The Bentley Continental GT is many things; a luxury coupe, a high-performance two-door available with either a V8 or V12 engine, and a world record holder. For those not in the know, the Crewe-based luxury marque achieved this feat after racing a Continental GT up the 20 km Pikes Peak hill climb.
With Pikes Peak veteran Rhys Millen behind the wheel, the Continental GT is now the fastest production car to climb Pikes Peak at 10 minutes and 18.488 seconds. Clearly, Bentley proved that not only can they make opulent automobiles, but they can also build fast cars too.
Now, Bentley is out to prove that aside from having the fastest production car to climb Pikes Peak, the Continental GT can also race on slippery ice. Set to compete at this year’s GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria is a specially-prepared Continental GT. This will be the first time that Bentley will compete in the competition, and they are confident that their all-wheel drive GT will outperform the competition.
Just like the Continental GT Bentley used in Pikes Peak, the car has been kept as close to production as possible as it only comes with minimal changes. The race car now comes with a roll cage, racing seats and harnesses, a slightly increased ride height for better ground clearance, studded Pirelli Scorpion tires, wider wheel arches, custom racing livery, an LED lightbar for better visibility, as well as an Akrapovic exhaust system.
Under the hood, the slightly modified Continental GT comes with a 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12. Similar to the Pikes Peak race car, the GT produces 635 PS along with 900 Nm of torque. Mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, the two-door can sprint from 0 - 100 km/h in as little as 3.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 333 km/h. Besides having a twelve-cylinder engine, the Continental GT also has 48V active anti-roll system which helps the driver manage turn after turn.
Catie Munnings, the designated driver for the upcoming ice race, was blown away by how the Continental GT performs on the slippery surface, stating that it’s surprisingly agile.
“The opportunity to race with Bentley at Zell am See is one that I couldn’t miss. I’m completely blown away by the car, and I actually still can’t believe I’m getting let loose in a Bentley to do an ice race. I spent some time on ice in the car just before Christmas. At first I thought it would feel heavy, but I was amazed by how dynamic, nimble and responsive it is. It can dance like a lightweight rally car, and I can’t wait to race it at such an iconic event,” said Munnings.
Meanwhile, Paul Williams, Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, commented that the car’s stability is unbelievable and that he cannot wait to see it perform on ice. “I first drove the prototype Continental GTs on snow during winter testing before the launch of the car. The stability and control this car has on these surfaces is unbelievable and I look forward to seeing it race in those conditions,” added Williams.