With winter just around the corner, Bentley Continental and Mulsanne owners will be able to drive with confidence, whatever the weather. With the latest range of Bentley approved winter tyres, socks and snow chains, they will be equipped to handle the very worst winter conditions, whether driving throughheavy snow, on compacted ice or in freezing rain.
Bentley’s low-temperature, high-speed capability is dramatically underlined by four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen. Driving a virtually standard Continental Supersports convertible on the hazardous frozen waters of the Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland, the Flying Finn recorded a breathtaking 205.4 mph (330.695 km/h) to set a new world speed record on ice. This remarkable record was made possible thanks to Bentley’s renowned all-wheel drive system, fitted to all Bentley Continental models, together with standard, unstudded Pirelli Sottozero winter tyres.
In celebration of Kankkunen’s achievement, the Continental Supersports ISR (Ice Speed Record) is the most potent, radically styled Bentley convertible production model ever. Limited to just 100 cars worldwide, the 6-litre twin-turbocharged W12 engine produces 640PS (631bhp/471kW) and 800Nm (590lb ft) of torque. Paired with a Quickshift six-speed automatic transition, it launches the convertible ‘ISR’ model from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.0s) and reaches 100 mph from a standing start in only 9.5 seconds (0-160 km/h in 9.4s).
Advanced-technology, high-speed winter tyres and all-wheel drive for unrivalled adhesion
For the coming season, authorised Bentley dealers can supply a comprehensive range of winter tyres in 19-, 20- and 21- inch sizes to suit the new Continental GT and GTC, Continental Supersports and Flying Spur and Mulsanne models, as well as older GT and GTC models. The benefits of winter tyres are not restricted to extreme winter conditions. At temperatures as high as 7 degrees Celsius, the compound of winter tyres with its greater percentage of natural rubber and silica, remains more flexible than that of ‘summer’ tyres, ensuring greater contact with the road and therefore improved grip.
The benefits are most noticeable however in snow and icy conditions where the unique tread design of winter tyres, with a greater number of grooves and slits (called sipes), provides substantially improved adhesion, resulting in shorter braking distances, improved road holding and cornering. All winter tyres are uniquely engineered by Bentley in conjunction with designers of selected tyre companies. The tyres are subjected to a rigorous and comprehensive quality and engineering test and development programme in extreme climatic conditions, including extensive high speed track driving.
This ensures that the Bentley winter tyre range meetsexacting standards of grip, high speed braking stability, comfort, dry and wet handling, refinement and durability for complete customer peace-of-mind. It also means that the approved tyres are fully compatible with Bentley chassis control systems, eliminating any risk of damage to surrounding components or wheel clearance problems. The advanced-technology construction of Bentley’s W-rated winter tyres, capable of a sustained speed of 168mph (270 km/h) on unrestricted German Autobahns, allows Bentley’s renowned performance potential to be exploited, whenever road conditions allow.
The all-wheel drive Continental GT, GTC, Supersports and Flying Spur models already enjoy a deserved reputation as supercars with real-world usability, delivering safe yet dynamic sports car handling. Employing an advanced Torsen differential, the system instantaneously adjusts the power split between the front and rear wheels depending on the available grip to provide outstanding levels of road holding in all conditions. The addition of Bentley winter tyres complements perfectly the all-wheel drive system, endowing the Continental models with an unrivalled level of adhesion whatever the weather.
Innovative, weather-beating accessories
Winter tyres are part of a range of Bentley winter accessories. The ingenious Autosock is an ideal temporary measure to gain extra grip in unexpected wintry weather conditions. This short term alternative to the traditional snow chain is made from a special fabric that fits snugly over the driven wheels (Mulsanne rear; Continental front). The fibres in the material stick to dry snow and ice as it moves over the ground, maximizing grip. Unlike snow chains, the Autosock is silent and smooth in operation while offering improved traction for short term use.
Bentley’s range of approved snow chains are designed to provide extra traction in deep snow. As an alternative to traditional snow chains, the Spikes-Spider features a central hub that holds the chain more loosely, allowing it to flex in response to the road surface.
Commenting on the new range of Bentley winter accessories, Steve O’Hara, After Sales Director, said:
“In common with all Bentley accessories, the Bentley winter range has been tested exhaustively by Bentley engineers and is backed by a full Bentley warranty. Customers can therefore drive with complete confidence, whatever the road conditions or the weather.”
The complete range of Bentley winter accessories is available to order at authorized dealers now.