Franz-Josef Paefgen, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive said: “The Continental Supersports reflects the passion and enthusiasm of Bentley’s engineers and designers. This is the fastest, most extreme Bentley ever, dramatically styled to underline its supercar character. Importantly, it also pioneers the use of FlexFuel technology in the luxury sector.”
Bentley Continental Supersports:
Official release after the jump: