Here’s your first look at the 2018 Bentley Continental GT3 race car

Article by Christian A., on November 18, 2017

Have you heard of the hottest car from Bentley? Bentley’s third generation Continental GT has gotten more athletic after receiving the latest GT3 upgrade under its new platform. So what makes the GT3-spec extra special? While the Continental GT packs a 626hp 6.0-liter biturbo W12 engine, the GT3’s 4.0-liter 550hp biturbo V8 is a race-specified engine integrated with the Cosworth management system.

In addition to the upgraded dry sump, intake and exhaust, majority of the Continental GT’s standard markings were stripped off to achieve the GT3’s ideal weight. That means, Bentley Motorsport did whatever is necessary to transform the GT into a pure race car--- including stripping out the interior and installing a number of carbon fiber body panels.

The carbon fiber diet was a huge success as the GT3 race car only weighs about 2,866lbs (1300kg) which is significantly lighter than the regular GT. The weight loss is estimated to have reached a total of 2081 pounds or 944 kilograms.

Unlike the Continental’s street-legal counterpart, the Continental GT3 has been fitted with FIA-approved racing seats, a full roll cage, a race-spec diffuser, and new side sills with extensions. Since Bentley Motorsport knows exactly what any race-spec GT needs during its development, the race car has been equipped with a huge rear wing, wider fender flares and a vented engine hood with quick release pins.

Unfortunately, we cannot say much about its interiors since Bentley hasn’t released any pictures. We could only guess that the GT3 will sport a racing-inspired interior that likely comes with leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, sports pedals and so on.

On to the side profile, the GT3 looks totally fierce as the regular mirrors have been replaced with a narrower set. Just the same, Bentley did all it could to keep some of the basic elements of the GT onto the GT3 as we can see on the three-piece front bumper layout bearing the same trapezoidal vent at the center. The grille and sides of the bumper meanwhile have been added with green accents to set the GT3 apart from the production road car.

Altogether, these cool new parts will surely give the track-ready grand tourer a more taunting look. Or how’s that for a Bentley Continental GT on steroids? But don’t get too excited yet as Bentley’s new GT3 racer is still at the testing stages and this period will last about six months. At any rate, the production-ready grand tourer race car is expected to arrive at the showrooms around June 2018.

For those who are thrilled to watch its official racing debut, the Bentley Continental GT3 will join the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup’s opening round which will take place next year, April 21 to 22, in Monza Italy.

Press Release

BENTLEY REVEALS NEW CONTINENTAL GT3 RACE CAR

Bentley Motorsport is today unveiling an all-new Continental GT3 racecar, currently in development for the 2018 motorsport season.

The second-generation Continental GT3 is the latest dedicated racecar in an acclaimed Bentley motorsport lineage that includes the 4½ Litre, Speed Six and Speed 8 Le Mans winners. The first-generation Continental GT3 has proven to be a championship-winning endurance racer, scoring 120 podiums and 45 wins across 528 races around the world to date.

Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Brian Gush comments:

“After four years of success with our Continental GT3, we’re excited to reveal our second-generation car. The new car leaves no area or system untouched in the search for even better performance, and the early test results are promising. The new Continental GT road car has proved to be a great starting point for the development of a new racer, and the engineering development work is true to Bentley’s impeccable standards.”

The New Continental GT3

Development of the new car has been led by the engineers of Bentley Motorsport’s in-house team based in Crewe, together with designers and technicians at Bentley’s motorsport technical partner, M-Sport.

The new Continental GT3 has been designed from the all-new Continental GT road car, utilising it’s mostly aluminium structure as the foundation to deliver a race-ready weight of significantly less than 1300 kg and helping to deliver an ideal weight distribution for racing.

The engine is a new development of the renowned and race-proven 4.0-litre Bentley twin-turbo V8, with a totally redesigned dry sump system and all-new intake and exhaust systems. Unrestricted power is in excess of 550 bhp.

Exterior aerodynamic surfaces have been crafted in the wind tunnel and are based on the shape of the road car, enhancing the muscular exterior panels with aerodynamic devices for additional downforce. Suspension and braking systems are new and bespoke to the Continental GT3.

The all-new racecar has already started a six-month test programme to pick up the mantle from its championship-winning predecessor, completing test work in the UK, France and Portugal. Upcoming development work includes full 24 hour endurance race simulations.

Bentley Motorsport 2018

Bentley Motorsport is also announcing its plans for the 2018 season, after 2017 proved to be the most successful season for the team, capturing the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup. Bentley Motorsport will run a pair of new Continental GT3 racers across Europe in the Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup again next year, and also compete around the world in the four-round Intercontinental GT Challenge.

The new Continental GT3 will make its race debut at the opening round of the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup at Monza. Updates from the development programme of the new racer, and confirmation of the 2018 driver line-up, will be issued by Bentley Motorsport in due course.

New Continental GT3 Specifications
Engine
4.0-litre direct injection twin-turbo V8, Cosworth engine management system
Power
Approx. 550 bhp derestricted
Oil System
Dry sump
Transmission
Rear wheel drive, Ricardo six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, AP 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
Electric power-assisted steering
Brakes
Alcon ventilated iron disc brakes front and rear, Alcon six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers, driver-adjustable brake bias
Safety
FIA-specification steel roll cage, six-point FIA safety harness, onboard fire extinguisher, onboard pneumatic jack system
Fuel System
FIA-specification racing fuel cell
Electronics
Race-specification Bosch ABS and traction control. Lightweight race battery.
Wheels
BBS Motorsport 18” x 13” rims
Tyres
355 / 705 R18
Aerodynamics
Carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing and body panels. Lightweight, aerodynamically-optimised bumpers, bonnet, sills and fenders
Length
4860 mm
Width
2045 mm
Height
1355 mm
Weight

Source: Bentley

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