Since the world debut of Bentley’s GT3 Concept Racer at the Paris Auto Salon in September 2012, a dedicated team of Bentley engineers has been developing the Continental GT3 in preparation for Bentley’s highly anticipated return to the track. Building on a rich racing heritage spanning ninety years, the new Continental GT3 is set to explore the extreme potential of Bentley’s iconic Grand Tourer and exploit the performance DNA contained within every Bentley.
With expert guidance and cooperation from Bentley’s GT3 technical partner, M-Sport Ltd1, the race-ready version of the Continental has been taking shape over the last six months. Leading the project is Brian Gush, Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, who took the company to victory at Le Mans in 2003. He comments: “Motorsport is an integral part of Bentley, and the performance and endurance qualities of all of our road cars reflect this racing heritage. Not one single part of the GT3 has escaped our attention, and the result is a car that can compete with the field in terms of factors such as power, weight and aerodynamics.”
Powered by a race-configured version of Bentley’s highly efficient 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine, the GT3 puts its power to the road via a six-speed sequential racing gearbox. Double wishbone suspension, four-way adjustable dampers and competition brakes make up the chassis system, while more than 1000 kg of weight has been saved over the Continental GT road car by removing the equipment and parts that make the road car such a luxurious and refined Grand Tourer such as double glazing, over fifty ECUs and extensive electrical systems. The exquisitely trimmed Continental GT doors have been replaced by race versions, weighing just 12% of the originals.
The iconic silhouette of the road car is retained as the main body shell is almost a direct carryover, while doors, boot lid and bonnet are now hand-crafted in carbon fibre. The bodyshell itself benefits from a comprehensive FIA-specification roll cage, more than doubling its stiffness. Meanwhile, the carbon fibre racing seat has been trimmed by the craftsmen and women of the Crewe factory, who have also meticulously stitched the racing steering wheel and door pulls, just as they would on a Continental GT road car.
The Continental GT3 will soon be ready to begin a test programme ahead of its race debut. More details and specification of the Continental GT3 will be released soon.