The new Bentley Continental GT3-R is not exactly what people think of when they hear ‘Bentley’. Described as the rarest and most dynamic member of the Conti family, the GT3-R is inspired by the Continental GT3 race car. All 300 examples will be hand-built in Crewe and finished at Bentley’s Motorsport division.
Bentley has developed a retuned version of the race-proven 4.0 litre twin-turbo V8. Developing 580 PS and 700 Nm of torque, together with a 100 kg weight reduction and shorter gearing for the eight-speed ZF auto, the GT3-R is the fastest-accelerating Bentley ever. Capable of reaching 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds, the GT3-R is a racer pretending to be a Grand Tourer.
Complementing the revised powertrain is a further development of Bentley’s AWD system, which now features torque vectoring. It works together with a modified “sport-focussed” ESC and a chassis tune optimised for outright cornering ability. Drive and Sport modes are moved further apart, with the latter tuned for more spirited driving.
Deceleration is via Bentley’s Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) braking system. 420 mm front discs are slowed by eight-piston calipers finished in green paint, while 356 mm discs are fitted to the rear axle. Crewe says that CSiC brakes have the ability to absorb up to 10 megajoules of energy (enough to power a family home for six hours) in a single stop yet remain fade resistant. They hide behind 21-inch alloys.
An all-new titanium exhaust not only provides a weight saving of seven kg, but also has allowed Bentley’s acoustic engineers to give the GT3-R a unique “baritone roar”. Order books for the Continental GT3-R are open now, with deliveries to start late in 2014.