Bentley’s Power on Ice

The sight of a Bentley wafting down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills or Ocean Drive in Miami Beach is hardly an uncommon one, but the venerable British marque is keen to remind buyers that its grand automobiles are hardly just fair-weather friends. To illustrate the point, Bentley Motors is again offering its annual Power on Ice program, perhaps the world’s most uncommon (and frigid) driving school. Set in the tiny town of  Ruka, Finland, about 500 miles north of Helsinki (and only 35 miles south of the Arctic Circle), the three-day academy has participants wielding the 552-horsepower Continental GT coupe and Flying Spur sedan—as well as the new, 602-horsepower Speed variants of each model—across a vast frozen lake, learning car control in the worst possible conditions by practicing acceleration and braking, high-speed cornering, and emergency-avoidance maneuvers, all under the watchful eye of four-time World Rally Champion and Finnish national hero Juha Kankkunen. Far more than mere slipping and sliding, however, the program also includes guided snowmobile tours and dog-sled outings, and meals prepared by Finnish chef Jarmi Pitkänen. Bentley’s three-day Power on Ice sessions kick off on February 16, 2009, and continue through March 10. All-inclusive packages, which cover airfare from Helsinki to the town of Kuusamo, which is 15 miles from Ruka, range from about $9,800 to $32,200. (www.bentleydriving.com/poweronice/)

Matthew Phenix

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