BRISTOL’S BACK WITH A BRAND NEW BULLET
Car company looks to the past for its future, but only 70 will be made
British icon Bristol has unveiled its first model in more than 12 years.
Dubbed Bullet, the new speedster marks the 70th anniversary of Bristol Cars and its looks draw extensively from the original Bullet car, the new model featuring similar front end treatment and small fins. It represents the first car built under Bristol Cars’ new parentage, FrazerNash Research, who took over the company in 2011.
The chance finding of a forgotten special built by Bristol Cars in the mid-1960s has played a significant part in the creation of the revived company’s new model and is spearheading its market presence.
The new car, which is made in Chichester, features bodywork made from carbonfibre that offers light weight, strength and rigidity. Under the bonnet a modified BMW 4.8-litre V8, called Hercules after a 14-cylinder Bristol aircraft engine, develops 370bhp and offers a 0-60mph time of 3.8 seconds.
The use of BMW engines brings an end to Chrysler V8s that were introduced in 1961 in the 407. Manual and automatic ZF transmissions are available, the manual gearbox using a gear lever rather than paddle shifts. The interior is trimmed in leather. There are no plans to introduce a hardtop for owners in harsher climates.
Just 70 Bullets will be built, with production starting in early 2017. Prices are yet to be announced.
Bristol partially revealed the car at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed on 23-26 June, allowing a highly camouflaged version of the car to take to the hillclimb.
Sir George White, who became chairman of Bristol Cars in 2012 and whose father was the founding managing director in 1945, says: ‘It signifies the re-birth of the marque with a design and character respectful of the company’s rich heritage in Great Britain – in aviation, commercial and luxury automotive – delivered with a modern approach to performance and comfort.’
The new Bullet pays tribute to this little known predecessor.