The Bentley Continental GT is known for many things. But most all, Bentleys are known for its bespoke craftsmanship. However, the Continental GT you’re seeing here is built for ice racing and is perhaps the craziest bespoke Bentley ever. Mind you, Bentleys are basically racers at heart, and this Conti GT ice racer has all the makings of a winner.
It’s built to compete in Austria
We’re talking about the world-famous GP Ice Race in Zell am See, which is a major tourist and skiing destination in Salzburg, Austria. However, this isn’t Bentley’s first dance in competitive endurance events, particularly the cold and icy kind – the British carmaker has a recent history of breaking Ice Speed Records in 2007 and 2011, after all.
It’s a mean, blue ice machine
Racing cars are not just fast; it needs to look the part, as well. According to Bentley, the Continental GT ice racer is festooned with similar livery derived from the awesome Continental GT Pikes Peak Edition of 2019. But instead of having a groovy acid green paint job, the ice racer is sporting a cool ice blue motif.
Despite the racy looks, the car was kept as close to bone stock as possible. Apart from a rear roll cage, racing seats, race harnesses (in place of conventional seat belts), and an onboard fire suppression system, Bentley’s newest ice racer has a familiar interior layout.
It’s a different story on the outside. This Conti GT is riding on lifted suspension, larger arch extensions to accommodate a wider 15mm track width, studded Pirelli Scorpion tires, and a bespoke Akrapovic exhaust system. The car also gets a set of Lazer high-performance lights to complete the rally-inspired vibe.
And no, you don’t get the Conti GT’s exquisite tweed roof.
But it’s also good for skijoring
What’s that, you say? Skijoring is a type of competition where a skier is towed by a car on a purpose-built snowy/icy track. It’s like towing a water skier with a jet ski, although the entire process involves a real icy mountainous track and a vehicle with four wheels.
Apparently, the GP Ice Race features numerous events involving various vehicles over a 600m frozen racetrack – including skijoring. Thus the reason why this Bentley ice racer also comes with a bespoke ski rack and a pair of luscious Bomber for Bentley Centenary Edition skis.
This ice racer is fast, and we mean fast
We’re not sure how it feels being towed by a Bentley Continental GT over an icy track, but driving the vehicle is sure to be a blast. Bentley’s Conti ice racer is equipped with a 6.0-liter W12 twin-turbocharged motor producing 626-horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Also standard are triple-chamber air springs, a 48 volt active roll control system, and all-wheel-drive.
The car accelerates to 60 mph in 3.6-seconds and has a top speed of 207 mph. “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,” said Paul Williams, Bentley’s Director of Motorsport.
The Conti GT ice racer will be driven by Catie Munnings, Junior World Rally Championship driver and winner of the FIA European Rally Championship Ladies Trophy. Munnings is the first female driver of Bentley Motorsport in the modern era. “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,” said Munnings. “It can dance like a lightweight rally car, and I can’t wait to race it at such an iconic event.”
You can watch Bentley’s Continental GT ice racer in action at the 2020 GP Ice Race on February 1 and 2.