It feels like a bespoke BMW Z4, except the sides are higher, the looks are more classic, the interior is more traditionally luxurious and there’s the beat of an old-school V8 curling up to your ears over the bootlid.
This is the new £250,000 Bristol Bullet speedster, and I’m taking a brief ride with Bristol’s Noamaan Siddiqi — whose brainchild this car is — at the wheel. It’s very much a traditional car in appearance, proportions and even smell, but the evidence of a modern chassis and suspension comes at the first speed-bump: this is a chassis with modern rigidity standards and a well-damped independent suspension system.
It’s quick, of course, though our mile-long course hardly proves it. The torque spread is plainly wide, Bristol fashion, and you can feel the complete car’s surprising lightness. Although this car is open, it feels quite cocoon-like because of the high sides and low seats. Siddiqi is fond of pointing out that Bristols are long-distance cars: this is another.
Bristol will paint your new, £250,000 Bullet speedster any colour you want, and will line its cockpit with hides of any hue. Don’t get the idea you’ll ever get one with a roof, or even a full screen, though. More versatile Bristols with much more progressive mechanicals are coming, and soon, but this one’s job is to announce that Bristols are back.
Above all, it's safe in the hands of people who understand its traditions. So sit back and enjoy.