Odds are you, unlike Finland’s four-time world rally champion Juha Kankkunen, will never have the need to charge across a frozen body of water at 205 miles per hour, but owning one of the limited edition Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible ISR models because you can makes sense to us.
With production limited to a mere 100 cars worldwide, what Bentley calls the “most potent and radically styled Bentley convertible ever” is the perfect icebreaker for cocktail party conversations.
Kankkunen’s all-wheel drive, biofuel-powered 6.0-liter 12-cylinder Continental Supersports convertible streaked across the frozen Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland last February at 205.48 miles per hour to eclipse his own record of 199.83 miles per hour set in a 2007 Continental GT.
Apart from special tires, aerodynamic aids and a rollcage for safety, the commemorative ISR edition is very similar to Kankkunen’s record-breaking ride. With 631 horses packed into its twin-turbo engine, making it the most powerful Bentley ever, and flowing to all four wheels through its Quickshift six-speed automatic transmission, the Supersports ISR catapults to 60 miles per hour from a stop in 3.8 seconds and reaches 100 miles per hour in 9.5 seconds.
Bentley explains the power boost as a combination of freer-breathing intake ducts, intercooler system, and exhaust. And all this added oomph can be enjoyed guilt-free as the engine can run on gasoline or E85 bio-ethanol or any combination thereof. This FlexFuel technology checks in with a well-to-wheels reduction of up to 70 percent in CO2 emissions.
The ISR stops as impressively as it goes thanks to large diameter carbon ceramic brake discs with eight-piston calipers in front.
The Ice Speed Record Supersports may be a hot performer, but when it comes to distinctive styling it is, as you would expect, definitely cool. The three-ply convertible top has a grey acrylic fiber exterior layer that gives it a semi-metallic appearance. There are three exterior color choices including Beluga and Quartzite, but Arctica White stands out as our favorite.
The Continental Supersports Convertible ISR features boldly distinctive touches deserved of a special performance model. These include vibrant red painted spokes with a contrasting diamond-turned metallic finish for its 20-inch wheels, red accent trim on the hood vents, and red racing stripes on the lower sills.
Interior touches include high-gloss carbon fiber with a red weave to cover the dashboard, center console, and headliner. The seats and door panels have red piping with red stitching featured throughout the rest of the interior.
Only 100 Supersports ISR models will roll off the production floor at Crewe, but it’s only part of the excitement Bentley has on tap for 2012. The latest rendition of the Continental GT coupe carries on the neo-iconic styling of the previous generation that debuted in 2003 with a bolder and crisper look that further defines the character lines influenced by the original 1950s era R-Type Continental. With cars like the 2012 Supersports ISR and 2012 Continental GT (mistakenly referred to as a 2011 by most media outlets, including us), and with all due respect to Woolf Barnato and his pals, now might be the best time of all to be a Bentley Boy—on land or frozen sea.
Provided by duPont REGISTRY