Bentley unveiled its Continental GT3 Pikes Peak car to us earlier this year, but was short on engine details. That made us especially curious, because Bentley predicted many changes and promised that it would run on a renewable biofuel. Naturally, more power was expected than standard.
Today all details of this wild Bentley are available. Its 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine delivers “more than” 750 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque. That is 100 hp more than the most powerful street version of the Continental, the Continental GT Speed.
How did Bentley do? For starters, Bentley started with the GT3 race version of its 4.0-litre V8, not the street version. But Bentley took this race bike to town for Pikes Peak anyway. It has new pistons and connecting rods, plus boost is increased to 2.2 bar with bigger turbos. The carbon fiber intake manifold has been reinforced and made thicker than the standard one. Plus, one-off exhaust manifolds made from Inconel alloy by Akrapovic are fitted. The exhaust eventually comes out through very short pipes just behind the front wheels. Not very Bentley-esque.
Cooling is enhanced by a secondary cooling system in the rear of the car. The rear windows are exchanged for air intakes that direct air through a second radiator and dissipate heat through ducts in the boot lid. It all runs on a special secondary water pump. Another change to the rear is a new larger diameter driveshaft for better durability.
The biofuel Bentley uses is called 98RON Renewable Racing Fuel, and Bentley says it is “a special blend of advanced biofuels designed specifically for motorsports and a technological stepping stone to sustainably produced eFuel with up to 85% greenhouse gas reduction.” Bentley did not say what the emissions reduction was for this particular biofuel in the Pikes Peak car.
When it comes to handling, Bentley says it changed the GT3 setup significantly. It has much more camber front and rear. Softer springs and sway bars have been fitted to allow for more body movement and maximize weight transfer under braking (note that all your braking will be done while going straight up). Plus, the brakes themselves are newly water-cooled to handle the extreme loads this hill climb will put on them.
Look forward to Bentley’s record-breaking attempt on June 27, a day that will host the 99th edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.