Bristol Bullet Unveiled With BMW Heart And Italian-Styled Body


Only 70 units will be made, packing a 370-hp V8; prices start from $330,000.

British marque Bristol Cars is marking its 70th anniversary with the unveiling of its first new model in 12 years. The Bullet, first seen at the Goodwood FOS, comes powered by a BMW-built 4.8-liter naturally-aspirated V8 rated at 370 hp and 370 lb-ft of torque (found in the previous-gen X5) mated to either a ZF six-speed manual or automatic box. The retro sheetmetal, believed to be designed by Pininfarina, was inspired by a 1966 prototype that new owners Frazer Nash Research found hiding in the factory.

Despite its classic styling, the Bullet comes packing a suite of cutting technology. A touchscreen will link to your smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi, while the dash can be ordered in either traditional wood paneling or carbon-fiber weave. Carbon-fiber composites dress an aluminum chassis resulting in a 1,100-kg curb weight. 0-62 mph is a claimed 3.8 seconds and top speed is limited to 155 mph. Only 70 Bristol Bullets will be built priced at a shade under 250,000 pounds, or around $330,000, before options. Each unit takes two weeks to assemble, and will be handmade in the company’s Chichester factory and sold via Bristol’s only dealership, in Kensington, London. A fair few have already been sold in both the UK and overseas.

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“This unique speedster sets the tone for the future of Bristol Cars – with a focus on luxury, performance and elegance,” says General Manager Julian Ramshaw. “The discovery of the prototype at the factory provided us with the perfect way to celebrate this incredible marque’s 70th anniversary. Open top, highly luxurious, lightweight and full of torque, it really is the ultimate driver’s car.” Bristol first used the Bullet name 100 years ago on a World War One fighter plane, and according to Indian businessman Kamal Siddiqi who rescued the company from insolvency in 2011, will be the last Bristol to feature a V8. A new hybrid GT is expected by 2020.