According to CAR, Audi decided the quattro—as it was seen at the 2010 Paris Motor Show—doesn’t quite have a place in the sports car world. However, they also decided the car could do exceedingly well as a two-door performance-oriented luxury SUV, along the lines of the Range Rover Evoque. Think of something with a design blending the Quattro and Audi’s new Crosslane concept, and you’ll have the basic look of it.
Considering Audi’s history and the Quattro concept’s powertrain, a turbocharged and highly boosted inline-four or inline-five is almost guaranteed. It’ll be connected to all four wheels, likely through a dual-clutch transmission. If it’s to live up to the Quattro’s sporting pretensions, expect the new crossover to make well over 300 horsepower, possibly as much as 380 horses. (Though we wouldn’t be surprised to see a less-powerful volume model.) A 380 horsepower lightweight high-performance off-roader? Okay, that sounds pretty cool. [via CAR]
The BMW 1 Series M is one of our favorite little cars—and we’re hardly alone in that assessment. The teeny Bimmer had grunt for days, was as tossable as a baseball, and looked just badass enough to scare away poseurs in tuned Civics while not drawing too much attention to itself. Unfortunately, it only lasted a single year in the U.S. market, with only around 2,700 examples built for the entire world’s seven billion human residents. (more…)
Lamborghini has always been at their best when they make like Tony Montana and push it to the limit. The Miura, the Countach, the LM002—they were all slightly (or extremely mad) ideas at the time that turned into legends later in life. So we’re actually kind of excited to see how Lamborghini’s rumored four-door Aventador turns out. (more…)
As you may have heard, Lotus CEO Dany Bahar was canned back in June for either gross incompetence or embezzlement, depending on who you ask. But as it turns out, Bahar’s egotistical pie-in-the-sky vision may have been one of the main forces keeping Lotus moving forwards. (more…)
Stripped-down, powered-up Bentley race cars for the street? Oh, hell yes.
Pictured: Bentley Continental GT3 race car
Did you happen to catch the glimpse of Bentley’s Continental GT3 race car we posted on our Facebook page back in late September, from the Paris Motor Show? That GT Speed-based honey will be hitting the GT3 circuit in the latter part of 2013, much to the delight of racing fans with Anglophile tendencies. But there’s even better news here: that GT3 car may spawn off a roadgoing version.
According to the report by Autocar, Bentley is planning a street version of the Continental GT3 to fill the role the Supersports currently fills in the lineup. Unlike that car, which only has about 20 more horsepower than the GT Speed, the roadgoing Conti GT3 could make as much as 700 horsepower (the better to fight Ferraris with, my dear). Autocar reports there’s some debate within the company about how the car should go about creating so much power—some factions want to use the 6.0 liter turbo W12, as it is the bigger, more “premium” engine befitting the range-topping model, while others would rather use the 4.0 liter turbo V8 due to its sportier nature. Either way, though, combine that power with a car that’s been stripped-down and lightened compared to the regular Continental GT, and you’d have yourself one kick-ass Bentley.
The report says the street-worthy Continental GT3 will reach production in the 2014-2015 timeframe, with sales limited to around 300 units—probably to keep units from sitting on dealer lots for too long, as happened with the occasional example of the Supersports. (Seriously, this purple one has been on duPont Registry for like two years.) Toss a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox in there, Bentley, and we’ll start reconsidering our dream car list. [via Autocar, Bentley]
BENTLEY RETURNS TO MOTORSPORT WITH RACING GT
(Paris, 26 September 2012). At the 2002 Paris Motor Show, the unveiling of the Continental GT concept took the world by storm and opened an exciting new chapter in Bentley’s history. Now, ten years on, Bentley is repeating the same feat with a Continental-based GT3 race car currently being developed by a dedicated motorsport team at the company’s factory in Crewe.
Signalling Bentley’s return to the racetrack for the first time since its historic sixth Le Mans victory in 2003, Continental GT3 remains faithful to the company’s founding motorsport philosophy of developing racing cars from their road-going counterparts.
Dr Wolfgang Schreiber, Bentley’s Chairman and Chief Executive, comments: “The clear message from our customers is that Bentley belongs on the racetrack, and the Continental GT3 is the realisation of a dream we’ve had ever since the launch of the Continental GT. The new GT Speed is the perfect car for us to develop into a racer, and our work so far has shown huge potential. The Continental GT3 is set to show the world what the Continental GT is capable of in its most extreme form, and establishes a solid foundation for Bentley’s long-term motorsport plans.”
The new Continental GT Speed is a refined, luxury grand tourer but which, if the driver demands, has a distinctly hard-edged sporting character. With exceptional levels of instantly accessible performance, the GT Speed, the fastest road-going Bentley ever, is a supercar that can be used every day, whatever the weather and road conditions. The Continental GT3 concept capitalises on the prodigious performance, outstanding high-speed stability and renowned durability of Bentley’s iconic coupe, while tailoring its specification for the track with the adoption of a rear-wheel drive chassis in accordance with the regulations, state-of-the-art motorsport hardware and a comprehensive aerodynamic package. The dramatic livery of the car enhances the muscular, sculpted form of the Continental GT Speed while remaining proudly patriotic with the inclusion of Union flags.
With the Continental GT3 concept receiving the full support of the FIA, Bentley is returning to the motorsport arena towards the end of 2013 with a GT race car capable of competing with the very best, in the true Bentley tradition.
Equipped for endurance as well as outright speed, the new Bentley competitor will be eligible to race in a range of race series and events, up to and including 24-hour marathons.
Heading the development of the Continental GT3 is Bentley’s Director of Chassis, Powertrain and Motorsport, Brian Gush. Having led the programme that famously saw a brace of Bentley Speed 8 prototype racers take a dominant and dramatic one/two at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003, Brian is well placed to lead Bentley’s return to competitive racing.
Development of the Continental GT3 will continue over the coming months in the build-up to the start of a test programme in 2013. More information and details about Bentley’s return to motorsport will be released in the near future.