The Bentley Continental GT3-R is the fastest accelerating Bentley ever built. It’s a road-gong version of the car that stormed to victory at Silverstone last month, the Continental GT3, and ticks off 0-62mph in 3.8sec: this is some grand tourer
What’s been done to give the GT3 the R treatment?
The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that’s just been introduced into the Flying Spur saloon has been wound up to a heady 572bhp, with a stonking 516lb ft combining to make this svelte coupe the fastest accelerating Bentley production car ever built, and a whopping 0.8sec better than the V8 S model.
The GT3-R is not the fastest Bentley, though, with its top-end only 170mph (virtually walking pace, really), but the eight-speed ZF gearbox and final drive have been tuned to make this car a corner carver, as opposed to a top-end tourer.
A Bentley that turns?
The McLaren, Mercedes SLS and Audi R8 drivers at the second round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone in May didn’t see which way the GT3 racer went. It stormed past the leading McLaren with only minutes to go in the three-hour race, giving the GT3 a race win on debut and Bentley its first UK-race victory in 84 years.
For the road, only 300 GT3-Rs will be made, and to the chagrin of McLaren, Ferrari and AMG drivers, all will be the same Glacier White that the Silverstone stormer was finished in as a pleasant reminder…
So this is not a fat saloon, but a dynamic coupe?
Bentley says yes. Dressed with green ‘power lines’ (cough) that also adorn the racers, a massive GT3-R logo on the rear haunches, gloss black 21in alloys that match the new front splitter, grille, bumper strips and window surrounds warn of the Conti’s more vicious bite.
There’s also a titanium exhaust to back up the promise, which you’ll command when perched in a carbon-shell driver’s seat that’s been covered in Alcantara and gaudy green Beluga leather highlights, which you’ll also find in diamond formation on the doors. There’s no back seat – passengers aren’t welcome – while the Bentley green has reached the instrument cluster, too.
What does it weigh, then?
It’s 100kg less than a GT V8 S – which still means a hefty 2195kg. Compare that to a Mercedes SLS AMG GT that weighs 1695kg, and Bentley is hardly a featherweight. Yet the hand-built coupe from Crewe comes with the promise of better throttle response from that power-hogging V8, as well as even greater road-holding capabilities: this is the first Bentley with torque vectoring, which works on the rear wheels of the all-wheel drive monster to manage power to those huge Pirelli-shod alloys.
It’ll also be capable of a faster corner entry thanks massive 420mm front brakes and the composure of the firmer air suspension. The GT3-R’s adjustability around corners should be stellar thanks to a recalibrated stability control system that Bentley says is for more ‘spirited’ driving (wink).
When can I get one, and how much?
Bentley will announce the price of the GT3-R at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed, but don’t expect change from £240k – a £101k premium over the V8 S. Deliveries of the flying Bentley start in late 2014.
>> Should Bentley have stripped more weight out of the road-going GT3-R? Let us know in the comments section below