At the 2002 Paris Motor Show, the unveiling of the Bentley Continental GT3 Concept opened an exciting new chapter in Bentley's history. Now, ten years on, Bentley is repeating the same feat wîth a Continental-based GT3 race car currently being developed by a dedicated motorsport team at the company's factory in Crewe.
Signalling Bentley's return to the racetrack for the first time since its historic sixth Le Mans victory in 2003, Bentley Continental GT3 remains faithful to the company's founding motorsport philosophy of developing racing cars from their road-going counterparts.
Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley's Chairman and Chief Executive, comments: 'The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we've had ever since the launch of the Continental GT. The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential. The Bentley 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.'
The new Bentley Continental GT Speed is a refined, luxury grand tourer but which, if the driver demands, has a distinctly hard-edged sporting character. With exceptional levels of instantly accessible performance, the GT Speed, the fastest road-going Bentley ever, is a supercar that can be used every day, whatever the weather and road conditions. The Continental 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 track wîth the adoption of a rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance wîth the regulations, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware and a comprehensive aerodynamic package. The dramatic livery of the car enhances the muscular, sculpted form of the Continental GT Speed while remaining proudly patriotic wîth the inclusion of Únion flags.
With the Bentley Continental GT3 concept receiving the full support of the FIA, Bentley is returning to the motorsport arena towards the end of 2013 wîth a GT race car capable of competing wîth the very best, in the true Bentley tradition.
Engine : 4.0 L., 8-cylinder Power: 600 hp
Equipped for endurance as well as outright speed, the new Bentley competitor will be eligible to race in a range of race series and events, up to and including 24-hour marathons.
Heading the development of the Continental GT3 is Bentley's Director of Chassis, Powertrain and Motorsport, Brian Gush. Having led the programme that famously saw a brace of Bentley Speed 8 prototype racers take a dominant and dramatic one/two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003, Brian is well placed to lead Bentley's return to competitive racing.
Development of the Bentley Continental GT3 will continue over the coming months in the build-up to the start of a test programme in 2013.Source - Bentley
BENTLEY SHOWCASES NORTH AMERICAN DEBUTS
•Bentley debuts Continental GT3 concept race car in the ÚS •GT Speed, Bentley's fastest-ever road car, makes ÚS debut •Sporting derivative of luxury flagship Mulsanne also on stand •ÚS consolidates its position as Bentley's largest market
(Crewe/Los Angeles, 28 November 2012). Bentley today unveils its Continental GT3 race car in the ÚS for the first time as the company forges ahead wîth its plans to return to motorsport towards the end of 2013. Bentley is also showing its new 205 mph (330 km/h) Continental GT Speed performance flagship, the sister car upon which the GT3 is based and the Mulsanne Mulliner Driving Specification, a highly distinctive and sporting interpretation of its flagship Mulsanne.
Commenting on Bentley's stand at the Los Angeles Show, Rolf Frech, Member of the Board for Engineering, Bentley Motors, said:
'For some time now our customers have been telling us that it is time to return to motorsport. Our ÚS customers are no exception and I am delighted to be showing the Continental GT3 concept race car in LA.
'I am also pleased to introduce the new GT Speed to the ÚS. The Speed has been a sales success story for Bentley ever since it was first unveiled in 2008 and we expect strong interest in the ÚS region.'
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.
The GT3 concept features a rear-wheel drive chassis, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware and a comprehensive aerodynamic package to compete in GT racing. Bentley 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 wîth 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 ÚS debut in Los Angeles, 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 wîth 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) of torque available from 2000 to 5000 rev/min for instantly accessible high performance. Coupled wîth a new ZF eight-speed close-ratio automatic transmission and state-of-the-art engine management software, the GT Speed dispatches 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 wîth Bentley cars.
Bentley Mulsanne: the pinnacle of British luxury motoring
The Mulsanne is a pure example of the Grand Touring Bentley combining coach-built elegance and hand crafted luxury wîth immense power and sportiness that together offer the world's most exclusive driving experience. It is a luxury car that makes the joy of driving its central focus. In an era of mass production, it stands at the pinnacle of British luxury motoring.
Bentley is showcasing a highly distinctive and sporting interpretation of its flagship Mulsanne in Los Angeles. The MDS blends a range of striking design features including unique 21-inch alloy wheels, Bentley Flying 'B' wing vents and Diamond Quilted leather trimmed cabin wîth driver-selectable, sports-tuned suspension and §teering, underscoring the performance credentials of Bentley's 6.75 litre V8 ultra-luxury sports sedan. (concept carz)
Bentley continues strong 2012 business performance
Bentley continues to see strong sales growth this year wîth all models contributing to this positive effect. Kevin Rose, Member of the Board for Sales, Marketing, Aftersales, Bentley Motors, comments:
'2012 looks set to be another strong year for Bentley and we are pleased to announce today that last week we exceeded the total sales figure from 2011.
'The ÚS market is playing a crucial role in our success. We continue to show double digit growth and, at the end of Quarter 3, had seen a 25% increase in global sales wîth 5,969 cars delivered to customers. Of these, 1,750 of them were sold here in the ÚS. That makes the Americas our largest market, wîth a 29% increase in sales year on year, which also fought off a strong challenge from China at the beginning of the year.'
Source - Bentley
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 lòòking 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, wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth 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 §teering wheel.
A double wishbone suspension configuration front and rear, fitted wîth four-way adjustable racing dampers, replaces the standard road-car air springs. The §teering system features hydraulic power-assistance, while braking is via ventilated iron discs combined wîth 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 wîth 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 wîth 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, wîth the §teering 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 Ltd. 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 wîth 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.Source - Bentley
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