Bristol Will Come Back, Dropping American Muscle Engines for BMW i8 Engineering

When Bristol was making cars back in the day, other manufacturers that we have today were still struggling to make a name for themselves. As far as eccentric British car makers go, this is one company that can easily sit at the top of the trophic chain.
Bristol Teaser image 1 photo
Photo: Bristol
The last time we heard anything about them though, it was a sad story that included the words ‘shutting’ and ‘down’ in the title back in 2011 when the company went out of business. 30 years before that moment came, the Brits decided to stop giving out the production numbers for their factory, the last chart showing just 104 units leaving the plant.

Back when it all began, Bristol was making aircrafts in 1910, and they teamed up with Frazer Nash to start making cars somewhere in 1946. As faith would have it, the same company is now helping them come back to life and has announced that a new car will be launched next year. There will be some changes done though.

Before it all went belly up, Bristol used large, American-muscle type of engines inside their beautiful, aerodynamically-sculpted bodies, and that’s all about to stop. For example, the Bristol Fighter used a Viper V10 engine that sure as hell wasn’t easy to fit under the bonnet.

Project Pinnacle (the code name for the new car) on the other hand, will be a different type of beast, a ‘range-extended electric grand tourer’ according to the initial info provided. The teaser image of it seems to point to a sharp front fascia with leather hood straps on it, to appeal to the DNA of the brand.

However, this drastic move from gas guzzling V8s to a hybrid or electric layout might not sit well with the fan base it already has. On the other hand, it could draw a new demographic to the table that might be an even better move in the long run.

The move to German engineering involves BMW, and we can only hope that it’s going to be similar to the system used on the i8. That’s a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder turbocharged engine that sounds better than an inline six together with an electric motor.

Together the two deliver 362 HP and 570 Nm (420 lb-ft) of torque that is pretty good considering their size. What’s more, we think an even better layout could be provided by the Germans.

If you recall, they unveiled a concept car based on the 5 Series GT that had 670 HP and 750 lb-ft (1,016 Nm) of torque at its disposal. It used three motors, one internal combustion version and two electric ones to deliver that grunt which is more than just impressive.

Going with such a choice would then not only show us a completely new Bristol car but also how BMW sees performance hybrids for the future. Fortunately, we won't have to wait too long as the car should come out later this year.
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