When you think ‘Bentley’, your mind probably leaps to connotations of impeccably high-end luxury cruisers for the super rich, but perhaps a small section of your brain should link it to motor racing too after the Crewe-based brand revealed its 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 car, which is a new entry into the Intercontinental GT Challenge, will be instrumental in Bentley Motorsport’s efforts in securing Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup titles.
Bentley’s first Continental GT3 was an overwhelming success and a championship-winning endurance racer, scoring 120 podiums and 45 wins across 528 races in its four years.
Its successor could be just as much of a winner with some very promising number revealed so far.
Under the bonnet of the second-gen Continental GT3 will a four-litre direct injection twin-turbo V8 with Cosworth engine management system, producing an unrestricted power output of around 550bhp.
All this power is sent to the rear wheels through a Ricardo six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox. It will also feature an AP racing clutch and steering wheel-mounted paddle-operated pneumatic gear shift.
Weight is kept down due to heavy use of aluminium throughout its structure, achieving a race-ready weight of less than 1300 kg and an ideal weight distribution for racing.
Bentley’s director of motorsport Brian Gush said: “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 car leaves no area or system untouched in the search for even better performance, and the early test results are promising.”
Customers could receive their new Continental GT3 racecar from June 2018.