esterday was a special day. We were invited to Bristol’s factory to have an up close look at the Bristol Bullet concept car and a collection of Bristols from the past!
To give a brief history lesson, Bristol was founded in 1945 but had began well before when, to provide immediate employment for its considerable workforce after the end of WWI, the Bristol Aeroplane Company undertook the manufacture of a light car called the Bristol Monocar as well as the construction of car bodies for Armstrong Siddeley and bus bodies for their sister company, Bristol Tramways.
Bristol bounced around and changed ownership quite a few times while remaining a low production manufacturer for it’s whole history, before going into administration in 2011. The company was then bought by Kamkorp, also known as Frazer-Nash Research Ltd, who are the people responsable for the beautiful Bristol Bullet that we were lucky to come see in person.
Now’s the interesting part where we get to talk about this stunning open-top that we have before our eyes. On the looks side of things, this car was designed as a homage of the Bristol 405 Drophead coupé by taking some of the design cues of the classic roadster. They’ve managed to retain a distinct Bristol look and feel to the car while adding enough modern elements to make it look at it’s place on our 21st century roads.
As befitting of their aerospace heritage, Bristol models traditionally were manufactured from aluminium. However, as aerospace has moved on, so has Bristol Cars. Much like the newest aircraft, the body of the Bullet is manufactured from bespoke carbon fibre composites to achieve high strength, rigidity and a low weight of just 1’130kg. Where metals are used, high-grade aluminium is preferred while only the roll-hoop structure is manufactured from high strength steel.
Under the hood is a BMW-manufactured 4.8L naturally aspirated V8 engine developing 370BHP and 490NM of torque from either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox. According to the manufacturer, this should allow the Bullet to reach 100km/h in just 3.8 seconds with a top speed of 250km/h.
On the interior, the Bullet’s instrument binnacle references classic Bristol’s of the past, taking inspiration from the 404, 405, and original Bullet. Everything is hand-stitched in the finest hides offering a beautiful view from the cockpit and a confortable ride which should be ideal for long weekend rides.
All in all, we are happy to see Bristol trying a comeback, especially with a car this amazing which also aims to celebrate 70 years of the history of the brand. We are now impatient for production to launch on this model so that we can go and see if the reality is as pleasant as the stories!
If you want to see more shots of our visit and the car, have a look at our Facebook page to see our full album by clicking HERE and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Youtube and Facebook to keep up with our next adventures!