Bristol Bullet Marks Major Comeback for UK Manufacturer
Bristol Cars cannot be said to be an especially prolific builder of automobiles.
Since it was founded back in the 1940s, it has only introduced 17 models, with the most recent one arriving a full decade ago.
Luckily for fans of its luxurious hand-built vehicles, there is a new Bristol on the way, with the Bullet expected to cost a quarter of a million pounds and come with all little touches that make its cars so special.
While some boutique manufacturers can be blamed for creating cars that look good but suffer from build quality and mechanical issues, the same cannot be said of Bristol. It boasts that 70 per cent of all the cars it has sold since it started are still being driven by enthusiasts today, according to the Telegraph, which is a claim that few other firms can match.
This has a lot to do with the passion and resources of its customers, many of whom hold on to their prized Bristol for life rather than risk it falling into the ownership of someone who might be anything less than dedicated to its preservation.
The Bristol Bullet certainly has a hefty price tag, much of which will be justified by its uniquely retro roadster design and plush interior. But while it may look like a blast from the past on the outside, it will be equipped with plenty of high-end technology under its stylish skin.
The engine comes from BMW and is a 4.8 litre power plant that develops a healthy 370bhp. The rest of the car is largely a creation of Bristol’s engineers, but it is definitely reassuring that there is some German know-how at the heart of this thoroughly British vehicle.
In addition to being packed with plenty of horsepower, the Bullet is reported to offer enough torque to ensure that it can put this muscle to good use. Manual and automatic gearboxes will be available, and since the vehicle is intended to be a bespoke rarity, just 70 examples are scheduled to be built, with customers receiving their new Bristols from the start of next year.
The modern features of the Bullet become apparent when considering its construction, as the combination of an alloy chassis with a carbon-fibre shell helps to make it incredibly lightweight. So while it may look long and boat-like in the pre-release press shots, it is likely to feel responsive and fun to drive, meeting the expectations of those who are used to getting behind the wheel of contemporary supercars.
Leather, aluminium and other premium materials are prevalent through the interior, with buyers having a choice of either a wood or carbon-fibre finish for the dash. From above it becomes apparent that the doors are surprisingly thick, although being alloy they are also not too heavy and benefit from the anachronistic inclusion of a leather strap which acts as a secondary hinge.
Fans of modern technology will be pleased to see that Bristol has not neglected to keep the Bullet up to date in terms of entertainment, as there is a touchscreen display built into the dash which can be synchronised with an iPhone to allow for media playback and a range of other features. It is even claimed that the car will offer both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, with the latter being used to provide a more consistent link with compatible devices.
The Bristol Bullet is a car which looks back to the past as well as forward to the future, although in an age when electric power is quickly taking over the marketplace, it may seem like more of a throwback to a bygone age of British motoring than a cutting-edge experiment.
Bristol is clearly aware of this, since it has also announced that the Bullet will be its last vehicle to feature a combustion engine. The future, it seems, is very much electric.