The British have a long history with the “autocar,” and while British-built cars are often maligned for having electrical gremlins, they are also some of the best looking cars ever conceived. So when Bristol Cars announces that it will be building a200 MPH capable plug-in hybrid, you better pay attention.
Bristolhas a rich history, beginning with its founding after the end of World War II, when the British Aircraft Company branched out into automobiles. It has always been a limited production automaker, and back in March the company actually fell into bankruptcy before being purchased by Frazer-Nash Research, another British automaker turned into an electric powertrain development company. Frazer-Nash has indicated its intent to build a200 mph plug-in hybrid using the Bristol badge.
The car won’t be completely unique, but rather sourced from an unnamed major OEM before being given the Bristol treatment. The plans call for an extended-range plug-in hybrid, with two electric motors powering both the front and rear wheels, creating an all-wheel drive system backed by an internal combustion engine. Despite the blogosphere regurgitating the story that it will be an EV, Frazer-Nash’s plans and history seem to indicate a hybrid, not a pure electric vehicle. Frazer-Nash unveiled the Namir Sports Car hyybrid (pictured at the top of the page) back in 2009, and their systems seem to be more about integrating electric and ICE engine systems, rather than simply building EV’s.
The new Bristol supercar could draw influence from this design, or be something completely different, depending on the underpinnings. Could the Bristol supercar be based on a Volt? A Ferrari is more likely from the sounds of it…but a200 mphVolt would be cool. I wouldn’t mind a more “classic” Bristol design either, like the old Type 400, though the newer Bristol Fighter has an appeal all its own.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.