Recent Developments

Also in November 1999, news was released of a new car - the Bristol Project 'Fighter'. The Fighter is the first Bristol 2 seater for more than 40 years and built as a totally engineering inspired design. It promised neutral aerodynamic effect and a top speed calculated to be in excess of 200 mph – this achieved via either a 6-speed manual (another first for nigh on 40 years of Bristol production) or 4-speed automatic transmission (never offered before).

The engine is an all new alloy V10 of 8 litres swept volume, uprated by Bristol. Full race-developed suspension, a combined steel chassis and carbon fibre/alloy body shell designed to produce a structure into which are fitted gull wing doors — both to avoid high kerb damage and to produce the much stronger, stiffer shell structure and platform essential to a vehicle capable of such high speed performance.

When, in 2006, the turbocharged Fighter "T" was announced by Bristol Cars, there was unprecedented interest in the press — and no wonder, for this would be the most powerful production car, and the fastest front-engined car, in the world to date.

Prior to the official launch of the standard Bristol Fighter, another car was announced and launched immediately. It is based on the 'Bristol Bullet' (a name adopted by the factory), which is effectively a 405-style drophead body with slightly larger fins on the top of the rear wings. It is said it was originally used from the late 1950s as a ‘mule’, or test bed, for the new transmissions and engines then being considered for the types 406 and 407. It was used to test many variants up to the 1970s, when it was laid aside for some years, only to be later tried with the running gear of the Bristol Blenheim and at the dawn of the development of the 'Bristol Fighter'. In its early days, it had been considered far too spartan, avant garde and brutish in performance to be offered to the Company clientele; but as time passed, it came to be viewed in a more favourable light, as that route had been adopted by a number of other manufacturers over the preceding years. It was finally decided to launch a very limited production of this version, renamed officially late in 2002 as the ‘Blenheim Speedster’. It is indeed spartan, albeit not in spaciousness, for it is a relatively large two-seat sports car. As usual for Bristol cars, it boasts well trimmed seats in high grade leather. It is a very high performance sports car, being fitted with the very latest Blenheim 3 transmission and ‘Sports’ engine pack along with matching suspension, wheels and braking system. Fuel capacity has been increased to 30 UK gallons, supplied from two rear wing fuel tanks. It has a low wrap-round screen.

Thus the Bristol Cars Company story continues to unfold, as one of the last remaining wholly British-owned motor car manufacturing companies continues to supply its niche market, and looks forward to doing so proudly into the third millennium.