Preview: Bentley Continental GT3

By John Beltz Snyder

July 15, 2013

After showing us a concept car last year and teasing the Goodwood debut, Bentley has finally given up the details on the Continental GT3.
First thing’s first, Bentley manages to shave off well over a ton of weight from the Conti to get it down to a nice fighting weight of less than 2866 pounds. Equipped with an unrestricted race version of its biturbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 producing 600 horsepower, this Bentley can be nothing but quick. IT features a six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, putting the power to the rear wheels, along with a racing clutch, steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and a carbon fiber propshaft limited slip differential.
bentley continental gt3 profile
The front and rear double wishbone suspensions use four-way adjustable dampers to suit the situation. The ventilated Brembo disc brakes feature driver-adjustable brake bias. 18-inch OZ racing wheels top off the package.
The Continental GT3 features an aerodynamics package to reduce drag and increase downforce and stability. This includes a carbon fiber rear wing and front splitter, as well as modifications to the hood, bumpers and fenders for optimal cooling.
bentley continental gt3 interior
Despite the leather and wood interior being stripped down for weight savings, the GT3 still features handcrafted and stitched elements, including the steering wheel, door pulls, and seat.
The Bentley Continental GT3 made its official debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday, July 12, where it tackled the famous Goodwood hill climb.
bentley continental gt3 rear motion goodwood
See the video of the car’s debut, below, or scroll on for more details in the official press release.

  • 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
4.0-litre twin-turbo V8, repositioned to the rear of the engine bay, Cosworth engine management system
Approx. 600 bhp derestricted
Oil System
Dry sump
Rear wheel drive, Xtrac six-speed sequential transaxle gearbox, racing clutch, steering wheel mounted paddle operated pneumatic gear shift
Carbon fibre propshaft, limited slip differential
Double wishbone suspension front and rear, four-way adjustable racing dampers
Hydraulic power-assisted steering
Ventilated iron disc brakes front and rear, Brembo six-piston front calipers, four-piston rear calipers, driver-adjustable brake bias
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
Race-specification ABS and traction control. Lightweight race battery.
OZ Racing 18” x 13” rims
310 / 710 R18
Carbon fibre front splitter, rear wing and body panels. Lightweight, aerodynamically-optimised bumpers, bonnet, sills and fenders
4950 mm
2030 mm
1350 mm
<1300 kg
Weight Distribution
52 : 48