Dezeen Magazine

Bristol Cars launches its first model in 10 years

A decade after its last launch, British luxury automobile company Bristol Cars has unveiled its new speedster model, named the Bristol Bullet (+ slideshow).

The car is hand-built in the UK – as are all vehicles by the company, which manufacturers at low volumes – and its design draws upon Bristol's history as an aeroplane manufacturer.

Bullet speedster by Bristol Cars

Its exterior is made from bespoke carbon-fibre composites, meaning that it retains a high level of strength while being relatively low in weight.

The interior of the car is made from hand-trimmed British hides, while the dashboard panelling is available in either classic wood or herringbone-patterned carbon-fibre weaves.

Bullet speedster by Bristol Cars

Although the aesthetic of the car remains traditional, it has been fitted with contemporary technology like a touch-screen device in the dashboard and a high-quality sound system.

Its powerful engine, which was manufactured by BMW, goes from zero to 62 miles (100 kilometres) per hour in 3.8 seconds, and can reach a top speed of 155 miles (249 kilometres) per hour.

Bullet speedster by Bristol Cars

Julian Ramshaw, the company's general manager, called the Bullet the "ultimate driver's car" and said that it will set the tone for Bristol's future models.

Bullet speedster by Bristol Cars

The company's first car, named the 400, was built by the car division of the Bristol Aeroplane Company in 1945 in collaboration with British sports car manufacturer Fraser-Nash and BMW.

Bullet speedster by Bristol Cars

Bristol Cars Limited was founded later in 1947 and has since been making luxury cars – some early models of which are still on the road today. In 2011 it nearly became insolvent but was saved by a buyout from holding company Kamkorp.

While Bristol is sticking to conventional cars, BMW is revealing four different concept cars this year under its different brands – including MINI, BMW and Rolls-Royce – as part of its 100th anniversary celebrations.

Bullet speedster by Bristol Cars

The first, a shapeshifting car with built-in computers that could predict driver desires and behaviour, was unveiled in March 2016.

More recently, it unveiled its vision for a  car that changes colour depending on the driver's mood.