GRR

Bristol launches limited-edition Bullet to celebrate 70th anniversary

28th July 2016
Gary Axon

British luxury car make Bristol has ‘formally’ revealed this two-seater speedster to the world, branded as the Bullet. The Bullet nomenclature revives a historic Bristol name, first used on the famous Bristol Bullet First world war aircraft of 1914, and later applied to a long-forgotten secret one-off prototype open roadster, built by Bristol Cars in the early 1960s, but never unveiled to the public.

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Bullet is being launched on the 70th anniversary of the founding of Bristol Cars Limited in 1946, with just 70 examples of the speedster due to be built, each priced approximately around the £250,000 level.

The Bullet is first all-new Bristol motor car for over a decade - since the extreme gullwing V10 Fighter coupe of 2004 – and only the second Bristol model not to use the Marque’s celebrated separate chassis, first seen on the original 400 model in 1946. It is the first Bristol production model to be announced since Surrey-based Frazer Nash Research took over control of Bristol Cars in 2011.

Designed in-house, with assistance from an Italian styling house, the new Bullet recalls the styling of previous iconic Bristol models, such as the 404 ‘Gentlemen’s express’ coupe and the 405, with its distinctive aviation air intake-inspired grill, and signature tale fins – used on these models – plus the original Bullet prototype, to provide aerodynamic and high speed stability benefits

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The new Bullet is powered by a 370bhp ‘Hercules’ V8,  with a top speed limited to 155 mph, with the 0-60 mph dash taking just 3.8 seconds. The 4.8-litre power unit, named after the legendary Bristol Hercules 14-cylinder, 1,300bhp radial engine, will be produced by BMW, and modified by Bristol Cars.

The use of a BMW-derived engine brings the Bristol marque full circle, as a modified version of the acclaimed straight-six from the pre-war BMW 328 was used in various classic Bristol models (from 400 to 406) for the first 15 years of car maker’s existence.

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The new handmade Bristol draws on the firm’s aviation roots and is manufactured from bespoke carbon-fibre composites to achieve high strength, rigidity and low weight, with the imposing Bullet tipping the scales at just 1,040kg.

The car’s interior reflects Bristol models of old with the finest British-sourced leather upholstery and quality trim materials. The dash panelling is being offered with a choice of classic wood, a modern herringbone carbon-fibre weave, or for the ultimate refinement, a unique hand-laid unidirectional carbon-fibre weave.

The Bullet has a state-of-the-art infotainment system, with a multi-touch screen embedded into the dashboard, providing a high quality digital audio (including audio streaming and playback), smartphone connectivity, and Bluetooth and WiFi connections. Intriguingly, the car also has a button to provide direct access to the landmark Bristol Cars showroom in Kensington, London.

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