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Bentley Continental Supersports hits 205 mph on ice

Tue, 15 Feb 2011

WITH VIDEO -- So why wouldn't you do this? Take a six-figure British luxury car and a four-time World Rally champ, then race the car on ice to a top speed of 205.48 mph. That's a world record. On ice.

It's February. The winter doldrums are clearly taking hold across much of the globe, but this feat is impressive nonetheless.

Ace rally driver Juha Kankkunen hit the top speed in an E85-powered, 6.0-liter, 12-cylinder Bentley Continental Supersports convertible on the frozen Baltic Sea, bettering his own 2007 record of 199.83 mph.

The temperatures fell to 22 degrees below zero Fahrenheit, and Kankkunen's record run was certified by Finnish police.

Bentley says the new record was calculated on an average of two runs--in opposite directions--and ratified by officials from Guinness World Records.

Adding to the intrigue, blizzards were thought to roll in at any point, and the runs were conducted amid imposing crosswinds, the company says. The car had Pirelli winter tires and a roll cage, among other enhancements. The top was left up to accommodate the roll cage and the frigid conditions.

The test car will be homologated in a limited run of 100 and will be shown in Geneva.

By Greg Migliore