Rally legend Kankkunen drives his own Continental GT to 199mph on sheet ice
16 March 2007

Bentley had added a rare accolade to its list of achievements; one of its cars – a privately-owned Continental GT – has been driven to within spitting distance of 200mph on sheet ice, and has therefore smashed the world ice speed record.The record was set on the 70cm thick ice of the frozen sea off Finland at the end of last month. Former WRC ace Juha Kankkunen drove his own Continental GT to a peak speed of 205mph one way over a measured kilometre, and averaged 199.86mph over both runs. That was considerably faster than the previous ice speed record, 184.14mph, set by a Bugatti EB110 Supersport at the same location.The Bentley had to go through a few modifications to ensure the safety of all involved. It was fitted with a roll cage, snow tyres, and had a few aerodynamic tweaks; the engine and gearbox ran in an entirely unmodified state, although it was burning non-standard fuel that was more suited to high performance in the -30 celsius temperatures.And how did the car feel on sheet ice at those high speeds? "Stable and secure," said Kankkunen "despite the track's rough surface being scattered with powdery snow."The Finnish former world rally champion managed to stop the two-tonne Bentley from its top speed inside of 600 metres; he also reported experiencing wheelspin from the 552bhp, four-wheel drive coupe above 120mph.

Our Verdict

Bentley Continental GT

Full of character and still able to impress, particularly as a V8

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