Locate some shade: Bentley’s Continental GT3-R may get even hotter

If you thought the range-topping Continental GT3-R was bold, what Bentley may be planning next is downright valiant.

In a report by Autocar, Bentley design chief Luc Donckerwolke says an even hotter Continental GT3-R may be in the cards. Following Bentley’s successes in motorsport this year, there’s a desire for more racing-inspired road cars from the U.K. automaker.

If the GT3-R gets any faster, it will inch toward supercar territory. With a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8, 572 horsepower, and a 0 to 60 mph time of 3.6 seconds, the “big” Bentley is already knocking on the gullwing doors of the Mercedes SLS AMG. Add any more power and the lightweight Continental may be giving Ferrari 458 owners something to be worried about.

Donckerwolke says a lighter, rear-wheel-drive version is feasible for the luxury carmaker to produce.

“Why not?” he said. “The GT3-R has been a success. We’ve sold all 300 and a lot of people would want an even more extreme one.”

“I want us to celebrate our race success and have an even more extreme version,” continued Donckerwolke. “With not only an updated drive and powertrain but also new styling to closely link the race and road cars.”

Such a version may widen Bentley’s demographics, straying from the wealthy, executive-type customers of old, and attracting more youthful buyers.

“There’s a big opportunity to make more emotional cars in Bentley’s future for younger people. We did it in the past and we can do it again.”

If Bentley does decide to build a hotter GT3-R, it’ll make for a busy production line in the coming years. The luxury automaker is releasing a brand-new SUV in 2017, and CEO Wolfgang Durheimer recently confirmed to Top Gear that a fifth car, an entry-level coupe, may appear in Bentley’s lineup soon.

That means, by 2017 or so, would-be Bentley buyers will have an entry-level coupe, Continental GT, Mulsanne, Flying Spur, and SUV to choose from.


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