The Bristol Bullet combines BMW V8 power with retro styling and carbon fibre panels, and is set to go on sale next year. Video and pictures here
Following a recent disguised run at the Goodwood FoS, Bristol Cars has fully unveiled the new Bullet – a new model celebrating the 70 years of Bristol. Shown at Bristol's recently refreshed Kensington showroom, the new model is the first new car to emerge from the company since it was rescued from administration in 2011.
First announced at the 2014 Hampton Court Palace Concours as ‘Project Pinnacle’, the new car is the result of the new owners discovering an old prototype a dusty sheet in the old factory. Although Bristol says it was penned in collaboration with an Italian styling house, it hasn’t revealed which styling house. It also points out that the new Bullet references ‘previous styling collaborations’.
This includes various small styling touches that hark back to older Bristol 404 and 405 models, such as the recognisable front grille, spotlights and side vents on the front wings. Bristol also says that the Bullet draws inspiration from the company’s aeronautical roots. Rather than the hand-beaten aluminium panels of old Bristols however, the new car is set to make use of more carbon fibre in the construction, although it is based around a bonded aluminium tub.
Powering the Bullet will be a 4.8-litre BMW V8 ‘Hercules’ engine, producing in the region of 370bhp. Named after Bristol’s 14-cylinder 1300bhp Hercules engine, the powerplant is apparently built by BMW and ‘finished’ by Bristol – a fitting engine partner for a company that used BMW engines early on in its history. Weight is around 1100kg, giving a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds, with top speed limited to 155mph
The Bullet, which shares a name with a Bristol biplane used for aeroplane races in the 1920s, has already been seen at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Although wearing a camouflage, and officially called a ‘prototype’.
This new model will be the first car to wear the Bristol badge since the 200mph Fighter went out of production in 2011. After the company went into administration in the same year, it was later reborn as a specialist restoration operation, joining forces with Frazer Nash Research, offering full rebuild on classic Bristol models.
This new venture marks the company’s return to manufacturing, with production set to start at the company’s Chichester factory in Hampshire early next year. Prices have yet to be confirmed, but are thought to come in at around £250,000.