2015 Bentley Continental GT3-R is a Tiffany Track Rat
To most people who don’t know much about cars, Bentley is merely a builder of fine British luxury cars. Of course, we automotive history geeks know all about the storied marque’s glittering (if sporadic) competition history. Whether you’re into Woolf Barnato’s merry band of Bentley Boys and their supercharged dreadnaughts of the late 1920s and early 1930s, the sleek Speed 8 Le Mans Prototypes of the early 2000s, or the muscular Continental GT3s of today, it’s not hard to find a stylish – and successful – racecar that wears the Flying B.
And it was the early successes that the Continental GT3 has enjoyed that inspired Bentley to create the limited-edition pseudo-street-version of the completion Conti that you see before you. At first glance, the Continental GT3-R looks like nothing more than a quick-and-dirty spoilers-and-decals job, and it does have both those items. But then you notice things like the new front splitter with winglets and the two functional hood vents. Then you peer through the windows and notice the jazzy green-on-black cockpit only has accommodations for two; the standard Continental’s rear seats are nowhere to be found.
The changes continue where the sun don’t shine: The air suspension and electronic driver aids have been re-tuned to provide sharper responses, the all-wheel-drive system sends more power to the rear, exotic carbon silicon carbide brakes have been installed, and the 4.0L twin-turbo V8 makes more power and torque (572 horsepower and 516 lb.-ft) than it does in the Continental GT V8 S. That power surplus and mass shortage (about 200 lbs. less than the GT V8 S), plus shorter gearing in the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission, translates to noticeably peppier acceleration: Bentley say 0-60 mph runs take just 3.6 seconds, which we reckon is onlyslightly less time than it will take for the 300 examples that will be made for worldwide consumption to be snapped up. So if you want one, get crackin’!