- Bentley’s ice driving programme returns for 2013
- Continental GT V8 and W12 meet the frozen lakes of Finland
- Four-time rally champion Juha Kankkunen leads team
(Crewe, 31st October 2012). With an all-wheel-drive system that offers reassuring driveability in all conditions, the Bentley Continental GT is the perfect Grand Tourer to take on the challenge posed by driving in snow and icy conditions, particularly as the northern hemisphere winter sets in. To push the car’s cold climate capabilities further, February 2013 sees the return of the Bentley Power on Ice programme, offering existing owners, enthusiasts and aspiring drivers the chance to explore the extreme limits of the Continental GT on the frozen lakes of northern Finland.
While the Continental GT is a relaxing and exceptionally capable Grand Tourer regardless of the driving surface, the participants will be led by a team of expert instructors who will help the guests explore a range of driving techniques. Leading the line-up is Finnish rally star, four-time World Rally champion and modern-day Bentley Boy Juha Kankkunen. Kankkunen is already an expert at driving Bentleys on ice; in February 2011 he broke his own Ice Speed Record, piloting a Bentley Continental Supersports Convertible to 205 mph (330 km/h) on the frozen Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland. A national hero in his native Finland, Kankkunen comments:
“The opportunity to once again drive the Continental GT around our famous ice tracks is one I can’t resist. The huge power combined with all-wheel-drive and the new eight-speed gearbox makes the GT the perfect car for such exciting and engaging driving. Our customers are always amazed that their cars are so rewarding to drive at the limit of grip, and it’s my pleasure to teach them how to do it!”
After flying to the town of Kuusamo on a private charter, guests are driven to the exclusive ski resort of Ruka, just 60 km from the edge of the Arctic Circle, arriving at the luxury Chalet Ruka Peak boutique hotel. The two-day programme focuses on driving both the V8 and W12 versions of the legendary all-wheel-drive Continental GT on the smooth ice of the local lakes, on tracks specially prepared by Bentley’s winter driving team.
As well as the exhilarating driving opportunities, guests have the chance to enjoy a range of Nordic activities. Snowmobiling, a night-time husky sled safari, traditional Finnish smoke saunas and dinner at an historic reindeer farm complete the programme and provide perfect opportunities for relaxation following the thrilling driving sessions on the ice.
Bentley's Power on Ice programme runs from 7th-28th February 2013, with places starting at Euros 9,990 per driver. More details are available through the worldwide Bentley dealer network or at http://www.bentleydriving.com/index.php/poweronice.
For further information about this press release please contact:
Mike Sayer – Product PR Manager
Tel +44 1270 535133
Mobile +44 7507 846782
Notes to editors
1. Bentley Motors is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally. The company employs around 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £500m worth of goods every year to established markets like the US, as well as emerging markets such as China and South America.
2. In the first nine months of 2012 Bentley’s global sales were up by 25% with 5,969 cars delivered to customers and growth in every region. The Americas remain Bentley’s largest global region with 1750 deliveries (up by 29%) whilst in China deliveries were up by 25.7% to 1525 cars. In Europe deliveries were up by 20% (950 cars delivered) and by 9.6% in the UK (854 cars delivered). The Middle East significantly increased its deliveries by 42.7% (531 cars) and deliveries were also up 34.7% in Asia Pacific (229 cars delivered). Deliveries in Japan rose by 68.8% to 130 cars.
In 1919, an engineering genius obsessed by speed W.O. focused on his dream, creating a car bearing his name. That October the first Bentley engine came to life.
During the 1920’s Bentley went from strength to strength. Racing triumphs proved reliability, speed and incredible performance. Sales soared. These were the years of the Bentley Boys. Extraordinary adventures followed by extravagant victorious celebrations.
Five glorious Le Mans victories and a successful return in 2003 secured the sixth historical win.
2009 marks 90 years of W.O. Bentley’s legacy. True to the unique heritage, contemporary Bentleys are capable of extraordinary speeds, exquisitely handcrafted and beautifully engineered.
It is this distinguished heritage that is the essence of Bentley. Passion and dedication. Then and now. It is not without looking back into its remarkable history that Bentley can move forward. Embracing modern technology, while ensuring W.O. Bentley’s ambitions are not lost. Traditional craftsmanship, ultimate luxury and ambitious environmental policies.
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