Inspired by Bentley’s Continental GT3 race cars, the new Continental GT3-R is said to be the most dynamic car ever manufactured by the brand since it became part of the Volkswagen group. With a production run of just 300 vehicles, the Continental GT3-R will be available in white with green highlights, gloss black trim and comes standard with carbon fibre bonnet vents, front splitter and rear wing.
Under the bonnet you’ll find Bentley’s 4.0L twin-turbo V8 engine, in a new state of tune which is good for 426kW of power and 700Nm of torque – a nice improvement from the standard Continental GT V8 S, which has 389kW and 680Nm. All of that power is thrown through a close ratio 8-speed automatic transmission and into Bentley’s new all-wheel drive system, which features torque vectoring between the two rear wheels.
But all that power doesn’t count for much in a vehicle that weights as much as mountain, so Bentley put the Continental on a crash diet, stripping 100kg out of the car. For a start, the GT3-R has no back seats, replaced instead by a diamond-pleated parcel shelf which matches the diamond-pleated seats. It’s also the first Bentley with absolutely no wood in the interior, replaced instead with carbon door trims, centre and overhead consoles. Bentley also fitted a titanium exhaust system which weights 7kg lighter than standard. Said exhaust also gives the GT3-R a “unique baritone roar”, according to Bentley. This slight reduction in weight helps the GT3-R launch from 0-100km/h in just 3.8 seconds, making it the fastest accelerating Bentley ever, but interestingly it is only marginally faster than a BMW M3.
The GT3-R should also handle better in the curves, thanks to firmer spring rates and revised shock tuning in an effort to sharpen the handling. There certainly shouldn’t be any shortage of grip, thanks to huge Pirelli 275/40 tyres fitted to the equally huge 21-inch forged alloy wheels. The brakes, too, are also bigger than the standard Continental, measuring in at a whopping 420mm up front. That’s 16.5 inches, bigger than the wheels on most small cars.
Bentley’s mission to transform its luxury Continental into a hard edged corner demolishing weapon looks to have been successful, but would you really take one of these over quicker, cheaper vehicles such as the Porsche 911 Turbo? I’m not so sure. Despite the diet, the GT3-R it is still a heavy vehicle, and unless you must absolutely own a Bentley, there’s more value to be had elsewhere.