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Bristol Cars is back with new Pinnacle model coming in 2015

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700

By Tim Pollard

First Official Pictures

05 September 2014 13:00

Bristol Cars is back from the dead with today’s announcement of a new hybrid GT – dubbed Project Pinnacle – slated for launch in 2015.

The news came at the suitably swanky Concours of Elegance in Hampton Court Palace, London. 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.

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’.

This is the hybrid technology developed by Frazer-Nash – and the reason the company bought Bristol Cars from the administrators. It needed a company with heritage and authenticity to showcase its new tech.

The Pinnacle will be ‘a modern take on the best of British craftsmanship and engineered to excite as a high-performance Bristol car,’ the company said in a statement. Judging by this solitary teaser photograph, 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 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…

The new owners have been quietly redeveloping the business in London, with a new parts, service and restoration centre opening in Brentford earlier 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; it today launched a merchandise range, with clothing by Paul Smith and model cars unveiled at the Hampton Court Concours of Elegance.

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.’

By Tim Pollard