Bentley seems certain to build its first rear-wheel-drive sports car of the modern era and put it on sale next year. The car will be based on the current Continental GT and will be a far more extreme offering than the four-wheel-drive GT3-R, which was launched last year.
“A lot of people expected the GT3-R to be a proper rear-wheel-drive sports car,” Bentley engineering boss Rolf Frech told Autocar, “but the problem was timing. We needed the car at the end of the first season of our GT3 racing car, and to do a proper change of the complete powertrain needed longer than we had. But we have the concept in our mind, so why not?”
The new car will have a version of the twin-turbo 4.0-litre V8 used by both road and race Continentals, but it is likely to be boosted beyond even the 572bhp of the £237,500 GT3-R.
However, the main focus will be on weight reduction. The aim is to make this the first sub-2000kg Bentley in a generation, a 200kg saving over the GT3-R of which less than half will come from the conversion to rear drive.
Expect fairly sparse levels of standard equipment, therefore, and unprecedented use of lightweight materials for the brand. There is no word on how much the car will cost or how many will be built, but the run is likely to be limited to even fewer than the 300 GT3-Rs that are to be made, and at a price sure to be close to £300,000.
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