After spy pictures surfaced on the Internet and a fair amount of speculation, Bentley has officially revealed its most focused car to date, the Continental GT3-R.
Following in the footsteps of Bentley’s GT3 race car, the GT3-R offers more power, is lighter and will also be limited in terms of production numbers.
Developing 426 kW at 6 000 r/min and 700 N.m from 1 700 r/min , the 4,0-litre V8 engine still sends power to all four wheels and not only to the rear axle as previously speculated. The result is a claimed acceleration time to 100 km/h of 3,8 seconds. To further aid acceleration, the 8-speed ZF automatic transmission is equipped with shorter gearing, which also results in a lower top speed of 273 km/h.
Bentley has also implemented a torque vectoring system for the first time, which allows the drivetrain to control the level of torque at each of the rear wheels. It claims that with this system, a revised chassis for optimal cornering ability, an updated electronic stability control (ESC) system and a 100 kg reduction in weight (compared to the GT V8 S), it is the “most dynamic and responsive” production Bentley to date. Even so, the GT3-R still tips the scales at 2 195 kg.
The increase in power and torque delivery is owing to new turbochargers and engine control software. Let’s not forget that this base 4,0-litre, V8 engine is the same unit powering the ballistic Audi RS7.
Here updates are quite notable. There is a new front splitter below the bumper and a fixed rear wing – both finished in carbon fibre. One of the most obvious changes to the exterior is the two vents in the bonnet which assist with cooling of the engine. Glacier White with the two-tone green graphics will be the only available colour combination, mimicking that of the GT3 race car. However, if your pockets are deep enough, you can still individualise your car including the exterior colour.
Aural enhancements include a new titanium exhaust system, which also saves 7 kg compared to the system on the V8 S. The massive, but lightweight, 21-inch forged wheels further aids the reduction in weight.
The carbon silicon carbide braking system is made up of 420 mm discs (the largest on any production car if we are not mistaken) at the front and 356 mm discs at the rear. The front pair is grabbed by 8-piston calipers.
Make no mistake, this is no stripped out racer for the road. Although the rear seats have been ditched, and the interior has been updated, all the luxurious you expect to find in a Bentley is still there. The interior has been updated with the implementation of alcantara leather and carbon fibre, always associated with racier models in many performance-oriented automotive manufacturer.
Only 300 examples of the GT3-R will be manufactured, which guarantees a certain level of exclusivity.
It seems in Bentley tradition the manufacturer has stayed true to its ethos of offering a luxurious, but fast car, although this time with a sportier intent.