The new Bentley Continental GT3-R, the rarest and most dynamic member of the Continental family of Grand Tourers, has been unveiled today. The super tourer is inspired by the new Continental GT3 race car that stormed to victory at the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone, the first UK race for Bentley for 84 years.
The performance focused Continental GT3-R is limited to just 300 examples. All units of the Continental GT3-R will be hand-built in Crewe and finished in Bentley’s Motorsport division.
Powering the two-seater GT3-R is a retuned version of Bentley’s race-honed, high performance 4.0-litre V8 strapped with two high-boost turbochargers and managed by a new engine control software. Developing 426 kW of power and 700 Nm of torque, together with a 100 kg weight reduction, the Continental GT3-R is the fastest-accelerating Bentley ever. Acceleration from standstill to 100km/h is accomplished in just 3.8 seconds.
This increased power is fed through the Continental’s eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox, now with shorter output gearing to enhance acceleration, to lay down power through all four wheels. For the first time for a Bentley, the drivetrain has the ability to control the torque at each of the rear wheels through the use of torque vectoring. Recalibrated control software means that Drive and Sport modes are moved further apart, each with different characteristics and with Sport mode designed for more spirited driving. Improved driver control is provided by completely recalibrated paddle shift functionality.
A soundtrack appropriate to the new levels of performance is provided by an all-new titanium exhaust, which not only provides a weight saving of 7 kg but also has allowed Bentley’s acoustic engineers to give the GT3-R a unique baritone roar.
“The experience of driving a Continental GT3-R is awe-inspiring, and takes the dynamic abilities of our Grand Tourer to new heights. 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,” said Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors
“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.”
Deceleration is via Bentley’s record-holding Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) braking system. 420 mm front discs are slowed by 8-piston calipers finished in eye-catching green paint, while 356 mm discs are fitted to the rear axle.
Complimenting the added performance is a new front splitter for improved aerodynamic, balanced by a new fixed rear wing fitted to the boot lid – both finished in carbon fibre. The bonnet incorporates two vents to improve the cooling capacity of the powertrain system. The GT3-R rolls on forged gloss black 21” wheels wrapped in high-grip Pirelli tyres.
Inside, the cabin is dominated by the sport seats handcrafted from carbon fibre, Alcantara and fine leather. Carbon fibre is also used to create sculpted door casings that also include diamond-quilted Alcantara inner panels. In place of the rear seats is a new uniquely trimmed rear cabin, complete with a carbon fibre surround and finished in leather and Alcantara.
“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.”