Bentley unveils the road going GT3-R, inspired by its GT3 racer. And we like to think we gave them a helping hand…[Not a valid template]
“Perhaps then we’ll get an even more focused, lightweight GT to really appeal to the hardcore enthusiast.” Clearly Bentley has subscribed to crankandpiston’s newsletter. No sooner had we delivered our verdict on the brand new Continental GT V8 S after an epic drive from dawn to dusk across the UAE that Bentley’s riposte came back in the form of the brand new GT3-R.
The latest edition, ‘the rarest and most dynamic member of the esteemed Continental family’ is limited to just 300 examples, and is inspired by Bentley’s Continental GT3 racer, which made its on-track debut for the first time at last year’s Gulf 12 Hours. Power and dynamism – if the looks haven’t already given it away – have therefore been given a serious beefing up, the new GT3-R capable of hitting 100kph off the line in 3.8 seconds, faster even (just) than a KTM X-Bow R 2.0 Turbo. Bentley’s established 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 under the hood has been given some added oomph and now kicks out 572bhp and 516lb ft through the eight-speed ZF gearbox. But there’s more to the newboy than Norris flattening power.
For the first time for Bentley for instance, the drivetrain now has the ability to control the torque at each of the rear wheels through the use of torque vectoring, while shorter gearing enables punchier acceleration: what we essentially have here then is, potentially, the most dynamic Bentley road car in history. Dig deeper and there’s more evidence to support this fact, such as a chassis tune for optimised cornering and a 100kg weight loss. Fortunately the big bruiser is brought to a standstill via Bentley’s Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) braking system, utilising 356mm discs on the front and 420mm on the back. To cap it all, an all-new titanium exhaust – designed to emphasise the basey notes of that V8 – will have eardrums bleeding across the globe.
Looks-wise, the main changes come courtesy of a new front bumper and taillip rear spoiler, two-tone green graphics and a Gloss White paint finish, and all-new, all-light 21-inch alloy wheels. Inside the two-seater cabin you’ll find the traditional ‘finest leather’ leather and wood trim, but also carbon fibre door casings (finished in diamond-quilted Alcantara), another element of the Continental’s diet regime.