Bristol Cars, famous for 67 years of ‘gentleman’s GTs’, is close to unveiling an all-new hybrid supercar, perhaps as soon as July’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The new car will use a range-extended powertrain devised by Bristol’s associate company Frazer-Nash, the Surrey-based research firm run by Indian tech entrepreneur Kamal Siddiqi, who also owns the rights to the Wankel rotary engine.
The Bristol is believed to send permanent electric drive to all four wheels, with a petrol engine — probably a compact rotary — powering a generator to feed a bank of lithium ion batteries. Frazer-Nash sources are secretive about the car’s precise layout and looks, but say an outside consultant will style the car.
In 2009, in co-operation with Turin-based design house Italdesign, Frazer-Nash showed the Namir range-extended supercar concept, which used its own-design system of separate motors for each wheel, plus what Fraser-Nash engineers call ‘digital differentials’ to deploy torque intelligently. The car had an 813cc Wankel engine driving a generator to charge lithium ion batteries mounted in the spine of the chassis.
Frazer-Nash has given no indication when it plans to put the Bristol into production, but talks of its “responsibility as custodians of the brand”, and has confirmed its “firm intention” to build the car.