Bristol leaps out of the history book with the new Bullet roadster

Bristol Bullet
Bristol is one of the dozens of once-great British carmakers that didn’t quite make it. An Indian tech firm has been resurrecting the brand for a couple of years, and it has ow to the automotive landscape with a brand new convertible powered by a big V8 engine.

Called Bullet, the roadster was previewed last month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed by a fully camouflaged concept car known as Project Pinnacle. It turns heads thanks to a retro-inspired front end design with bulging fenders, round headlights, and a narrow grille. The back end is characterized by a pair of fins that flow out of the quarter panels, round tail lamps, and a chromed fuel filler cap. The roadster is the work of an Italian design house, though the firm’s identity is being kept secret for the time being.

Power comes from a naturally aspirated 4.4-liter V8 engine borrowed from the BMW parts bin and tuned to generate 370 horsepower. The connection between Bristol and BMW isn’t as random as it might initially seem. Enthusiasts will likely remember that the very first Bristol car used many mechanical components stamped with a BMW parts number when it debuted in 1947.

The Bimmer-sourced eight spins the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission that also carries a BMW parts number. It sends the Bullet from zero to 60 mph in four seconds — about on par with a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S — and on to a top speed that’s electronically limited to 155 mph.

The Bristol Bullet is on sale now with a base price of about 250,000 pounds, a princely sum that converts to roughly $330,000, and it will enter production early next year. Just 70 example will be built, so don’t expect to see a Bullet on every street corner even in its home country of England. U.S. enthusiasts are out of luck because the Bullet wasn’t designed to comply with the safety and emissions regulations here.

Read more: The sexy, retro-inspired Vision concept previews Alpine’s Porsche fighter

Company executives hope the Bullet’s ultra-light carbon fiber chassis will spawn additional variants in the coming years. The models might continue to uphold the tradition of using BMW engines, but the 4.4-liter V8 won’t power another Bristol because the Bullet will reportedly be the brand’s last naturally aspirated model.

Updated 7-29-2016 by Ronan Glon: Added official pictures, specs.


Jaguar’s rally-ready F-Type roadster is happiest off the pavement

Jaguar is celebrating the XK120's 70th birthday by turning the F-Type roadster into a rally warrior. Built to FIA specifications, the model receives suspension and braking upgrades plus a full roll cage to protect the occupants.

Camaro vs. Mustang: Differences and similarities between two premier pony cars

The Chevrolet Camaro and the Ford Mustang are two of America's favorite sports cars. In this comparison piece, we highlight the main differences between the two machines when it comes to their design and performance, among other factors.

Rock hall of famer John Oates takes day off touring to drive 2016 Porsche GT3RS

On this episode of Behind the Wheel, Tim Walbridge is joined by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member John Oates. Taking a day off while touring, he jumps at the chance to drive the 2016 Porsche GT3RS.

Porsche knows not to mess with the 911, but also knows how to weave in progress

We're getting our first look at the next-generation Porsche 911. Called 992 internally, the model will get evolutionary styling upgrades and bigger changes under the sheet metal. We expect it to debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

Honda HR-V vs. Honda CR-V: The differences explained

The Honda HR-V and CR-V may overlap in some regard, but they're not the same vehicle. In this comparison, we highlight the design, technology, performance, and fuel economy unique to each ride.

This hydrogen-powered Chevrolet Silverado looks like it’s straight out of Halo

General Motors' defense division has released video footage of a rugged, Halo-like truck called Silverado ZH2. The pickup is powered by the next evolution of GM's hydrogen fuel cell drivetrain.

Google Maps tests feature that will help drivers avoid crashes, speed traps

Google Maps is testing a feature that lets drivers report crashes and speed traps so the app can plan efficient routes for others in the area, or warn of upcoming hazards. Waze, which Google owns, already offers such a feature.

Tesla appoints Robyn Denholm as chair, Elon Musk steps down

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk agreed to step down from his role as chairman as part of a settlement deal with the SEC. Tesla has named a 55-year-old Australian businesswoman named Robyn Denholm as his successor.

Ares turns the Tesla Model S into a two-door roadster with Italian flair

Italian coachbuilder Ares has done what Tesla won't. It's taking a Model S, chopping off the roof, and sending the rear doors back to the parts bin to create a roadster that's ready for the French Riviera.

Ford buys scooter-sharing service Spin as it looks to expand beyond cars

Ford has acquired San Francisco-based scooter-sharing company Spin. The Blue Oval believes mobility services like scooter sharing can complement its existing car business going forward.

Bosch, Daimler team up to deploy autonomous Mercedes-Benz S-Classes in San Jose

In 1986, when Bosch and Daimler joined an autonomous car research project, the technology seemed overly futuristic. Now, the partners are aiming to make a production self-driving car by the early 2020s.

Thinking of driving for Uber? These cars are safe, comfy, and fuel-efficient

Uber is a viable means for making money on the side, but you won't earn much if all of your profits are going direct toward fuel and maintenance. Thankfully, these five cars are a perfect fit for those looking to shuttle passengers from…

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best 'Top Gear' episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, 'Top Gear' has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 25 seasons.

Roborace wants human drivers and machines to work together

Roborace believes the future of racing is autonomous, but it's keeping human drivers in the picture for now. For its first race season, Roborace will use a car called DevBot 2.0 that can be driven by humans or machines.