Bentley so enjoyed building their 2013 GT3 race car that they decided to make a limited-run version for the road: behold the GT3-R. A giant carbon rear wing, bonnet vents, and a burbling, popping exhaust make it clear this isn’t just any old Continental. This is the Continental GT for the driving enthusiast.
Bentley didn’t just phone this one in. In creating the Continental GT3-R, nearly every aspect of the base GT V8 S was updated or improved. Using lightweight materials, an impressive 100 kgs were shed from the kerb weight. The standard 4.0-litre V8 engine has been upgraded to produce 572 bhp and 516 lb-ft of torque, improvements of 51 horsepower and 14 lb-ft. More responsive turbos and quicker shifts make the car feel even faster than that power would imply. Also new is the addition of torque vectoring on each of the rear wheels, a titanium exhaust, and 21-inch allow wheels. To enhance track performance, silicon carbide brakes are used. Glancing inside, even the casual observer will notice the extensive use of carbon fibre on nearly every surface of the car, replacing the standard wood trim that you would normally expect to adorn every surface that’s not leather.
Big Performance in a Big Package
While 100 kgs might sound like a lot of weight to remove from a car, you have to remember that this is an extremely heavy car to begin with, so the GT3-R still weighs in at a substantial 2,120 kg. Still, all of the performance upgrades do amount to something, with the V8 S’s 0 to 60 time cut down from 4.5 to just 3.8 for the GT3-R. Top speed is not a strong suit, however, with the shorter gearing taking that figure down from 192 to just 170 mph. A tighter, stiffer suspension setup allows the GT3-R to feel more agile and responsive than any of its Continental GT siblings.
Just 300 examples of the Continental GT3-R will be built, with a starting price of £237,500. While most enthusiasts might balk at the idea of a 2100-kg performance coupe, there is no denying the fun factor here. Other cars can out-accelerate and out-corner the Bentley, but they don’t come with the entertaining sense of absurdity that is standard on every GT3-R.