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First drive: 2015 Bentley GT3-R

First drive: 2015 Bentley GT3-R

If You Happen To’ve $ 337,000 to spend on a automotive, and you’ve been debating between a racecar and a bespoke luxurious coupe, keep yourself the affliction and get your self the Bentley Continental GT3-R.

The night ahead of I used to be scheduled to drive the only 2015 Bentley Continental GT3-R presently in existence, the earth shook.

Lying in mattress, dreaming of Bentley racecars and the day ahead, I used to be hastily awoken to my resort room in Napa, California shaking around me. Just as I had quaked with anticipation of driving the GT3-R sooner than I went to sleep that evening, the ground round me quaked, too.

Now, any selection of issues can cause the earth to shake, from fracking to the riotous shouts of Seattle Seahawk enthusiasts. Whereas I’d prefer to credit the pavement-rending $ 337,000 Bentley, this time the earth shook due to a shift in the earth’s tectonic plates.

Automakers often try to set a particular tone earlier than we journalists drive their automobiles. Nothing, However, can have extra aptly set the scene for driving the quickest accelerating Bentley ever than a 6.Zero magnitude earthquake.

First drive video

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Jangled nerves

Nerves already pre-jangled by using the three:20 AM earthly wakeup call, I dropped At The Back Of the steering wheel of the GT3-R feeling a bit of worse for put on However fully alert. Immediately, sitting throughout the GT3-R, I Spotted the automobile didn’t feel any totally different than, say, the 2015 Bentley GT Velocity. Though, it In Reality should.

The seats of the GT3-R are new with deeper bolsters and new foam layers. In The Back Of Those new seats, the place an owner might find a set of smart rear buckets in other Continental models, is an Alcantara-lined baggage shelf.

I pushed the ignition button, and, once more, the auto didn’t In Reality hint at anything else specifically dissimilar about its nature. The sprint got here alive with a flash, so, too, did the centralized Eight.0-inch touchscreen infotainment unit.

Nothing will have more aptly set the scene for riding the fastest accelerating Bentley ever than a 6.Zero magnitude earthquake.

That feeling of sameness, Although, quickly modified. I pulled the shifter of the eight-Velocity automatic down into Sport and headed for the open highway.

On The first touch of the throttle, I knew I used to be riding an extraordinarily unique Bentley indeed. Even with a handy guide a rough faucet of the accelerator, my head and neck were contorted backward and my ears handled to the deep, raspy tones of a crackling V8 thru an uninhibited exhaust system.

And what a V8 it is. Conserving in step with the Continental GT3 racecars, the GT3-R is powered via a highly tuned version of the logo’s twin-turbo Four.0-liter V8, which is a relative of Digital Developments’ 2013 Engine of the Yr.

In GT3-R form, the hunk of British aluminum makes 572 horsepower and 518 pound-feet of torque. That Large lump of power is routed through an eight-Pace automatic and out to all four wheels with a 40:60 entrance-to-rear torque cut up.

0 to 60 is mastered in Three.6 seconds and the auto tops out at 170 mph. Granted, that high Speed isn’t a lot to put in writing residence about, especially making an allowance for I in my opinion did 183 mph within the GT Speed. The GT3-R isn’t about Autobahn cruising; it’s about hardline acceleration and precision dealing with.

To That End, together with the distinguishing exterior extras and a suspension that’s 54 percent stiffer, the Bentley GT3-R is 220 kilos lighter than the GT V8. These modifications can also be In An Instant felt from Behind the wheel.

Apparently, the GT3-R was designed, In The Event You couldn’t inform from the exterior, to generate a way more evocative, racecar-like motoring expertise. Due To the short all-wheel pressure machine, which is able to send up to 85 p.c of torque to the rear wheels at any moment, the driver can rustle up as many ponies as he needs without perturbing the large beast, both.

Flip onerous right into a nook and, where a typical Bentley may wallow somewhat below its massive heft, the GT3-R grabs the highway exhausting and plants itself firmly for the apex with minimal physique lean.

2015 Bentley Continental GT3-R driver interior

Astonishingly, the 220-pound weight financial savings can actually be felt within the corners. For the primary time, I Feel relaxed describing a Bentley as nimble. Certain, at Four,837 pounds, it’s hardly ever a featherweight. However, compared to the GT V8 S I drove back-to-back with the GT3-R, or the 12-cylinder GT Pace, I Will Be Able To indisputably say it’s rather more sprightly than its extra bespoke brothers.

With its big wing, facet stripes, and hell fury V8, the GT3-R is probably the most mental muscle car in the world. And – from Behind the wheel – it In Point Of Fact seems like one, too. It’s an incredible, beefy thing with loads of growl and gusto. Yes, it’s just a little boyracer-y however it’s the roughly boyracer whose father is a Duke.


Bentley handiest plans to build 300 examples of the GT3-R, 99 of which can be slated for the U.S. I, However, acquired to pressure the primary one ever constructed, for which I Am hugely grateful and humbled.

Whereas I was once inexorably excited to power the primary-ever GT3-R, I Feel a bit of sad having now pushed it.

Whereas I used to be inexorably excited to force the first-ever GT3-R, I Feel a bit of sad having now driven it. The GT3-R used to be so excellent, so essential, so animated, so shout-y that i’m a bit depressed that extra of these kind of Bentleys won’t exist.

I loved the GT V8 S and the GT Pace; don’t get me flawed. The GT3-R, Though, has that sure one thing, that X-factor that’s so uncommon on this planet, let on my own within the automotive realm.

It perfectly rides that skinny line between luxurious and sportiness and outright madness. In Reality, if I’m being perfectly honest, it’s the primary Bentley that harkens back to the Bentleys of previous – again when the brand used to be built for well-heeled thrill-seekers and metal-eyed racers.

For that, I Am grateful to the Bentley Boys for having created it. However I’m saddened more folks gained’t get to experience its glory.


  • Racecar-impressed exterior styling and accents
  • Raspy, crackling Sport exhaust
  • Straight-line acceleration
  • Planted, light-weight on-road really feel


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