Bentley Continental GT3 concept
27th September 2012
Bentley returns to motorsport with Continental GT3 concept
Today at the Paris International Auto Salon, Bentley is unveiling its Continental GT3 race car concept, signalling the Company’s intention to return to motorsport towards the end of 2013. Bentley is also showcasing its full product range at this year’s Salon. From the hand-crafted, high-luxury Mulsanne saloon through to the 205 mph (330 km/h) Continental GT Speed performance flagship, the models presented on the show stand clearly reflect the unrivalled breadth of this world-famous brand.
Commenting on Bentley’s stand at the Paris Salon, Dr.Wolfgang Schreiber, Chairman and Chief Executive, said:
“The Paris Salon is a particularly important date in Bentley’s automotive calendar. Exactly ten years ago, the unveiling of the Continental GT concept was a defining moment in Bentley’s history, marking the beginning of the company’s product-led renaissance. Ten years on, the breadth of our model range on display and our announcement to return to the racetrack clearly reflects the progress Bentley has made during that time and the strength of the brand today.”
Bentley returns to the racetrack
Currently being developed by a dedicated motorsport team at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe, the GT3 concept reaffirms Bentley’s philosophy to develop racing cars from their road-going counterparts. Based on the new Continental GT Speed, the fastest road-going Bentley ever, the GT3 concept capitalises on the prodigious performance, outstanding high-speed stability and renowned durability of Bentley’s iconic coupe, while tailoring its specification for the racetrack. Featuring a rear-wheel drive chassis, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware and a comprehensive aerodynamic package, the GT3 is targeted to return to the motorsport arena towards the end of 2013.
New Bentley GT Speed coupe: the fastest-ever Bentley road-car
Since the launch of the original GT Concept at the Paris Salon in 2002, the W12-engined Continental range has gone from strength to strength with over 50,000 sales worldwide, making Bentley’s factory in Crewe, England, the largest producer of 12 cylinder engines in the world. The W12 story continues to unfold and remains the ultimate expression of Bentley’s engineering strength.
Making its debut at the Paris Show this year, the new 205 mph (330 km/h) W-12 engined Continental GT Speed is the fastest road car Bentley has ever produced. As Bentley’s new performance flagship, the Continental GT Speed coupe appeals to driving enthusiasts who place a high value on outright performance and agile handling.
The GT Speed develops 616 bhp (625 PS / 460 kW) at 6000 rev/min with 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) of torque available from 2000 to 5000 rev/min for instantly accessible high performance. Coupled with a new ZF eight-speed close-ratio automatic transmission and state-of-the-art engine management software, the GT Speed despatches the zero-to-sixty sprint in 4.0 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.2s), reaching 100 mph (160 km/h) from a standing start in just 9.0 seconds.
In-gear acceleration is equally breath-taking. The advanced software of the close-ratio 8-speed transmission enables quick-shifting in Sport and Tiptronic modes. The gearbox also features ‘block-downshifting’, enabling combined downshifts for maximum acceleration. Typically, when cruising in eighth gear, full acceleration is achieved by dropping straight down to fourth.
While this puts the GT Speed at the very top end of automotive performance, the new model retains the driving refinement, supreme comfort, peerless craftsmanship and contemporary luxury associated with Bentley cars.