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Thursday 27th September 2012

Paris 2012: Bentley Continental GT3 Racer

Huzzah! The Bentley Boys are coming back to the track



Bentley is going back into motorsport AND going back to its road car derived competition car roots with a racing version of the mighty Continental GT Speed.

The forthcoming GT Speed is Bentley’s fastest road car ever, and the Continental GT3 concept racer is by a country mile its most extreme iteration. For something that’s never going to make the highway, this beast has created a huge stir here at Paris. The unanimous verdict is that its arrival is a Very Good Thing indeed.

Options include a carbon fibre cravat
Options include a carbon fibre cravat
The scale of it is remarkable, from the complex aero-led front end to that humungous rear wing. Seriously, the scale of the rear spoiler is unbelievable – it’s not unlike early F1 wings of the 1960s for towering intent. The Continental GT3 also has aero-profiled side body panels, the expected diffusers and complex aero devices, and even glorious titanium-tipped side-exit exhausts.

Inside, there’s a fully-equipped race car cockpit with HANS-ready seats, a fully-stocked dashboard and a plumbed-in side refueller. It genuinely does look race-ready (and already equipped with the ‘state of the art motorsport hardware’ Bentley’s telling us it has).

It’s got to have gone through a serious weight-saving regime, mind, given how heavy the road car is. Bentley’s tight-lipped on this, but there’s a telling detail that shows it’s thought about everything: the traditional chrome grille badge is now a sticker graphic…

GT racing suddenly got a lot more interesting
GT racing suddenly got a lot more interesting
Bentley tells us it’ll be rear-wheel drive, but hasn’t revealed which engine it’ll use. Logic would suggest the new V8 turbo, particularly as all the car’s rivals (Aston Martin DBRS9, Audi R8 LM, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, Mercedes SLS AMG GT3) pack eight-cylinder motors. With due equalisation though, could a W12 be a reality – particularly as Bentley chiefs told us at the V8’s launch that the weight difference isn’t as great as you’d think?

What’s it all about, though? Well, Bentley’s last motorsport venture was the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hour race. It won this with the Speed 8, of course, but hasn’t done anything since. A return is long overdue. Now it’s here, with the car set to compete in all types of GT3 racing up to and including 24-hour marathons. Basically, it IS going back to Le Mans, probably in 2014.

Before that, the GT3 will make its racing debut in the latter half of 2013, following a big testing programme. Judging by the press release shots, it’s already undergoing shakedown runs at Anglesey.

Bentley Chairman and CEO Dr Wolfgang Schreiber was bullish at the press conference. "The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley's long-term motorsport plans."

Question is, when will we get the Continental GT3 road car? Watch this space, hinted a spokesperson…

richardaucock
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Author Discussion

dele

Original Poster:

979 posts

77 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Not a huge fan of the road car but the GT3? Oh yes <3

mr2j

428 posts

41 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Wouldn't those tyres catch on the arches all too easily or is it set up to avoid this? I often think this about racers knowing that it happens on lowered road cars with big rims when either the lowering is too much or the rims are too big. I generally learn by asking the silly questions.

TheOrangePeril

351 posts

63 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Oh sheer beauty! I'm gonna start saving my coppers for the road legal version...

sinbaddio

388 posts

59 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Feeling a reconnaissance trip to Anglesey coming on............ wink

ukaskew

811 posts

104 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
How can a road car that I despise the look of look so sensational in race car form? Fantastic bit of kit.
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MGZRod

6,340 posts

59 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
mr2j said:
Wouldn't those tyres catch on the arches all too easily or is it set up to avoid this? I often think this about racers knowing that it happens on lowered road cars with big rims when either the lowering is too much or the rims are too big. I generally learn by asking the silly questions.
Generally the suspension set up on race cars are stiff as hell so if the wheel bounces upwards, the car does too. No doubt it will scrub a bit, but not enough to damage it.

robinessex

1,437 posts

64 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Who engineered and built it ?

Mark-C

1,850 posts

88 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I'm with some others above - I really, really don't like the road car but this looks absolutely brilliant. It's going to look immense (in every sense) seeing that thrown at some corners thumbup

LuS1fer

31,684 posts

128 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
I don't mind Bentleys but this looks epic. Kind of reminds me, for no obvious reason, of the batmobile BMW CSLs of the 70s and the Broadspeed Jag XJs - it should have amazing track presence.

zebedee

4,289 posts

161 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Back to Le Mans? Not in GT3 spec it won't be.

wab172uk

900 posts

110 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
That thing looks fantastic.

PascalBuyens

2,868 posts

165 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
clap Nice smile

cirks

2,078 posts

166 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
looks sooooo much better than the road car. Initial glance though looks a little like a big version of

Luca Brasi

831 posts

57 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Looks fabulous but I thought turbocharged engines weren't allowed in GT3 racing?

edit: it is allowed, forgot about the McLaren.

Edited by Luca Brasi on Thursday 27th September 13:03

mr2j

428 posts

41 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
MGZRod said:
Generally the suspension set up on race cars are stiff as hell so if the wheel bounces upwards, the car does too. No doubt it will scrub a bit, but not enough to damage it.
Brilliant, thanks for that. Not having been in a racer I don't think I can appreciate just how unyielding the suspension must be. It's really interesting to know they're happy to allow for a bit of scrub - some people don't seem too bothered about this on their road set ups.

Chris Stott

1,003 posts

80 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Looks nice and good for Bentley given their distant herritage in motorsport.

But how on earth are they going to make this competitive given the road car weighs 2,350kg? They'll need to shed somehwre near 1,000kg - how do you possibly lose >40% of the road cars weight? It doesn't need a diet, it needs a gastric band and 2 months of liposuction.

Tenko

20 posts

22 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
What a visually stunning GT3 Racer. To see that going round the track would be worth the entrance fee alone...

Switch

3,347 posts

58 months

PH Techie at Large

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
One in road spec please biggrin

Bloody Lovely!

Johnny

6,211 posts

167 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Oh my! Brutal.

Yes, please.

Earl'Dingleberry

170 posts

23 months

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Thursday 27th September 2012 quote quote all
Picture of the carbon fibre cravat option?
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