Bentley on ice

Ice…ice…baby! 🙂

For this article, the team went to Finland, home of 180,000 lakes and a sub arctic climate. The exactly place chosen for this adventure was Kussamo, at 30 miles from the Russian border and 50 miles from the Arctic Circle, a sub zero temperature zone! When I look at the picture, I can only say: “its coooolllddd!”

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Bentley invited, for this, a group of select customers to sample its finest products in the most “icy” conditions imaginable. Think that these lakes are used by the Juha Kankkunen Driving Academy, a facility created by the 4 times World Rally Champion. You can imagine that here you learn the best how to use the pedal steps.

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Kankkunen, at 47 years old it’s still number 5 on the list of most WRC event wins and holds the record for the most number of WRC championships with Finn Tommi Makinen on 4 titles. It is the right person to drive a £120,000 Bentley Continental GT on ice.

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Every morning they’ve checked the thickness, because the minimum thickness to support 10 Bentleys and a tractor is of 40 cm. They have 60 cm for their tests. The temperature was at -19 degrees, enough to ensure a healthy freeze, but the previous week has been a numbing -38, enough to crack the plastic bumpers of the GT! You can see that in one of the picture.
For a person like Juha, driving this incredible 553 hp car on ice is the equivalent of going to the shops.

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You need precise movements on the wheel and pedals to guide the GT with great speed and grace. For this beauty, the 4 wheel drive system makes life much easier and driving much relaxing. As the power slide grows, power is switched to the front wheels, keeping it balanced. Juha demonstrated the right way to drive a car under these circumstances.

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For the 2 km long rally track to drive with a variety of bends, is still the Arnage a better car? Although it is 50 hp down on the GTs it does without the luxury of 4 wheel drive, so the full 500 hp must go through the rear wheels alone.

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They have made a lot of tests on the ice, and in Juha’s final demo run were exceptional. With him at the wheel, the GT was constantly sliding in one direction or another, even on the straights. He also used a Scandinavian flick, allowing him to pitch the big coupe into the tightest bends, with its big power and 4 wheel drives to drag it out again.

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You can see in the pictures that they have made great snow drifts, also. In Scandinavia, the flicks were made to look very simple. I can only enjoy looking at these amazing pictures and hope that soon I can test one of these beautiful cars, by my on!

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Tags: cars, Bentley, Bentley Continental GT, Bentley Arnage, car race, rally, GT, flicks, drifts

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