Last September, Bentley lifted the lid on its redesigned Continental GT. The first generation of the car proved to be a huge success for Bentley, helping to significantly increase the luxury division’s sales over the last decade.

So it when it came to replace the existing model, introduced in 2003, Bentley played it understandably safe. One of the big changes was the announcement that a V-8 engine would be available this year.

The V-8 is a 4.0-liter unit that will serve as the car’s new base model. The Continental GT when it was introduced was all about being a more accessible vehicle than the Arnage (now the all-new Mulsanne). The V-8 model looks set to continue that, offering a lower price tag.

Autocar reports that the engine will be available in two iterations. At the base end there will be a a 415 horsepower single turbocharged engine or a twin-turbocharged model making 555 horsepower.

That is interesting given the fact that the car’s W12 engine produces not much more power, checking in at 567. it seems likeliest that the single-turbocharged model will be the one available. Until now we haven’t heard until now what kind of power the V-8 would be producing, and 415 is a nice figure.

Also in the article is news that the Mulsanne has sold out its production for 2011. Right now things are looking good for Bentley!