Bentley offers winter tyres just like the ones found on Continental Supersports ISR

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 25, 2011

Winter may be coming, but with the Bentley Continental and Mulsanne, owners can confidently drive through this weather, or any weather for that matter. With its range of winter socks, snow chains, and tires, the Bentley is definitely more than equipped to handle the very worst in winter conditions, be it heavy snow, freezing rain, or even driving on compacted ice.

The low-temperature and high-speed ability of the Supersports was highlighted by Juha Kankkunen, a four-time world rally champion. Known as one of the Flying Finn, Kankkunen managed to drive the Supersports on the frozen Baltic Sea and established a new world speed record for driving on ice at 205 mph.

The new record was made possible with Kankkunen driving skills and the all-wheel drive system of the Supersports with the usually unstudded Pirelli Sottozero winter tires. The all-wheel drive system is in fact not just in the Supersports but in all of the different models of Bentley’s Continental.

To celebrate this achievement, Bentley released its new model, the Continental Supersports ISR where ISR stands for Ice Speed Record. The Supersports ISR has a twin-turbocharged 6-liter W12 engine having 471 kW of power and maximum torque of 590 lb-ft. With a Quickshift 6-speed automatic transition, the Supersports ISR can go from 0 to 60 in 3.8 seconds and can reach 100 mph from 0 in 9.5 seconds.

Bentley says that it only produced 100 units for the Supersports ISR. For the winter season however, Bentley has added some features to the other models. In particular it has released a range of winter tires in three different sizes, 19-inch, 20-inch, and 21-inch, which can suit any of its models like the GT, GTC, Supersports, Flying Spur, Mulsanne models, and even the older models for the GTC and GT.

The high performance of these tires is not limited to winter however as it is still more flexible compare to other “summer” tires being able to perform even at 7 degrees Celsius. Since it has a high percentage of silica and natural rubber, it allows for both greater contact with the road and better grip. However, due to the distinct tread design and the larger number of grooves and slits, it is still best for winter driving since it can improve cornering, road holding, and adhesion, leading to shorter braking distances.

All of the winter tires were made by Bentley in cooperation with designers coming from selected tire companies. The tires have also been subjected to various engineering and quality tests and a good development program that look into its performance not just in extreme weather conditions but even high speed driving on track. Thus customer can drive with peace of mind knowing that the tires indeed meet stringent standards as it relates to braking stability, comfort, dry and wet handling, grip, high speed, refinement, and durability.

The tires are also compatible with the control systems found in Bentley’s chassis removing any risk of damage to the different surrounding components and eliminating any wheel clearance problems. This W-rated winter tires from Bentley have been found to sustain speeds of up to 168 mph especially on unrestricted German Autobahns. Owners then are assured that regardless of the road conditions, the tires full potential can always be utilized.

The all-wheel drive of the different models like the Continental GT, GTC, the Flying Spur, and Continental have already earned a reputation as supercars that have not only have real-world usability but also manage to have a safe and dynamic handling found in a sports car.

With its advanced Torsen differential, it is able to adjust automatically the power split that is found in the front and back wheels dependent on the availability of the grip to give excellent levels when it comes to road holding on different conditions. Indeed, the addition of the winter tires more than complements what is already considered by many as a perfect all-wheel drive system giving Bentley’s Continental models unequalled adhesion level regardless of the weather.

Press Release

BENTLEY-APPROVED WINTER ACCESSORIES RANGE

With winter just around the corner, Bentley Continental and Mulsanne owners will be able to drive with confidence, whatever the weather. With the latest range of Bentley approved winter tyres, socks and snow chains, they will be equipped to handle the very worst winter conditions, whether driving throughheavy snow, on compacted ice or in freezing rain.

Bentley’s low-temperature, high-speed capability is dramatically underlined by four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen. Driving a virtually standard Continental Supersports convertible on the hazardous frozen waters of the Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland, the Flying Finn recorded a breathtaking 205.4 mph (330.695 km/h) to set a new world speed record on ice. This remarkable record was made possible thanks to Bentley’s renowned all-wheel drive system, fitted to all Bentley Continental models, together with standard, unstudded Pirelli Sottozero winter tyres.

In celebration of Kankkunen’s achievement, the Continental Supersports ISR (Ice Speed Record) is the most potent, radically styled Bentley convertible production model ever. Limited to just 100 cars worldwide, the 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine produces 640PS (631bhp/471kW) and 800Nm (590lb ft) of torque. Paired with a Quickshift six-speed automatic transition, it launches the convertible ‘ISR’ model from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.0s) and reaches 100 mph from a standing start in only 9.5 seconds (0-160 km/h in 9.4s).

Advanced-technology, high-speed winter tyres and all-wheel drive for unrivalled adhesion

For the coming season, authorised Bentley dealers can supply a comprehensive range of winter tyres in 19-, 20- and 21- inch sizes to suit the new Continental GT and GTC, Continental Supersports and Flying Spur and Mulsanne models, as well as older GT and GTC models.

The benefits of winter tyres are not restricted to extreme winter conditions. At temperatures as high as 7 degrees Celsius, the compound of winter tyres with its greater percentage of natural rubber and silica, remains more flexible than that of ‘summer’ tyres, ensuring greater contact with the road and therefore improved grip.

The benefits are most noticeable however in snow and icy conditions where the unique tread design of winter tyres, with a greater number of grooves and slits (called sipes), provides substantially improved adhesion, resulting in shorter braking distances, improved road holding and cornering.

All winter tyres are uniquely engineered by Bentley in conjunction with designers of selected tyre companies. The tyres are subjected to a rigorous and comprehensive quality and engineering test and development programme in extreme climatic conditions, including extensive high speed track driving.

This ensures that the Bentley winter tyre range meetsexacting standards of grip, high speed braking stability, comfort, dry and wet handling, refinement and durability for complete customer peace-of-mind. It also means that the approved tyres are fully compatible with Bentley chassis control systems, eliminating any risk of damage to surrounding components or wheel clearance problems.

The advanced-technology construction of Bentley’s W-rated winter tyres, capable of a sustained speed of 168mph (270 km/h) on unrestricted German Autobahns, allows Bentley’s renowned performance potential to be exploited, whenever road conditions allow.

The all-wheel drive Continental GT, GTC, Supersports and Flying Spur models already enjoy a deserved reputation as supercars with real-world usability, delivering safe yet dynamic sports car handling. Employing an advanced Torsen differential, the system instantaneously adjusts the power split between the front and rear wheels depending on the available grip to provide outstanding levels of road holding in all conditions.

The addition of Bentley winter tyres complements perfectly the all-wheel drive system, endowing the Continental models with an unrivalled level of adhesion whatever the weather.

Innovative, weather-beating accessories

Winter tyres are part of a range of Bentley winter accessories. The ingenious Autosock is an ideal temporary measure to gain extra grip in unexpected wintry weather conditions. This short term alternative to the traditional snow chain is made from a special fabric that fits snugly over the driven wheels (Mulsanne rear; Continental front). The fibres in the material stick to dry snow and ice as it moves over the ground, maximizing grip. Unlike snow chains, the Autosock is silent and smooth in operation while offering improved traction for short term use.

Bentley’s range of approved snow chains are designed to provide extra traction in deep snow. As an alternative to traditional snow chains, the Spikes-Spider features a central hub that holds the chain more loosely, allowing it to flex in response to the road surface.

Commenting on the new range of Bentley winter accessories, Steve O’Hara, After Sales Director, said:

“In common with all Bentley accessories, the Bentley winter range has been tested exhaustively by Bentley engineers and is backed by a full Bentley warranty. Customers can therefore drive with complete confidence, whatever the road conditions or the weather.”

The complete range of Bentley winter accessories is available to order at authorized dealers now.

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