Bentley recently launched the new Continental GTC Speed which is essentially the convertible version of the GT Speed Coupe. Power comes from the same mighty W12 6.0-liter twin-turbo engine capable of developing no less than 616 HP and a maximum torque of 590 lb-ft available between 2,000 rpm and 5,000 rpm. It enables the convertible to achieve the 0-62 mph sprint in an impressive 4.4 seconds, onwards to a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h). Compared to the coupe, it is 0.1 seconds slower while performing the sprint and 3 mph (5 km/h) slower in terms of top speed, but even so it still is the quickest four-seat cabrio ever made.
Power is sent to the wheels through an eight-speed Quickshift automatic transmission developed by ZF. This power is sent to all wheels with a front/rear 40/60 default split, with the car riding on a double wishbone front suspension and a multi-link layout. Both of them were tweaked while the convertible was lowered by 10mm.
It rides on 21-inch Speed alloy wheels and features a dark chrome look for the matrix radiator front grille and bumper air intakes. At the back it has elliptical exhaust pipes featuring a “rifled” interior. Inside the cabin it gets as standard diamond-quilted leather upholstery and an infotainment system.
The British automaker Bentley will return to the world of GT3 racing with this specially developed Continental. It’s been ten years since the Crewe-based company participated in motorsport, winning the Le Mans 24 Hours. The car you see in these photos is based on the Continental GT Speed but it ditches the all-wheel drive layout in favor of a rear-wheel drive configuration. In addition, the car’s aerodynamics have been completely updated, with the car featuring a carbon rear diffuser and front splitter, along with a race-specification rear wing that will generate additional downforce. There aren’t any details at the moment regarding the engine, but most likely it will get a race-spec turbocharged W12.
The development program for the GT3 will continue this upcoming winter and it will be followed by a test program next year, prior to a full race debut in the second half of 2013. It will be eligible to participate in various types of races, including the hard 24-hour endurance events, even though GT3-spec cars do not participate at Le Mans.
According to Bentley, this Continental GT3 will stay true to the firm’s motorsport roots, a philosophy of spawning race cars from their road-legal counterparts. The company’s chairman and chief executive said recently that this GT3 version can be considered as the most extreme form of the Continental GT.