Bentley Continental GT3 unveiled at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed

Article by Christian A., on July 12, 2013

Bentley introduced today at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed the new Continental GT3, a racing car that will explore the extreme potential of the Continental GT. The new Bentley is powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 developing up to 600 bhp. All that power is delivered to the rear wheels via a carbon fibre propshaft to an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox with a limited slip differential, mounted as a transaxle for optimised weight distribution.

Gear actuations are made via a pneumatic shift system, controlled by paddles mounted to the steering wheel. The standard air springs featured on the luxurious Continental GT were replaced by a double wishbone suspension configuration front and rear, fitted with four-way adjustable racing dampers.

The Bentley Continental GT is fitted with a new steering system that features hydraulic power-assistance, while braking is via ventilated iron discs combined with six-piston calipers on the front and four-piston calipers on the rear.

Moreover, the new racing car received an impressive aerodynamic package consisting of a new front bumper, redesigned hood with large air intakes, a big carbon fiber rear wing that provides rear downforce and stability, as well as a rear air diffuser.

If you liked the interior seen on the Continental GT you’d better forget about that as the Continental GT3 has no leather and wood interior trim, while all the electrical systems and advanced refinement materials were removed.

As a result, the Continental GT3 weighs in under its target of 1300 kg. Bentley will start its programme of developmental track work of the new Continental GT3 and once the FIA homologation is completed the new racing car will start competing in the FIA Blancpain Series in 2014.

The design of the Bentley Continental GT3 was made possible through a specialist team composed of engineers coming from Bentley Motors. This same team is supported by Continental GT3 Technical Partner, M-Sport Ltd. and managed using a committed motorsport facility base at the brand’s Crewe factory. In addition, an extra design office was made for M-Sport especially during the detail design phase and even the build of the first model.

On the exterior, the Continental GT3 has that all-inclusive aerodynamic package that allows downforce to be maximized while making sure that drag is optimized. There is a carbon fiber splitter placed on the front section of the vehicle which ensures that the aerodynamic forces are balanced. On the rear, there is a carbon fiber wing mounted on the top, allowing this section to have that stability and downforce.

Bentley also made changes to different features like the bumpers, sills, fenders, and even the bonnet. This was not only to optimize the drag coefficient of this model but to also help in cooling the engine. Meanwhile, the brand removed wood interior trim as well as the leather trim. Combined with the innovative refinement materials and the production electrical systems, it results in this model becoming a truly capable Grand Tourer.

In addition, this resulted in the Continental GT3 having an overall weight of just below 1,300 kg. Even if the new GT3 was built for the racing, it continues to be a Bentley that is hand-crafted. The door pulls, seats, and steering wheel have all been stitched and hand-trimmed by the brand’s very own craftspeople at Crewe. Bentley revealed that the Continental GT3 will be beginning a program aimed at developmental track work.

Specifically, the focus will be on optimizing the performance that is based on simulations while refining the abilities of this vehicle. Should the FIA homologation be finished, the GT3 will be participating in initial development races. It will then enter full competition in 2014 at the FIA Blancpain Series.

Press Release

Bentley Continental GT3 Racecar

Bentley debuted the Continental GT3 race car at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, unveiling a racing machine set to explore the extreme potential of Bentley's iconic Grand Tourer, the Continental GT. Member of the Board for Engineering, Rolf Frech, comments: "The Continental GT3 exploits the incredible performance beneath the skin of every Continental GT. We've removed over 1000 kilograms of weight, reconfigured our 4.0-litre V8 to produce 600 bhp in race specification, and developed a comprehensive aerodynamic package to ensure that we perform competitively. We are now looking forward to getting the car on the track and proving its potential."

The Bentley Continental GT3 is powered by a race-prepared and dry-sump version of Bentley's powerful but efficient 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, with many components carried over from the road-going engine. Developing up to 600 bhp in unrestricted race configuration via a motorsport engine management system, the V8 provides the GT3 with highly competitive power in a compact and lightweight package that's perfect for racing. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a carbon fibre propshaft to an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox with a limited slip differential, mounted as a transaxle for optimised weight distribution. Gear actuations are completed via a pneumatic shift system, controlled by paddles mounted to the steering wheel.

A double wishbone suspension configuration front and rear, fitted with four-way adjustable racing dampers, replaces the standard road-car air springs. The steering system features hydraulic power-assistance, while braking is via ventilated iron discs combined with six-piston calipers on the front and four-piston calipers on the rear.

The exterior of the car features a comprehensive aerodynamic package, to maximise downforce with optimised drag. A top-mounted carbon fibre rear wing provides rear downforce and stability, while a carbon fibre splitter balances the aerodynamic forces at the front of the car. Revisions have been made to the bonnet, bumpers, fenders and sills in order to optimise the car's drag coefficient and to assist with engine cooling.

With the removal of the leather and wood interior trim, the production electrical systems and advanced refinement materials that make the Continental GT such a capable Grand Tourer, the Bentley Continental GT3 weighs in under its target of 1300 kg. Despite the race-specification, the GT3 remains a hand-crafted Bentley, with the steering wheel, door pulls and seat all hand-trimmed and stitched by Bentley craftspeople at Crewe.

The design has been completed by a specialist team of engineers from Bentley Motors supported by the Continental GT3 Technical Partner, M-Sport Ltd. Managed from a dedicated motorsport facility base at Bentley's Crewe factory, an additional design office was created at M-Sport for the detail design stages and build of the first car.

The Bentley Continental GT3 now starts its programme of developmental track work, focussing on optimising the car's performance based on simulations and refining the car's abilities. Once homologation with the FIA has been completed, the GT3 will enter its first development races before starting full competition in the FIA Blancpain Series in 2014.

Bentley Continental GT3 Specifications

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, repositioned to the rear of the engine bay, Cosworth engine management system
Power: Approx. 600 bhp derestricted
Oil System: Dry sump
Transmission: Rear wheel drive, Xtrac six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, racing clutch, steering wheel mounted paddle operated pneumatic gear shift
Drivetrain: Carbon fibre propshaft, limited slip differential
Suspension: Double wishbone suspension front and rear, four-way adjustable racing dampers
Steering: Hydraulic power-assisted steering
Brakes: Ventilated iron disc brakes front and rear, Brembo six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers, driver-adjustable brake bias
Safety: FIA-specification steel roll cage, Sparco six-point FIA safety harness, onboard fire extinguisher, onboard pneumatic jack system.
Fuel System: FIA-specification racing fuel cell
Electronics: Race-specification ABS and traction control. Lightweight race battery.
Wheels: OZ Racing 18" x 13" rims
Tyres: 310 / 710 R18
Aerodynamics: Carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing and body panels. Lightweight, aerodynamically-optimised bumpers, bonnet, sills and fenders
Length: 4950 mm
Width: 2030 mm
Height: 1350 mm
Weight: Weight Distribution: 52 : 48

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