Bentley is expected to launch a flagship rear-wheel-drive performance version of the Continental GT at the Goodwood Festival of Speed later this month.

The model, set to be badged GT3, is designed to link Bentley’s race and road programmes and position the Continental as a truly sporting GT, and is likely to have around 700bhp. It has just made a winning return to GT racing with a Continental GT3.

One of the main themes of the hot new road car will be weight-saving. Even the lightest V8-powered Continental GT road car weighs 2295kg, a full 1000kg more than the racer. To that end, Bentley has ditched the Continental’s four-wheel system in favour of a lighter and more sporting rear-wheel drive system.

The Continental GT3 road car is also set to extensively feature carbonfibre in its bodywork and other trim to further bring down the hefty kerb weight, with the construction of the road car set to be finished by Bentley’s own race engineers for an even closer look between road and race cars.

A test mule was spotted at the Nürburgring last month that is now believed to be the new GT3. The mules indicate that styling and aerodynamic upgrades will also be offered on the new range-topper, including a fixed rear wing.

Bentley has long spoken of its desire to launch a more focused version of the GT3. Indeed, the model was believed to be a pet project of returning boss Wolfgang Dürheimer, who kicked off development of it in his previous tenure at Crewe.

The model is understood to be built in a limited run rather than as a regular production model, around 30 of which are destined for the UK. Deposits are already understood to have been taken for the new model ahead of its Goodwood airing.

Read more Goodwood Festival of Speed news.

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