Bentley doesn’t go about record-setting like many of its rivals. While the likes of Porsche will set their sights on lapping the Nordschleife faster than any production car ever has, Bentley takes a more left-field approach. A bit like 2018, where it set a record time up the Pikes Peak hill climb – in a Bentayga SUV.
Seven years earlier, it set itself an even more bizarre challenge: break a production car speed record – on ice. Why? God only knows. Bentley had claimed the record at 199.83mph with a modified Continental GT back in 2007, and it was keen to break the 200mph barrier with its next run in 2011. With four-time World Rally Champion Juha Kankkunen at the wheel of a Continental GTC Supersports, the bar was raised to 205.48mph. With the record now firmly in its pocket, the only thing left to do was release a limited-edition car to celebrate.
This is what the brand came up with: the Continental GTC Supersports ISR (for Ice Speed Record). Red door graphics, red wheels and a white body just about work on a GT3 RS, but it’s a peculiar sight on a car not known for its prowess on track. On the inside, the theme continued with red carbon fibre trim around the dashboard and centre console, along with red stitching on the black leather seats. It’s a design that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but it certainly set the ISR apart from, well, pretty much anything to come out of Crewe up until then.
Bentley didn’t stop there with the modifications, either. The ISR retained the same twin-turbo, 6.0-litre W12 as the regular Continental GT Supersports, only power increased to 640hp – 10hp more than the base car. And before you scoff at the modest upgrade, at the time, it was the most powerful production car the company had ever made, while its 3.8-second 0-62mph time cemented it as the firm’s fastest convertible. And, of course, we know it’ll leave everything in its dust when things get a bit icy.
But despite the GT3 RS-graphics down the side, the GTC Supersports ISR is still a suet pudding at heart. It weighs in at over 2.3 tonnes, and that includes a significant weight saving over a standard Continental GTC. That said, critics at the time agreed the Supersports was a vastly more driver-focused car than the base Conti. It featured a new Quickshift automatic gearbox, slashing shift times by 50 per cent, while Bentley’s new Continuous Damping Control prevented the car from rolling about like a galleon in a storm.
With only 100 examples produced (a third of the GT3-R’s production run) the ISR is one of the rarest Bentley production cars of the 21st Century. But while it carries a premium over a standard Continental GT – as they’re going for peanuts these days – you can still pick one up for under six figures. This example is about as close to collector grade as you can get, with only 7,200 miles on the clock and comes in the sought-after GT3 RS-style red-on-white colour scheme. All for £89,990. Not bad for record-inspired rarity, even if that record isn’t quite as glamorous as setting a searing time up Pikes Peak. For that, you’ll want one of these.
SPECIFICATION | BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GTC SUPERSPORTS ISR
Engine: 5,998cc W12, twin-turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power (hp): 640@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 590@2,000rpm
Year registered: 2012
Recorded mileage: 7,200
Price new: £189,550
Yours for: £89,990