Although the first thing you think of when someone says the name ‘Bentley‘ probably isn’t racing, this may soon change. As motorsports enthusiasts will know, the Bentley Continental GT3 is currently making big waves on the racing circuit. Having been built in collaboration with British firm M-Sport, it made its debut at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and has gone on to secure considerable success that includes a victory at Silverstone – Bentley’s first British race win for 84 years.
To bring the excitement of this new chapter in the marque’s racing history to their customers, Bentley are realising the extremely limited edition Continental GT3 R, a road-going car that’s inspired by their racetrack model. This car is all about inspiration not imitation – it strives to add a racing flavour to the traditional Bentley levels of comfort and luxury, not replicate the white-knuckle racetrack ride. For example, the new GT3 R weighs 900kg more than the GT3, because none of the marque’s trademark creature comforts have been stripped out. It does, however, have a 4 litre twin-turbo V8 engine that’s been tweaked to produce an impressive 572BHP – almost as good as the GT3’s 600BHP.
The GT3 R also features a modified ZF eight-speed transmission with shorter gearing that allows for a 0-60MPH time of just 3.6 seconds. The top speed, meanwhile, is restricted to a still respectable 170MPH. Torque vectoring has been added to the rear wheels, there is a titanium exhaust system which makes the car roar like a lion, accompanied by recalibrated stability software for a more thrilling drive. The suspension has also been optimised for the track, but it’ll still feel like a smooth ride.
The car boasts 21inch alloys with carbon ceramic brake disks, a startlingly white body and sporty green stripes, alongside a hefty rear wing and carbon fibre diffuser. Inside, you’ll find bespoke carbon fibre seats, a hand-crafted carbon fibre dashboard and diamond-patterned Alcantara on the doors. The predominant colour scheme for the interior is the same green as featured on the stripes outside – this colours is of course Bentley’s racing green and allows the interior to confidently reflect the car’s purpose and inspiration.
Early test drives suggest that, despite the weight, the Bentley Continental GT3 R provides a brilliantly fun ride, and one that will expand your understanding of what ‘Bentley’ really means. We should warn you, however, that only 300 cars will be made, so interested parties better accelerate towards their dealership now!