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HomeAutomotiveBentley Continental GT 20th anniversary Baton completes lap of the world

Bentley Continental GT 20th anniversary Baton completes lap of the world

A unique global relay, marking 20 years of the Continental GT, has reached its conclusion with the arrival in Crewe of the specially-made 20th anniversary baton. The baton’s lap of the world included stops in Europe, the Middle East, China, Asia Pacific, the US and UK, visiting 20 journalists and content creators in the process as part of 20 memorable drives – one for each year of Continental GT production.

The launch of the first-generation Continental GT in 2003 marked a seismic change in the fortunes of Bentley Motors. The first all-new Bentley of the modern era, the first with all-wheel drive and the first to feature the innovative W12 engine, the Continental GT swiftly propelled Bentley to its current status as the most sought-after luxury car brand in the world.

Designed and crafted in Crewe
The design of the 20th anniversary baton was developed in the Crewe design studio and received the same level of meticulous refinement as any production model feature. Finished in Cypress Green (the exterior finish of the first-ever production Continental GT) the baton has an intriguing, asymmetrical twist, like the blade of an aircraft propellor. A knurled cap, modelled on the Continental GT’s drive mode selector, allows access to the baton’s interior where the scroll is carried.

Head of Bentley Design Collaborations, Chris Cooke takes a deep dive into the details: “Every element of the baton sculpture was inspired by the Continental GT, and there is purpose in every form. For example, the end cap shows a simplified graphic of the Continental GT with its three feature lines; the Bentley powerline from the front wheel arch along the car’s flanks; the flyline of the roof; and the muscular ‘haunch’ over the rear wheel. Hold the baton horizontally, and as you turn it in your hands you will see each of those lines in the contours of the sculpture.” In the subtlest of touches, each profile also lines up perfectly with its corresponding line on the cap graphic.

The 20th anniversary baton will now find its home in Bentley’s Heritage Garage, together with the very first Continental GT, as a highly significant year in the company’s history draws to a close.

Evolution of a modern icon
At the time of its launch in 2003, the first-generation Continental GT offered a unique combination of stunning design, supercar performance and unrivalled craftsmanship. It was hailed as the fastest genuine four seat coupé in the world with a top speed in excess of 190 mph (300 km/h), and a 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds (0-100 km/h in 4.8 seconds). With no comparable rivals at its price point, the Continental GT became a global sensation, defining a new market sector.

Now in its third generation, the Continental GT and its stablemate the Continental GTC continue to garner awards and accolades. In 2022 the Continental GT Speed won the respected Robb Report Car of the Year award; remarkably, the Continental GT V8 S succeeds it as Car of the Year winner for 2023. The Continental GT also achieved back-to-back wins at the Auto Motor und Sport awards in February 2023, winning the luxury class import category for the second year in a row in a poll of more than 101,000 readers.

Continental GT 20th anniversary celebrations
Bentley celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Continental GT family with a six-month programme of events and launches, beginning in April at the Shanghai Motor Show with the debut of a one-of-one Continental GT S. Bespoke Mulliner features of this model, which was finished in Magnetic dark grey metallic, included commemorative badging, inlays and a 20th anniversary design motif comprising superposed silhouettes of the first- and the third-generation Continental GT.

2023 is also the 20th anniversary of Bentley’s mighty 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12, the engine that powered Bentley to global success over the past two decades. July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed saw a moving showcase of W12-powered Bentleys, including the Continental GT Le Mans Collection, a bespoke Continental GTC Speed and the 750PS limited edition Batur by Mulliner.

Across the Atlantic at Monterey Car week in August, another one-of-one Continental GT Speed by Mulliner was revealed. Its Cypress Green finish, Saddle leather interior and Burr Walnut veneer were inspired by the first production Continental GT from 2003, and that very car – VIN 200001 – was displayed alongside it.

Meanwhile the 20th anniversary baton continued its progress around the world, giving 20 invited guest drivers the opportunity to experience a succession of models from the Continental GT stable. At the conclusion of their time behind the wheel, each signed the scroll as a record of a unique journey before passing it on to the next participant.

The post Bentley Continental GT 20th anniversary Baton completes lap of the world appeared first on Wheelz.me-English.

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