Crewe’s brand-new ultra-GT swaps its brogues for racing boots. And a wing
We could immediately wade into the mouth-watering specification of the new Bentley Continental GT3. And digging into its lightweighting regime and aerodynamic intricacies would be fun, we’re sure of it. But first, we must simply stand back and admire what an utterly fabulous looking racing car this is.
Welcome to Bentley’s all-new GT3 racing contender, heading for Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup battles and the Intercontinental GT Challenge championship. If handsome racing cars win world titles, then this new Conti is on for a podium clean sweep.
Now, it won’t have escaped your attention that Bentleys don’t make the most natural candidates for track-work conversions. The new Continental GT has four-wheel drive, a bi-turbo W12 engine, and a rotating dashboard that can display a touchscreen, dials, or a ruddy great slab of polished wood veneer. It contains more cowhides than a rodeo contest, and is only slightly less wooden than a late Roger Moore 007 performance.
So, the GT3’s conversion by Bentley’s race-prep partners M-Sport is exceedingly thorough. For a kick-off, the racecar has been treated to Bentley’s 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 before the road car: the downsized motor’s been fitted with a fresh dry sump, intake and exhaust, and develops 550bhp, though that’ll tumble when FIA restrictors are applied.
Stripping out the aluminium bodyshell and all-wheel drive, meanwhile, has seen weight fall to around 1,300kg, or around 950kg (!) less than the road car. A whole VW Up GTI’s worth of mass, binned. Think about that next time you see a Conti GT with token carbon trim on its dashboard…
Customer sales for racing enthusiasts with a penchant for very intimidating looking GT cars can bag one of these monsters in June 2018. Here’s hoping it’s as tough as the last version…
STORY OLLIE KEW