Bentley GT3 race car won ‘hearts’ and ‘titles’ since incepted, where the titles are expected resting calmly in the reports of British carmaker; but the hearts of fans were wobbling out to have a one such examples in their garages. So to keep them in check, Bentley had rolled out a production specific GT3-R, which is limited only to 300 units. The arrival of GT3-R happened at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Appropriately, the car had undergone number of changes not only cosmetically, but also technically. Though, we cannot comment about the driving experience and wouldn’t relate the respective changes made in technicalities, but for sure the cosmetic changes are in numbers and can be relished in abundance.
Firstly, talking technical, the Bentley GT3-R is planted with 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that develops 580 PS of power at 6,000 rpm and 700 Nm of torque from 1,700 rpm. All these figures were possible only through precision-honed high-boost turbochargers and eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. The gearbox is tuned with shorter output gearing to enhance acceleration, with traction transferred to Bentley’s renowned all-wheel drive system. This is the first time the Bentley had deployed torque vectoring system which controls the torque transferred at each of the rear wheels, profound of great aide for cornering. The recalibrated control software had made Drive and Sport modes moved further apart, each with different characteristics and with Sport mode designed for more spirited driving. Maximum driver control is provided by completely recalibrated paddle shift functionality.
0-60 mph is achieved in just 3.6 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.8 secs), and the top speed they said would be 273km/h.
Further on the drive and handling experience (as mentioned in the press release of Bentley) the chassis is tuned to handle those refinements on the performance. Air springs and dampers are lifted from the Continental V8 S. Talking about the wheels, the one which is going to handle the bruises, are lightweight forged 21” alloys brimmed with high-grip Pirelli tyres. And braking is taken care by Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) braking system consisted of 420 mm front discs slowed by 8-piston calipers, finished in eye-catching green paint shade. The 356 mm discs are deployed on duty at rear axle. The braking system is reported to absorb up to 10 megajoules of energy (enough to power a family home for six hours) in a single stop and yet fade resistant, Bentley’s CSiC brakes are an engineering masterpiece in their own right. Commenting on the performance of the new Continental GT3-R, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Engineering, Rolf Frech, said: “We wanted to develop our powertrain and chassis systems further than ever before for the GT3-R project. The result is a Continental GT that is more dynamic than ever, with a torque vectoring system that neutralises understeer and a chassis tune that is both direct and forgiving. We’ve differentiated the Drive and Sport modes further to give the driver a choice between a relaxed and refined Grand Tourer and a sharp supercar with instant responses. The reflexes of the car are matched by the throttle response from our redeveloped V8 engine, and the new turbochargers eliminate turbo lag. Bentleys are rewarding drivers’ cars – but dynamically, the GT3-R is our finest hour yet.”
On interiors, GT3-R features a unique two-seat cabin handcrafted from carbon fibre, Alcantara and the finest leather. The side support is more comforted and finished in Beluga black leather with diamond-quilted Alcantara. This same exquisite material is also hand-trimmed onto the steering wheel and gear shifter. Like any other sports car, the Bentley too had thought of using the carbon fibre extensively inside; with centre console and fascia panels handcrafted in carbon fibre inclusive of door casings that also include diamond-quilted Alcantara inner panels. The baggage keeping space, or can be said as the vacant space left by the removal of rear seats is taken care of with ultimate cosseting luxuries. The carbon fibre surround finished in leather and Alcantara were supposedly found there.
Likewise the icing on cake, Beluga leather and motorsport-inspired materials relegates a vivid green accent, used as a hide colour on the seats, instrument panel and door panels and in contrast stitching throughout the seats and diamond-quilted areas. GT3-R badging is stamped at the centre console, passenger-side fascia panel and sill treadplates, while the seats receive GT3-R stitching to the headrests in contrast-green thread. Like the other limited edition, this one no exception had the door sills embarked with its unique numbers out of 300.
On the outer skin, Bentley GT3-R is earmarked with a tint of prowess coated with the spirit of motorsports, and well, the luxury remains undaunted inside. Bentley’s Design team had taken the task with a new front splitter and a new fixed rear wing fitted to the boot lid – both finished in exquisite carbon fibre. The bonnet incorporates couple of vents like GT3 racer to enhance the inhaling and cooling of the powertrain. On the depicting note, it is safe to say the gloss carbon fibre sparks the whole GT racing experience with inputs taken from the place like aviation industry. Those green graphics positioned on the sides of car, one leading backwards from the front wheel, the other tracing the shape of the Continental GT’s iconic rear haunch, are added to just shape the designing ideas in a more beefy manner.
Overall, the final touch-up is lent by the gloss black on the headlamp bezels, matrix grille, window surrounds and bumper strips. Appealing it further, all-new lightweight 21” wheel, machine-forged from high-strength alloy completes the package.
Purchase of the car includes free standard servicing for four years (at the 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000 mile marks). Order books for the Continental GT3-R are open now, with deliveries to start late in 2014.
Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, comments: “The experience of driving a Continental GT3-R is awe-inspiring, and takes the dynamic abilities of our Grand Tourer to new heights. We were inspired to create something extremely special for the road by the performance of our Continental GT3. It is a celebration of the Bentley passion for building outstanding drivers’ cars. To be a true Bentley, the GT3-R had to be the most luxurious track-inspired Grand Tourer ever, and this car pushes our trademark combination of luxury and performance to a new level.”