Upon their return in motorsports with the Continental GT3 race car which is now competing in the FIA Blancpain Series in Europe and the Pirelli World Challenge in North America, there were talks of a road-going version of the racer. Finally after many months, Bentley made it official with the announcement of the Continental GT3-R. Although not a direct translation from the race car for the road, the GT3-R is said to be the most dynamic among the GT range.
The GT3-R is powered by a 4.0-litre twin turbo V8, tuned to deliver 572 hp at 6,000 rpm and 700 Nm of torque from 1,700 rpm. That’s more than 50 hp increase from the Continental V8 S. Compared to the V8 S, the GT3-R is also lighter by 100kg, and the 8-speed ZF transmission has been recalibrated with shorter gearing which helps to slingshot the car from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.8 seconds.
A lighter titanium exhaust sheds 7 kg but gains ‘a unique baritone roar’ tuned by Bentley’s acoustic engineers. If you must know, the combined fuel consumption is rated at 12.7 l/100km.
The chassis of the GT3-R is performance-oriented, but Bentley claims the GT3-R is still refined to be driven daily. The air springs and dampers setup from the V8 S have been further developed for the GT3-R, with modified ‘sport-focussed’ Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and torque vectoring on the rear wheels (Bentley’s first), it promises a ‘new level of handling dynamics and turn-in agility’. The brakes are 420mm Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) discs up front and 356mm at the back with 8-piston front, single-piston rear calipers painted green.
Limited to just 300 examples, all GT3-R will be finished in Glacier White with two-tone green slashes on the each side of the body. Contrasting carbon fibre addenda can be found in the form of a front splitter and a fixed rear spoiler. Everything that was chrome in the vanilla Continental GT such as the matrix grille, headlamps bezels, bumper strips, and window surrounds are now finished in gloss black.
Two vents punctured in the bonnet are not only inspired by the GT3 Race Car, but they also help to cool the engine down. The GT3-R rides on gloss black 21-inch lightweight machine-forged alloys wrapped in 275/35 ZR21 sticky Pirellis.
Inside, the rear seats have been deleted, and all that’s left are the two bespoke front sports seats wrapped in Beluga black leather and Alcantara diamond-quilted with contrasting green thread. The steering wheel and gear shifter are hand-trimmed in the same leather and Alcantara with matching green stitching.
The rest of the interior are no less luxurious, retaining the 440W 8-speaker sound system and navigation system with 8-inch touchscreen, but the usual wood trim has been replaced by a more serious carbon fibre trim. No price has been announced, but booking is now open with deliveries starting in late 2014.