Bentley to offer a road-going version of the Continental GT3 race car

Article by Christian A., on October 8, 2012

It’s likely that the road-going version of Bentley’s new Continental GT3 race car would come with four-wheel drive, a pared-down but luxury interior and maybe even a 700bhp W12 engine. The sporty model will be positioned in the same spot in Bentley’s range as the old Supersports model. It will also have the same price of slightly below £200,000.

The major details haven’t been finalized yet but it’s believed that Bentley will have a production run of about 300 cars to be assembled over a 12-month period circa 2014-2015. Bentley unveiled the GT3 race car at the Paris motor show. This marks the comeback of Bentley to front-line motorsport. Under the FIA’s GT3 rules, the car that’s allowed to participate has very different specifications from the road version.

Even if the Bentley racer has a rear-wheel-drive layout with a rear-mounted transaxle gearbox, it’s likely that the road car will keep the permanent four-wheel drive system that is featured on all its existing Continental models, according to a senior source. There are reports that it will have a power output of 700bhp, which implies that it will rival the Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. Sources said that most of them prefer to keep the twin-turbo 6.0-litre W12 for the GT3 since it’s the Continental’s flagship engine.

But then, the newer twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 is also possible since this action will form two sub-brands within the Continental range: W12 luxury and V8 performance (which is surpassed by a V8 GT3). Another insider said that there’s now the opportunity to examine these possibilities. The road car version will get a toned-down aerodynamic package. The race car’s extreme rear wing would also be made more subtle. Bentley is studying a plan to have a partially stripped-out interior but still with many luxurious features remaining. But then, it won’t have a roll cage since Bentley owners look at this feature as too extreme.

The new GT3-R model features a performance-focused chassis system to give out the best aptitude among all models in the Grand Touring segment while at the same time keep its refinement at cossetting level for daily use.

Its new and improved dampers and air springs feature a sports-tuned setup of a Continental V8 S which is widely known as the best-handling among all Bentley models. Meanwhile, its 21-inch lightweight wheels and high-grip Pirelli tires deploy an engine power output that is torque-vectored.

It is also equipped with the latest Electronic Stability Control program which is sport-focused and offers as well a Continental featuring handling dynamics of new level and turn-in agility combined with proactive power train and chassis that immediately respond to throttle inputs.

Its Deceleration is equipped with the best Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) braking system which is specially made by Bentley. It also equipped with 420mm front discs which are slowed by a set of 8-piston calipers while its rear axle is fitted with 356mm discs. It is also furnished with an attractive green paint to give it a more eye-catching look. Its specially-made CSiC brakes also absorb energy of up to 10 megajoules in one single stop but are also outfitted with the ability to remain fade resistant.

Rolf Frech, a member of Bentley’s Board of Engineering, said that their team’s goal for this new production is to create an improved power train and chassis system, which results to a more dynamic Continental GT with torque vectoring that neutralizes below its steer and gives it a more direct and forgiving chassis tune.

A drive and sport mode is also made available to let the driver choose between a refined and relaxed feel of a Grand Tourer and the instant responses of a sharp super car. This model’s reflexes are also paired with the redeveloped V8 engine’s throttle response and its new turbochargers also help in minimizing turbo lag. Given this spectacular set of features, the latest version GT3-R is Bentley’s finest model by far.

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