Bristol Cars is back with new 2015 Pinnacle model | CAR Magazine

Bristol Cars is back with new 2015 Pinnacle model

Published: 02 June 2015

► First new Bristol for a decade
► BMW engine confirmed
► Plug-in hybrid tech 

Bristol Cars comeback model – the new hybrid GT dubbed Project Pinnacle ready for launch in autumn 2015 – will be powered by a BMW engine, the company has revealed. And it’s not the first time the brands have worked together; they collaborated back in the 1930s, too.

The new Bristol grand tourer will celebrate the company’s 70th anniversary car, ‘referencing Bristol Cars’ rich heritage and executed as a modern take on the best of British craftsmanship, engineered to excite and satisfy as a high performance Bristol car,’ according to the new owners.

Bristol Cars crashed into administration in 2011, but was snapped up by Kamkorp Autokraft, part of the Frazer-Nash group. It beat rival bids for Bristol from previous owner Toby Silverton and CPP, among others who tried to acquire one of Britain’s most curious car makers.

Bristol Cars: Project Pinnacle

The Pinnacle is the first new Bristol launch since the rare-groove Fighter of 2003. Relatively little is known about the new GT, which will be an ‘all-new flagship Bristol range-extended electric grand tourer’. We now know that a BMW engine will be used, although it is unclear whether that’ll be an entire hybrid drivetrain or whether the BMW engine (three- or four-cylinder, straight six or V8?) will be mated with Frazer-Nash’s own proprietary electric drive system.

Judging by this solitary teaser photograph issued in September 2014, it will be quite retro: note the leather bonnet straps, what look like airspace-spec hand-beaten aluminium bodywork and a tapered, narrow bonnet. 

The car will be launched in autumn 2015, when we’ll find out how they’re reinterpreting Bristol’s old-school charm for the modern era. Be sure to tell us in the comments below what you think they should do. We wonder what CAR contributor LJK Setright would have made of the plan…

Find your perfect secondhand Bristol here. 

Bristol Cars: the new business plan

The new owners have been quietly redeveloping the business in London, with a new parts, service and restoration centre opening in Brentford in 2014. And Bristol plans to overhaul the historic main showroom in Kensington High Street. From summer 2015, it will add a new showroom on the south side opposite the existing address at number 368. You can tell the new owners are keen to keep up with the times, compared with the delightfully eccentric conservatism of the Tony Crook era; Bristol has launched its own merchandise range, with clothing by Paul Smith and model cars unveiled at the Hampton Court Concours of Elegance.

Bristol Cars' Kensington High Street showroom

Sir George White, who became chairman of Bristol Cars in 2012 and whose father was the founding MD in 1945, said: ‘2015 will mark Bristol Cars’ 70th year, and these announcements underline today’s very exciting times at the company. Project Pinnacle signifies the re-birth of the brand with a design and character respectful of the company’s rich heritage in Great Britain – in aviation, commercial and luxury automotive – delivered with a modern approach to performance and comfort. 

‘This car, along with the investments in Kensington and Brentford, not to mention the advanced development of an all-new super-luxury grand tourer, all make for a very bright and promising future for this company that I hold so dear.’

Can Bristol reinvent itself? Click ‘Add your comment’ and let us know. And search for used Bristols on our sister site Classiccarsforsale.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words