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The modified Continental GT3 racer will compete for the Time Attack 1 Pikes Peak record while running on a biofuel-based gasoline.

13 Apr 2021 | International News : U.K.

Bentley has launched a major new sustainability initiative with the announcement of a renewable fuels research and development programme spearheaded by the most extreme road-car-based Bentley in its 101-year history.

The Continental GT3 Pikes Peak, designed and built to compete for the Time Attack 1 record at this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, will be the first competition Bentley to run on renewable fuel, ahead of a goal to offer sustainable fuels to Bentley's customers around the world.

The 2021 Pike Peak racer features the largest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley
The modified Continental GT3 racer will power its way through the course running on a biofuel-based gasoline. Various blends of fuels are currently being tested and evaluated, with possible greenhouse gas reductions of up to 85% over standard fossil fuel. This first step marks the start of a longer programme that will investigate both biofuels and e-fuels for their potential to power the Bentleys of past and present in a sustainable way.

Combustion-engine Bentleys will still be produced for the next nine years - and Bentley's new project aims to make those cars as sustainable as possible through the use of innovative fuel technologies. With more than 80% of all Bentleys ever built still on the road, a genuinely sustainable and customer-facing renewable fuel offering will also allow customers to enjoy their current and classic Bentleys responsibly for years to come.

With the start line at 2,800m and climbining to 4,200m above sea level, the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak features modifications both to its aerodynamics package and its engine, turning it into the most extreme iteration of a Continental GT - or indeed any Bentley road car - ever.

A highly efficient rear diffuser surrounds the transaxle gearbox at the rear
The biggest rear wing ever fitted to a Bentley dominates the rear of the car, sitting above a highly efficient rear diffuser that surrounds the transaxle gearbox. This rear aerodynamic package is balanced by a two-plane splitter at the front, flanked by separate dive planes.

The engine is Bentley's proven racing power unit, developed from the 4.0-litre turbocharged V8 fitted to the Continental GT V8.  For the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak, engine modifications together with the use of carefully selected biofuel will ensure the engine develops significant horsepower despite the rarefied conditions it will operate in. Short side-exit exhausts will ensure the car sounds as dramatic as it looks.

Further modifications include cooling air scoops in place of the rear windows, and the obligatory stopwatch mounted to the roll cage next to the steering wheel, to allow Rhys Millen to keep track of his sector times up the mountain.

The Continental GT3 Pikes Peak is now entering a major test and development phase, based initially in the U.K. before being shipped to the U.S.A for altitude testing. An update on the progress of the car will be issued in May, ahead of the 99th running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on 27 June 2021. More technical details about the Continental GT3 Pikes Peak will be released in due course.

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