Rear-wheel drive Bentley Continental GT3 to be unveiled at 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Article by Christian Andrei, on June 11, 2014

For this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, Bentley will launch a high-performance version its Continental GT model that is expected to be carry the GT3 badge. The new Continental GT3 will be the lightest version of th Continental GT, although it is not clear what engine will use.

The V8-powered Continental GT has a total weight of 2,295 kg, which means 1000 kg more than the race version. As a result, Bentley replaced the four-wheel drive system found on all of its Continental GT models ands replaced it with a rear-wheel drive system in order to save some weight.

No matter what engine will be seen under the hood, the Continental GT3 will have around 700 hp. In addition, there is also an aerodynamic kit consisting of a new front lip spoiler, new side sills as well as a fixed rear wing.

Bentley is not planning to offer this model for every customer who wants it, as it will build a limited run with only 30 units for UK delivery. According to Autocar, customers already placed a deposit for the new model.

Currently, the most powerful version of the Continental GT range is the Continental GT Speed. This model uses the 6.0-liter twin-turbo W12 engine that delivers 635 hp (467 kW) and 820 Nm (590 lb-ft) of torque.

The 2015 Bentley Continental GT Speed has a top speed of 206 mph or 331 km/h and is able to hit 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.0 seconds (100 km/h or 62 mph in 4.2 seconds).

Bentley’s new Continental V8 models exude a sculpted and muscular elegance much like its siblings in the W12 range, thanks to a distinctive wide rear track, well-formed aluminium wings, a low-poised stance, and powerful haunches. However, there are a few key differences that set the V8 branches of the Continental series apart from the others.

Among these differences, the most significant one also happens to be the smallest: the ‘B’ emblems. Take the Mulsanne and 6.0 W12 Continental models, whose winged ‘B’ emblem found above the radiator grille comes with a black enamel background. When it comes to the Continental V8, this enamel background comes in red. This distinction dates back to the 1920s, when the ‘red label’ badge was used on Bentley’s smaller cars like the short-chassis 3-liter and the ‘black label’ badges were reserved usually for the vehicles with larger engines.

There are also external differences that are more striking. For one, the V8 models’ radiator grille boasts a gloss black mesh that is bordered by fine chrome surround instead of the brightwork of the W12 Continental GT. Under this radiator grille, the lower bumper likewise has a black mesh and it is divided into three distinct segments by strakes. The effect is a Bentley car with a darker, potent, challenging, and muscular character.

At the rear, the Continental V8 models feature 'figure eight' exhaust pipes on each side of the dark lower rear valance. These pipes are an indicator that these Bentley models are powered by the efficient and advanced 4.0-liter V8.

Both the convertible and the coupe will be launched with standard 20-inch wheels and you will also be able to choose from a couple of 21-inch wheel designs especially created for the V8 models. These two options both have a six-spoke alloy with a sporty theme and come in either Diamond Silver or the V8-exclusive Diamond Black finish. Each Bentley emblem on the wheel center caps also comes in red.

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