Bentley has been producing some of the finest examples of rolling art since W. O. Bentley rolled the first specimen out of their London factory in 1919. From the beginning, W. O. Bentley was intent on pursuing both performance and luxury, an ambitious undertaking considered by most - to this day - as a contradiction in terms.
The first Bentley to sport the ‘Flying-B’ insignia was a 3.5 L test car built in 1920. The following year, Bentley secured its first racing victory at the Brooklands Motor Circuit and also delivered its first production car to the company’s very first customer. Yet by the end of the 1920’s, Bentley Motors (barely celebrating its first decade in business) had secured five victories at La Mans, earning the Flying-B her reputation for Grand Tour racing performance and world class luxury. Today, with almost a century of automobile manufacturing experience, Bentley continues to produce some of the most powerful engines in the automotive Industry. Custom built engines in V8 and W12 configurations propel these luxurious 6,000 lb beasts to speeds in excess of 200 mph, in seconds!
Bentley knows racing and the Continental GT3-R delivers the technological precision and horsepower it takes to win at the track. This road racing GT3 propels the driver from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds flat, thanks to a 572 hp V8 that produces over 615 lbs of torque and transfers power to the rear wheels through an 8-speed computerized transmission that ensures quick paddle-shifts every time. Style and comfort also rank high among the GT3-R’s finer points, as Grand Touring is about much more than simply getting somewhere faster. The luxury cabin envelops its occupants in hand-stitched leather and carbon fiber trim. Driver & passenger are held snugly in place with custom Beluga hide sport seats that are more comfortable with every lap of the racetrack, but are truly appreciated during rush-hour or long road-trips.
The driver’s cockpit sports a large analog tachometer and speedometer set on either side of two smaller gages with a digital screen immediately above those. Info is accessed via an easy-to-use ‘click-able’ scroll-wheel conveniently situated next to your thumb for quick browsing. ‘Scroll and click’ to display your current speed in large bold digits, or browse your phone-book and initiate (or answer) hands-free calls. Browse your playlists or display the current song title, adjust cruise-control settings (you’ll marvel at Bentley’s impressive 3D-style radar display that warns when obstacles or vehicles are getting close and adjusts speed to maintain safe distances), select the 3D-style navigation map, monitor vehicle sensor zones, get maintenance info, adjust vehicle settings and much more. It’s the driver’s personal miniature ‘cliff-notes’ version of the large primary infotainment system located above the center console. However this smaller redundant version allows the driver to browse, access and display information in his line-of-sight, thus reducing the chance of a fatal accident. Especially when so many automobile collisions have been attributed to driver distractions such as texting, operating hand-held devices or navigating console mounted systems. Even the paddle-shifters are meticulously thought-out. The Bentley’s paddles remain stationary (column-mounted not wheel-mounted) so you never have trouble executing a shift, even when drifting (or palm-steering) through tight corners. Bentley designers deserve kudos for thinking of everything as do the craftsmen for their meticulous attention to detail.
As always, Bentley delivers an experience that is as rich in technology, as it is in luxury and performance. If a WIFI hot spot is important to you because you need to access emails while in transit, don’t worry, Bentley has you covered. Do you like your music clear, crisp, and loud? No problem. Bentley has partnered with Naim, a well-known audio company, that has a long history producing high-fidelity sound equipment, most notably used at Abbey Road studios where Pink Floyd & The Beatles recorded many albums. The GT3-R’s 1,100 watt Naim audio system - engineered to deliver the sound of a live performance within the cabin - is the pièce de résistance that, when combined with Bentley’s luxurious refinements and superior performance, enables the GT3-R to go beyond “thoroughly invigorating” and ascend to a level of enjoyment more akin to “a sublimely therapeutic driving experience”. Throughout the years, Bentley has continued adapting and strives to stay within the forefront regarding technology. Yet, Bentley remains the embodiment of a rich British heritage synonymous with fine hand-made craftsmanship. The folks at Bentley exhibit the passion to win, on the track and more importantly, in the hearts of car enthusiasts worldwide.