Bentley Marks 20 Years of Continental GT

In a spectacular conclusion to a unique global relay, Bentley commemorates 20 years of the Continental GT with the arrival of the specially crafted 20th-anniversary baton in Crewe.

This symbolic journey encompassed stops across Europe, the Middle East, China, Asia Pacific, the US, and the UK, connecting with 20 journalists and content creators during 20 memorable drives – each drive representing a year of Continental GT production.

Bentley Marks 20 Years of Continental GT with Global Relay Culmination

A Seismic Shift in Bentley’s Fortunes

The launch of the first-generation Continental GT in 2003 marked a pivotal moment for Bentley Motors. This groundbreaking model not only introduced the modern era for Bentley but also pioneered all-wheel drive and showcased the innovative W12 engine. Swiftly ascending to its current status as the most sought-after luxury car brand globally, the Continental GT reshaped Bentley’s destiny.

The 20th-anniversary baton, a symbol of this remarkable journey, was meticulously designed and crafted in the Crewe design studio. Adorned in Cypress Green, reminiscent of the first-ever production Continental GT, the baton features an intriguing asymmetrical twist, resembling an aircraft propeller blade. A knurled cap, mirroring the Continental GT’s drive mode selector, reveals the baton’s interior, housing the symbolic scroll.

Bentley Marks 20 Years of Continental GT with Global Relay Culmination

Chris Cooke, Head of Bentley Design Collaborations, delves into the details: “Every element of the baton sculpture was inspired by the Continental GT, and there is purpose in every form.” Cooke explains how the baton’s design intricately reflects the key lines of the Continental GT, providing a unique and sophisticated touch.

Evolution of a Modern Icon

The first-generation Continental GT, launched in 2003, revolutionized the automotive landscape with its stunning design, supercar performance, and unparalleled craftsmanship.

Crowned as the fastest genuine four-seat coupé globally, the Continental GT achieved a top speed exceeding 190 mph and a remarkable 0-60 mph time of 4.7 seconds. Its unparalleled success defined a new market sector with no comparable rivals at its price point.

Bentley Marks 20 Years of Continental GT with Global Relay Culmination

Now in its third generation, the Continental GT and Continental GTC continue to receive accolades and awards. The Continental GT Speed, in 2022, earned the prestigious Robb Report Car of the Year award, while its stablemate, the Continental GT V8 S, succeeded it as the 2023 Car of the Year winner.

Back-to-back wins at the Auto Motor und Sport awards in February 2023 further solidified Bentley’s position, winning the luxury class import category for the second consecutive year.

Continental GT 20th Anniversary Celebrations

Bentley’s six-month program of events and launches commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Continental GT family kicked off at the Shanghai Motor Show in April.

A unique Continental GT S, finished in Magnetic dark grey metallic and adorned with bespoke Mulliner features, debuted, featuring commemorative badging and a 20th-anniversary design motif.

Bentley Marks 20 Years of Continental GT with Global Relay Culmination

2023 also marks the 20th anniversary of Bentley’s mighty 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engine, which played a pivotal role in Bentley’s global success.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed in July showcased a moving display of W12-powered Bentleys, including the bespoke Continental GT Le Mans Collection and the 750PS limited edition Batur by Mulliner.

Monterey Car Week in August revealed another one-of-one Continental GT Speed by Mulliner, inspired by the first production Continental GT from 2003. Alongside it, VIN 200001, the very first Continental GT, added to the celebration with its iconic presence.

Bentley Marks 20 Years of Continental GT with Global Relay Culmination

While the 20th-anniversary baton reached its conclusion in Bentley’s Heritage Garage, signifying the end of a significant year in the company’s history, the memories of 20 unique drives around the world linger as a testament to the enduring legacy of the Continental GT.

Each signed scroll, a record of a distinct journey, encapsulates the spirit of this celebration and the remarkable 20-year journey of the iconic Continental GT.

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