Crewe/Los Angeles -
Bentley unveils its Continental GT3 race car in the US for the first
time as the company forges ahead with 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
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 US 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 US. 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 US 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 with 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 US 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 with 800 Nm (590 lb.ft) of torque available from
2000 to 5000 rev/min for instantly accessible high performance. Coupled
with 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 with Bentley cars.