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.