It's been almost a year since we first laid eyes on the Bentley Continental GT3, but this race-bred Continental GT is finally ready to show off its moves. After debuting last year at the Paris Motor Show, the Continental GT3 makes its racing debut today at the Goodwood Festival of Speed before competing in the FIA Blancpain Series next year.

While Bentley released some of the car's details last month, we now have all we need to know about this car such as its curb weight of less than 2,866 pounds, its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 packing 600 horsepower and four-way adjustable suspension dampers. The exterior of the car stays true to the design of the Continental GT but has been given a once over to improve aero, and the interior has been stripped down to the bare essentials for racing. This doesn't mean that all luxury was thrown out the window, though, as the Continental GT3's steering wheel, door pulls and seat are all covered in hand-stitched leather. Scroll down for the official press release as well as a video showing the car in action.
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Bentley Continental GT3 Revealed
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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 looking 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, with 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 with 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 with 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 steering wheel.

A double wishbone suspension configuration front and rear, fitted with four-way adjustable racing dampers, replaces the standard road-car air springs. The steering system features hydraulic power-assistance, while braking is via ventilated iron discs combined with 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 with 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 with 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, with the steering 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 with 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.

Continental GT3 Specifications
  • Engine 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, repositioned to the rear of the engine bay, Cosworth engine management system
  • Power Approx. 600 bhp derestricted
  • Oil System Dry sump
  • Transmission Rear wheel drive, Xtrac six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, racing clutch, steering wheel mounted paddle operated pneumatic gear shift
  • Drivetrain Carbon fibre propshaft, limited slip differential
  • Suspension Double wishbone suspension front and rear, four-way adjustable racing dampers
  • Steering Hydraulic power-assisted steering
  • Brakes Ventilated iron disc brakes front and rear, Brembo six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers, driver-adjustable brake bias
  • Safety FIA-specification steel roll cage, Sparco six-point FIA safety harness, onboard fire extinguisher, onboard pneumatic jack system.
  • Fuel System FIA-specification racing fuel cell
  • Electronics Race-specification ABS and traction control. Lightweight race battery.
  • Wheels OZ Racing 18" x 13" rims
  • Tyres 310 / 710 R18
  • Aerodynamics Carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing and body panels. Lightweight, aerodynamically-optimised bumpers, bonnet, sills and fenders
  • Length 4950 mm
  • Width 2030 mm
  • Height 1350 mm
  • Weight <1300 kg
  • Weight Distribution 52 : 48