The most hardcore Continental yet.
In recent memory, Bentley has been known for its luxury, comfort, and exclusiveness. However, Bentley is looking to bring back its motorsports heritage with the Continental GT3 entered in the Blancpain Endurance Series that just won the second round of the Silverstone series – the first UK race for the automaker in 84 years. That motorsports experience is now starting to take shape on the roadways in the form of the new Bentley Continental GT3-R.
The new Bentley Continental GT3-R is the quickest-accelerating, most dynamic, and responsive Bentley model ever produced. The British automaker has taken the Continental model to the extreme in the name of performance and exclusivity.
“The experience of driving a Continental GT3-R is awe-inspiring, and takes the dynamic abilities of our Grand Tourer to new heights,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors. “We were inspired to create something extremely special for the road by the performance of our Continental GT3. It is a celebration of the Bentley passion for building outstanding drivers’ cars. To be a true Bentley, the GT3-R had to be the most luxurious track-inspired Grand Tourer ever, and this car pushes our trademark combination of luxury and performance to a new level.”
The 4.0-liter, twin-turbocharged V-8 engine has been tuned and modified in the name of performance for the Bentley Continental GT3-R. A pair of higher-output turbochargers create more boost pressure and a new ECU software tune helps to optimize all the inner workings of the V-8 to help create 580 PS (572 bhp) at 6,000 RPM and 516 lb-ft. of torque at 1,700 RPM. Reducing backpressure is a lightweight titanium exhaust system that reduces weight by 15.4 lbs. while spitting out a deep V-8 sound. Paired up with the 220-lb. overall weight reduction, the Bentley Continental GT3-R becomes the fastest-accelerating Bentley model ever, with a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 3.6 seconds (0-100 km/h 3.8 seconds).
All that power is transmitted through the ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox that’s been given shorter output gearing to aid in achieving faster acceleration and is controlled via recalibrated paddle shifters. The all-wheel drive system also gains torque vectoring that alters the amount of torque each of the rear wheels receive to improve cornering and handling dynamics. The electronic Drive and Sport modes are further differentiated to provide a more dynamic driving experience.
Helping to make the Bentley Continental GT3-R even more rewarding through the corners is a new chassis setup that utilizes adjustable air springs and dampers. Drivers can adjust between the renowned buttery soft Bentley ride or a more hardcore Sport setting that carves up corners with the touch of a button. Lightweight 21-inch forged wheels help to reduce rotating mass and feature a glossy black finish that contrasts the factory Glacier White paint and are fitted with high-performance Pirelli tires. Behind those gloss black wheels are Bentley’s Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) brakes that can handle up to 10 megajoules of energy without fade – enough to power a family home for six hours. The front axle wears 420-mm discs with green-painted eight-piston calipers while the rear comes in with 356 mm discs.
“We wanted to develop our powertrain and chassis systems further than ever before for the GT3-R project. The result is a Continental GT that is more dynamic than ever, with a torque vectoring system that neutralises understeer and a chassis tune that is both direct and forgiving,” said Rolf Frech, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Engineering. “We’ve differentiated the Drive and Sport modes further to give the driver a choice between a relaxed and refined Grand Tourer and a sharp supercar with instant responses. The reflexes of the car are matched by the throttle response from our redeveloped V8 engine, and the new turbochargers eliminate turbo lag. Bentleys are rewarding drivers’ cars – but dynamically, the GT3-R is our finest hour yet.”
The exterior of the Bentley Continental GT3-R takes inspiration from its GT3 racing sibling. The Glacier White exterior is contrasted by gloss black headlight bezels, matrix grille, window surrounds, and bumper strips. Two-tone green graphics comprise of two “power lines” that runs towards the rear from the front wheel, and the other highlighting the rear fender haunch. Aerodynamics also play an important role with the Bentley Continental GT3. Downforce comes in the form of a carbon fiber front splitter and fixed rear spoiler while the front hood features two large vents to help cool the engine bay.
Inside the Bentley Continental GT3-R still has that classic high-end, custom-tailored luxury feel but with a more dynamic attitude. The entire cabin is trimmed in Beluga Black leather with diamond-quilted alcantara and vivid green contrasting accents and stitching. Up front is a pair of bespoke sport seats with improved side support, bolsters, and comfort layers. The two rear sets were removed for the sake of weight and replaced with a carbon fiber and alcantara trim. Handcrafted carbon fiber adorns the door casings, fascia panels, and center console while the steering wheel and gearshifter wear alcantara. New GT3-R badging is worn on the side sills, passenger-side dashboard paneling, center console, and seatbacks.
The new Bentley Continental GT3-R will be strictly limited to just 300 examples, each wearing the Glacier White paint. All models come standard with four years of free maintenance scheduling. Bentley is currently allowing orders for their newest sports car, with deliveries starting late 2014.
Bentley Continental GT3-R Specifications
Displacement: 4.0 liters
Number of Cylinders: V-8
Maximum Horsepower: 580 PS / 572 bhp / 426 kW at 6,000 RPM
Maximum Torque: 700 Nm / 516 lb-ft. at 1,700 RPM
Type: ZF 8-speed automatic with Quickshift
Drive: Continuous all-wheel drive (40:60 rear bias) with torque vectoring
Top Speed: 170 mph / 273 km/h TBC
Acceleration 0-60 MPH: 3.6 seconds
Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 3.8 seconds
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes:
Wheels: 9.5J x 21 lightweight forged
Wheel Finish: Gloss Black
Tires: Pirelli 275/35 ZR21
Front Brakes: 420 mm Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross-drilled
Rear Brakes: 356 mm, Carbon Silicon Carbide, cross-drilled
Bentley Continental GT3-R Gallery