Sport Cars

The baton for the 20th anniversary of the Continental GT around the world

A unique global relay race celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Continental GT has come to an end with the arrival of the custom-built 20th anniversary baton in Crewe. The round-the-world relay tour included stops in Europe, the Middle East, China, Asia Pacific, the US and the UK, visiting 20 journalists and content creators on 20 unforgettable journeys – one for each year of Continental GT production . The introduction of the first generation Continental GT in 2003 marked a profound change in the fortunes of Bentley Motors. The Continental GT was the first all-new Bentley of modern times, the first with all-wheel drive and the first with the innovative W12 engine. He quickly helped Bentley achieve its current status as the most sought-after luxury car brand in the world.

The design of the 20th anniversary baton was developed in the Crewe design studio and received the same level of careful refinement as any production model. Finished in Cypress Green (the exterior paint of the first-ever production Continental GT), the bar features a fascinating, asymmetrical twist reminiscent of the blade of an aircraft propeller. A knurled cap, modeled after the Continental GT’s drive mode selector, allows access to the interior of the baton where the slug is carried.

Chris Cooke, Head of Bentley Design Collaborations, delves deep into the details: “Every element of the stick sculpture was inspired by the Continental GT and there is a purpose in every shape. For example, the end cap shows a simplified graphic of the Continental GT with its three feature lines; the Bentley power line from the front wheel well along the sides of the vehicle; the roof flyline; and the muscular “hip” over the rear wheel. Hold the stick horizontally, and as you turn it in your hands, you will see each of these lines in the contours of the sculpture. “Down to the smallest details, each profile matches perfectly with the corresponding line on the cap graphic.”

The 20thTh The anniversary baton will now find its home in Bentley’s Heritage Garage alongside the first-ever Continental GT as a hugely significant year in the company’s history comes to a close.

At the time of its launch in 2003, the first-generation Continental GT offered a unique combination of breathtaking design, supercar performance and unsurpassed craftsmanship. It was hailed as the world’s fastest true four-seat coupe, with a top speed of over 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 competitors in its price range, the Continental GT became a global sensation and defined a new market sector.

Now in its third generation, the Continental GT and its sister model, the Continental GTC, continue to garner awards and accolades. In 2022, the Continental GT Speed ​​won the prestigious Robb Report Car of the Year award; It is noteworthy that the Continental GT V8 S will succeed it as Car of the Year 2023. The Continental GT also achieved two consecutive victories at the Auto Motor und Sport Awards in February 2023 and won the luxury import category for the second time in a row in a survey of more than 101,000 readers.

Bentley celebrated its 20th birthdayTh Anniversary of the Continental GT family with a six-month program of events and launches, starting in April at the Shanghai Motor Show with the debut of a unique Continental GT S. Bespoke Mulliner features on this model, finished in Magnetic Dark Gray metallic, including commemorative badge , inlays and a 20th anniversary design motif that includes superimposed silhouettes of the first and third generation Continental GT.

2023 is also the 20thTh Anniversary of Bentley’s mighty 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12, the engine that has brought Bentley global success over the past two decades. There was a moving display of W12-powered Bentleys at the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​in July, including the Continental GT Le Mans Collection, a bespoke Continental GTC Speed ​​and the limited edition 750hp Batur by Mulliner.

Across the Atlantic, another unique Continental GT Speed ​​from Mulliner was unveiled at Monterey Car Week in August. Its Cypress Green paint, Saddle leather interior and Burr Walnut veneer were inspired by the first production Continental GT in 2003, and that very car – chassis number 200001 – was displayed alongside it.

Meanwhile, the 20th anniversary baton continued its journey around the world, allowing 20 guest drivers to experience a range of models from the Continental GT stable. After their time at the helm, each person signed the scroll as a record of a unique journey before passing it on to the next participant.

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