The Bentley Continental GT3 concept was one of the biggest surprises at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and the company has released new details about the production model that is slated to enter competition later this year.

The Bentley Continental GT3 concept was one of the biggest surprises at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and the company has released new details about the production model that is slated to enter competition later this year.

Jointly developed with M-Sport Ltd, the sports car will feature an optimized version of the company's twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine that normally develops 500 bhp (373 kW) and 660 Nm (487 lb-ft) of torque. It will be connected to a six-speed sequential racing transmission that will send power to the rear wheels.

The car will also feature a double wishbone suspension, four-way adjustable dampers and competition brakes. Other highlights will include an FIA-spec roll cage, a carbon fiber racing seat and a "meticulously stitched" steering wheel.

In an effort to reduce weight, engineers have gutted the interior and added a number of carbon fiber components including the doors, boot lid and bonnet. Thanks to these modifications, the race car will be more than a 1000 kg (2205 lbs) lighter than the road-going model.

According to project leader Brian Gush, “Motorsport is an integral part of Bentley, and the performance and endurance qualities of all of our road cars reflect this racing heritage. Not one single part of the GT3 has escaped our attention, and the result is a car that can compete with the field in terms of factors such as power, weight and aerodynamics.”

The Continental GT3 will begin testing shortly, so stay tuned for full details.

Be part of something big