The car company often talks about the challenges of offering both performance and luxury and how it is the only brand to have succeeded in delivering cars that are as comfortable as they are fast off the line. However, with its latest car, Bentley is looking to push things to the limit.
A Bentley Continental GT completes the Goodwood Hill Climb. Photo:AFP
Bentley started off back in 1919 as a true sportscar company: its first vehicles were some of the fastest in the world. And like fellow British marque, Jaguar, it has a long and illustrious motorsport heritage to be proud of that covers everything from Brooklands and the Indy 500 to victories at Le Mans.
But times, and, in the case of Bentley, company owners change and the road cars got bigger and bigger and less and less agile from the late 1940s onwards.
This started to change when Volkswagen acquired the company in 2003 and launched the Continental GT, which was much more compact than many Bentleys of the past but had masses of power on tap.
Now the company wants to take things to another level. To remind its clients and the competition of this track-focused prowess, Bentley is said to be building a seriously fast version of the Continental GT with 700bhp on tap. That's more than the Ferrari 458 Italia, McLaren 650S or any road-going version of the Porsche 911.
As well as power, the car will also be extremely light -- by Bentley standards, anyway -- and to achieve the weight-savings necessary, the company will be getting rid of the four-wheel drive system in the standard Continental and replacing it with a simple rear-wheel drive system.
This will get the purists very excited, as will the use of carbon fiber and aluminum in the construction to boost handling.
According to Autocar, which first broke the news, deposits have already been taken and the new car could make its debut later this month, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in the UK. The publication also claims that it will be called the GT3 when it goes on sale.