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BENTLEY REVEALS CONTINENTAL GT3 DETAILS AT GLOBAL DEBUT

  • Continental GT3 unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed
  • 600 bhp 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 for 1300 kg racer
  • GT3 to drive the Goodwood hill-climb twice a day

(Crewe / Goodwood, 12th July 2013) Bentley debuts its new Continental GT3 race car at the 2013 Goodwood Festival of Speed today, unveiling a racing machine set to explore the extreme potential of Bentley’s iconic Grand Tourer, the Continental GT. Member of the Board for Engineering, Rolf Frech, comments: “The Continental GT3 exploits the incredible performance beneath the skin of every Continental GT. We’ve removed over 1000 kilograms of weight, reconfigured our 4.0-litre V8 to produce 600 bhp in race specification, and developed a comprehensive aerodynamic package to ensure that we perform competitively. We are now looking forward to getting the car on the track and proving its potential.”

The Continental GT3 is powered by a race-prepared and dry-sump version of Bentley’s powerful but efficient 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, with many components carried over from the road-going engine. Developing up to 600 bhp in unrestricted race configuration via a motorsport engine management system, the V8 provides the GT3 with highly competitive power in a compact and lightweight package that’s perfect for racing. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a carbon fibre propshaft to an Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox with a limited slip differential, mounted as a transaxle for optimised weight distribution. Gear actuations are completed via a pneumatic shift system, controlled by paddles mounted to the steering wheel.

A double wishbone suspension configuration front and rear, fitted with four-way adjustable racing dampers, replaces the standard road-car air springs. The steering system features hydraulic power-assistance, while braking is via ventilated iron discs combined with six-piston calipers on the front and four-piston calipers on the rear.

The exterior of the car features a comprehensive aerodynamic package, to maximise downforce with optimised drag. A top-mounted carbon fibre rear wing provides rear downforce and stability, while a carbon fibre splitter balances the aerodynamic forces at the front of the car. Revisions have been made to the bonnet, bumpers, fenders and sills in order to optimise the car’s drag coefficient and to assist with engine cooling.

With the removal of the leather and wood interior trim, the production electrical systems and advanced refinement materials that make the Continental GT such a capable Grand Tourer, the Continental GT3 weighs in under its target of 1300 kg. Despite the race-specification, the GT3 remains a hand-crafted Bentley, with the steering wheel, door pulls and seat all hand-trimmed and stitched by Bentley craftspeople at Crewe.

The design has been completed by a specialist team of engineers from Bentley Motors supported by the Continental GT3 Technical Partner, M-Sport Ltd1. Managed from a dedicated motorsport facility base at Bentley’s Crewe factory, an additional design office was created at M-Sport for the detail design stages and build of the first car.

The Continental GT3 now starts its programme of developmental track work, focussing on optimising the car’s performance based on simulations and refining the car’s abilities. Once homologation with the FIA has been completed, the GT3 will enter its first development races before starting full competition in the FIA Blancpain Series in 2014.

The Continental GT3 makes its official running debut on the famous Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb from Friday 12th July until Sunday 14th, piloted twice a day by Bentley Boy and 2003 Le Mans champion, Guy Smith. The car will also be on display in the F1 paddock, while the original Continental GT3 Concept Racer, unveiled at the Paris Auto Salon last September, can be seen inside the Bentley stand in the main paddock.

 

 

Continental GT3 Specifications

Engine

4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, repositioned to the rear of the engine bay, Cosworth engine management system

Power

Approx. 600 bhp derestricted

Oil System

Dry sump, Mobil 1TM synthetic motor oil2

Transmission

Rear wheel drive, Xtrac six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, racing clutch, steering wheel mounted paddle operated pneumatic gear shift

Drivetrain

Carbon fibre propshaft, limited slip differential

Suspension

Double wishbone suspension front and rear, four-way adjustable racing dampers

Steering

Hydraulic power-assisted steering

Brakes

Ventilated iron disc brakes front and rear, Brembo six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers, driver-adjustable brake bias

Safety

FIA-specification steel roll cage, Sparco six-point FIA safety harness, onboard fire extinguisher, onboard pneumatic jack system.

Fuel System

FIA-specification racing fuel cell

Electronics

Race-specification ABS and traction control. Lightweight race battery.

Wheels

OZ Racing 18” x 13” rims

Tyres

310 / 710 R18

Aerodynamics

Carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing and body panels. Lightweight, aerodynamically-optimised bumpers, bonnet, sills and fenders

Length

4950 mm

Width

2030 mm

Height

1350 mm

Weight

<1300 kg

Weight Distribution

52 : 48

 

ENDS

For further information about this press release please contact:

Andrea Baker – Head of Media Relations

Andrea.Baker@bentley.co.uk + 44 (0) 1270 536 430

 

Mike Sayer – Product Public Relations Manager

Mike.Sayer@bentley.co.uk +44 (0) 1270 535 133

For further information on Bentley please go to www.bentleymedia.com

Twitter – @BentleyMotorsPR
You Tube – www.youtube.com/bentleymotors
 

Notes to editors

 

  1. The first GT3 car is being built by the Bentley motorsport team in conjunction with M-Sport. The Bentley GT3 team is led by Bentley Motorsport Chief Designer Graham Humphrys and M-Sport’s Chief Engineer, Christian Loriaux. M-Sport was originally formed in 1979, and in 1994 M-Sport won national rally titles in Italy, Portugal, the Middle East and Britain, the latter with founder Malcolm Wilson himself behind the wheel. Since 1996, M-Sport has run Ford’s WRC campaigns, including winning two FIA World Rally Championships in 2006 and 2007.

 

  1. The Continental GT3 project is proud to be working with ExxonMobil, who have joined the team as a key sponsor. Bentley engineers carefully selected every component involved with the race program, and the choice of motor oil was no exception. With proven success in motorsports and a track record of helping bring home championships, Mobil 1 was an obvious choice. The race-configured version of Bentley’s 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine will be filled with Mobil 1™ synthetic motor oil, to ensure maximum engine protection and performance in the gruelling environment of endurance racing.

 

  1. Bentley Motors employs around 4,000 people in Crewe which is home to all its operations including design, R&D, engineering and production. The combination of fine craftsmanship, using skills that have been handed down through generations, alongside engineering expertise and cutting-edge technology is unique to UK luxury vehicle manufacturers such as Bentley. It is also an example of high-value British manufacturing at its best. Bentley exports over £1bn worth of goods in 2012.  The company is the third largest R&D investor in the UK's automotive sector and the 18th largest nationally.

 

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The Continental GT3 - Track footage
The official running debut of the Bentley Continental GT3