Bentley Motors has announced that they will build a two-seater sports car said to rival the Ferrari 458 Italia not only in terms of performance, but design as well. The legendary automaker has not built sports cars since its racing glory days, but the signs have been clear. Bentley has a storied racing past and is a thriving company today thanks to high selling models like the Continental GT . The company is poised to re-invest a significant portion of profits towards the development of this new car and has already enlisted the help of its parent company, Volkswagen, and their Cup racing team to develop certain components.
Recent years have seen Bentley push the envelope in terms of power and performance, especially with the introduction of models like the Continental GT Speed. Consider also that for no apparent reason, Bentley broke the World Ice Speed record in a convertible powered by bio-fuel. It now appears that these introductions were more than just publicity stunts, but may have been used as testing for technologies to be used in the new “Turbo R” model.
Rumors circulating around the Crewe, England factory seem to point towards the new model resurrecting the legendary Turbo R moniker. The most recent model to hold this name was built between 1985 and 1997. It used a turbocharged 6.75 liter V8 engine, that can propel the car from 0-60 mph within 6.7 seconds, with a top speed of 152 mph. This was something to be very proud of back in the day, but expect the latest model to be a whole different animal.
This could certainly be a new chapter for Bentley Motors and if they are able to successfully develop a car that can challenge the Ferrari 458 and others like the McLaren MP12-4C than they may begin racing once again. The last Le Mans series that Bentley was in was 2003 and with the development of new performance and racing technology, we hope that the brand will return to the track in the next several years. We’ll be sure to pass along any more information revealed as soon as we get it.
UPDATE 04/01/2011: April Fool’s!! This is 100% not true, but would be kind of cool!