Bristol Cars Returns: New Model Makes Us Wish It Was Dead Again

Many are hailing the return of Bristol. For those who don’t know Bristol was a British luxury grand touring car manufacturer. It began just after WWII and faded away a couple of years ago. Now a new company has been created and they have previewed their new Bristol Bullet model. After seeing it we wish it was dead again.

Bristol has plans to produce its $700,000 Bullet roadster

Bristol Bullet front end
Bristol Bullet | Bristol

As one might guess Bristol has ambitious plans which include bringing to market the Bullet roadster. One look at it will tell you the venture is dead before it gets started. The rumored $700,000 roadster is an abomination-especially once you discover the price.

Bristol cars were never exactly good-looking. But they somehow hit a note with certain well-established Brits that kept them in business for a few decades. Today the new owner, Jason Wharton, says Bristol will be a blend of “classic design and modern technology.” 

The debut of an all-electric “Bristol Buccaneer” happens in 2025

Bristol Bullet roadster front 3/4 view
Bristol Bullet | Bristol

RELATED: The World’s Most Secretive Car Company Returns With BMW Power

It sounds like his biggest plan is the debut of an all-electric “Bristol Buccaneer” sometime in 2025. Where the Bullet roadster fits into the picture is unclear. What is clear is that it should pass on the horrendous Bullet. 

Wharton said: “I see myself as a long-term investor in this iconic British brand. So part of my role is to take it forward and develop it so it can finally become sustainable as a premium automotive business. Hence our need to move with the times and introduce a fully battery-electric model.”

That all sounds great until you see Bristol’s roadster. Then, you wonder how something like that will make “iconic Bristol” iconic? Supposedly, the Bullet is nothing more than a re-bodied Morgan Aero 8, and that’s not a car to develop any new product around. 

Don’t use the Bristol Bullet as any sort of inspiration for designers

Bristol Bullet rear 3/4 view
Bristol Bullet | Bristol

So our advice to Mr. Wharton is to skip the Bullet and move on to something more compelling. And don’t use the Bullet as any sort of inspiration for your designers. Don’t even let them see it.

Bristol was always on thin ice. It was an offshoot of Bristol Aeroplane Company heavily subsidized by the company. That arrangement allowed it to hang around longer than a company that has to rely on good products to survive. 

The 2004 Fighter was the last production Bristol

Bristol cars logo on hood of Bullet
Bristol Bullet hood script | Bristol

But survive it did, until a few years ago when its longtime savior Tony Crook sold his remaining interest in the company.  Its last new car was called the “Fighter,” from 2004. It was powered by the Dodge Viper’s V10 engine

We do wish Bristol well, but can’t imagine it making a business case for the roadster. Besides being highly impractical it is hard to look at without wondering why anyone would shell out $700,000 for one? We know there “is a sucker born every minute” but every sucker still can see.