The new Bentley Continental GT3 racer will be powered by the British manufacturer's V8 engine rather than its W12 powerplant.
Both the four-liter V8 and the six-liter W12, which powered the running show car unveiled last year, have been evaluated by Bentley for its first racing car since the 2003 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning Speed 8 coupe.
"We progressed the development of both the twin-turbos and ran them on the test bench. The W12 ticked all the boxes, but there was a slight weight and fuel economy advantage with the V8," Bentley motorsport director Brian Gush explained.
Bentley has revealed that the Continental GT3 racer, which is being developed in conjunction with M-Sport, will weigh in 1000kg below the road-going version of the car.
"It was easy to shed quite quickly and easily," said Gush. "We are well within out target weight, which is under 1300kg."
The Continental GT3 is expected to test for the first time in July ahead of a planned race debut in the hands of M-Sport before the end of the year.
Gush revealed that the final round of the Blancpain Endurance Series at Nurburgring in September would be too early for the car and that several late-season races, including the British GT Championship finale at Donington Park in October and the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi in December, were under consideration. A works-supported Continental will then contest next year's BES ahead of the delivery of the first customer cars, which could begin as early as next summer.
"We could pre-sell some cars now, but we need to get out there and make sure everything is right," said Gush. "We don't want to start delivering cars until we know we are competitive and reliable."
It has yet to be decided who will undertake the initial development testing, but Guy Smith is one possibility. The Briton has maintained his links with Bentley since winning Le Mans in the Speed 8 in 2003.