Bentley reveals one-off Continental GT W12 ice racer

Bentley has unveiled a one-off ice racing version of its Continental GT, which will compete at the 2020 GP Ice Race in Zell am See, Austria. 

Bearing a distinctive blue and black livery that pays homage to the record-breaking Continental from last year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Ice Race Continental GT has been specially adapted for the competition but is said to be “as close to production standard as possible”. 

The race car has been raised for enhanced ground clearance and sits atop a set of studded Pirelli Scorpion tyres for maximum grip on snow and ice. The wheelarches have been extended, as well, to make room for a 15mm increase in track width, while Slovenian firm Akrapovic has created a bespoke stainless steel exhaust system for the racer. 

Further modifications include the addition of a new roof rack, on which is mounted a set of Lazer spotlights and a pair of skis produced for Bentley by winter sports gear manufacturer Bomber. 

The competition car’s interior largely resembles that of the standard Continental, but that car’s leather front seats have been swapped for a pair of purpose-built race items and harnesses. A rear roll cage and on-board fire suppression system also feature. 

Elsewhere, however, the Ice Race Continental GT remains mostly standard. It uses the same twin-turbocharged W12 motor as the range-topping production model, which produces an unchanged 626bhp and 664lb ft for a 0-62mph time of 3.7 seconds and 207mph top speed. 

The ice racer will be piloted by Junior World Rally Championship driver Catie Munnings, who said: “I spent some time on the ice in the car just before Christmas. At first I thought it would feel heavy, but I was amazed by how dynamic, nimble and responsive it is.” 

The GP Ice Race, first contested in 1937, was revived in 2019. It pits vehicles from of various ages and categories against eachother on a 600m track carved in the snow. This year’s event begins on 1 February.