The Continental name has a long-running history in the Bentley line-up since 1952. Constructed as an ultra-exclusive personal luxury car, the Bentley Continental. In the 1998 model year, the Bentley Continental two-door coupe received refreshed styling touches such as a standard laser-cut mesh front grille and new alloy wheels. An electronic traction control system was also added to the 1998 model year Continental.
The 1998 model year Bentley Continental was offered in an R and a sport-oriented T variant that weighed 200 pounds less. With both models propelled by a twin-turbocharged 6.75-liter V-8 powerplant, 384 horsepower moved the 1998 Bentley Continental R while the Continental T received a 420 horsepower version of the engine. In 1999, a Mulliner model was added to the Bentley Continental R and Continental T line-up. The Mulliner version of the 1999 Bentley Continental was largely tailored to the specific requests of the new car customer.
The 1999 Bentley Continental T Mulliner model also featured a stiffer suspension system. In 2000, 10 special Bentley Continental Millennium Edition vehicles were sold in the United States with a special grille, 18-inch wheels and a Mulliner wide-body kit. For the 2004 model year, the Bentley Continental received a massive redesign that gave the vehicle a highly aerodynamic shape. One of the first new vehicles created by Bentley since the brand’s purchase by Volkswagen, the 2004 Continental appealed to a wider luxury car audience due to a lower price compared to its namesake predecessor. The 2004 Bentley Continental also received an all-new 552-horsepower W-12 engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.