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.