Automotive News

Arctic Bomber 2020 Bentley Continental GT Ready For Ice Racing

Gawdy yet glorious at the same time, this is the 2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer. It’s a celebration of Zell am See ice racing held just outside of Salzburg in Austria. There is ice racing with cars happening all over the world but Zell am See is one of the oldest and most prestigious events. The Continental will be driven by rally champ Catie Munnings.

To handle the winter surfaces this Continental started as an all-wheel-drive Bentley. It is lifted as well as having its track widened by 15mm. With the studded Pirelli Scorpion tires sticking out past the body bulging arches were created. The overall effect is a squat, aggressive stance. But the purpose is to increase both handling and grip on the slippery ice.

Power for the Arctic Bomber Bentley Continental GT is the stock W-12

2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer | Bentley-0
2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer | Bentley

Power comes from a stock 6.0-liter W-12 engine rated at 626 hp. This Continental also is equipped with the 48-volt active anti-roll system and air suspension. Akrapovic built the custom exhaust system, and a roll cage is also part of the build. 

Lazer high-performance lighting is hidden behind the grille while a custom roof rack was built to carry the pair of Bomber skis. Bomber and Bentley are partnered on this build. To further that partnership along the Continental runs special light blue on the black livery. It’s similar to the Pikes Peak Bentley that set a record back in June 2019.

The Bentley Continental GT set a record in Salzburg from 2015

2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer | Bentley-0
2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer | Bentley

Driven by three-time PPIHC champion, Rhys Millen, the Bentley completed the 12.42-mile course in 10:18.488. The new record beat the previous record by 8.4 seconds set in 2015 with a 2014 Porsche 911 Turbo S. Millen averaged a white knuckle blast going 70 mph throughout the winding course.

That livery was done in green with an abstract Pikes Peak graphic in black and gray. Note that the wheels of the ice racer tie in with the graphics. So, the front wheels are blue and rear wheels are black. 

Stock these Continental GTs weight just shy of 5,000 lbs

2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer | Bentley-0
2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer | Bentley

Bentley is really not known for its handling prowess. Weight-wise these Continentals weigh just shy of 5,000 lbs. That’s some heft to be flinging around tight corners with a 400 ft drop just to your right or left. But Bentley does have a history with ice racing, and it’s impressive.

In 2007 a Continental GT driven by former rally champion Juha Kankkunen beat the World Speed Record on Ice on the frozen Baltic Sea in Finland. Averaging 199.83 mph and reaching a top speed of 205.67 mph, the Continental coupe eclipsed the previous record set by a Bugatti EB110.

In 2011, Bentley broke the land-ice racing record from 2007 twice, with two slightly modified Continental Supersports.

The records held by the latest Bentley Continental GTs are numerous and impressive

2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer | Bentley-0
2020 Bentley Continental GT Ice Racer | Bentley

These Contis are Grand Tourers in every way, setting records in other events including Gran Turismo racing in Europe. We love the idea of these massive tanks being yanked around turns and stabbed on straights. It’s like the beginnings of the Carrera Panamericana in the 1950s and even NASCAR in the early days. 

After Bentley set the Pikes Peak record it made a limited run of production Continentals with similar graphics. We don’t know whether Bentley has plans to do the same with the ice racing version, but we’re expecting that it will.