Off to the Races
The Continental GT3 that raced at the Circuit of the Americas and continues to compete in the Pirelli World Challenge (whose next event begins July 31 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio) is only the inspiration—not the basis—for Bentley’s Continental GT3-R road car. The $337,000 limited-edition offering derives from the Continental GT V8 S. It is 220 pounds lighter than the GT V8 S, thanks to carbon-fiber door panels and the removal of the back seats, and it has a more powerful engine. The 4-liter twin-turbo V-8 produces 51 more horsepower and 14 ft lbs more torque, for a total of 572 hp and 516 ft lbs. The additional power, shorter gearing, and weight reduction enable the GT3-R to sprint from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, which is the fastest acceleration time ever for a production Bentley.
The car’s cabin features a race-inspired sparseness that is offset with acid-green accents and diamond-quilted Alcantara on the seats, and glossed carbon-fiber weave across the doors, dashboard, and overhead consoles.
During a test-drive earlier this year at the Anglesey Circuit in Wales, the GT3-R’s throttle response, steering, and handling felt considerably sharper than those of the standard-issue Contiental GT. On some of the trickier sections of the circuit, the GT3-R’s nearly 5,000-pound mass was a hindrance. Nevertheless, its tight dynamics and athletically tuned suspension make it a surprisingly effective track toy. Bentley is producing only 300 examples of the GT3-R.
Bentley Motors, bentleymotors.com