12.5.2021Bristol Cars to revive fortunes with electric four-seater
Bristol Cars is planning to revive its fortunes by launching an electric four-seater in 2025. Its new investor, Jason Wharton, wants to make Bristol Cars a “leading British electric vehicle company” for its 80th anniversary in 2026.
Wharton acquired the rights to the intellectual property of Bristol Cars in an auction last year and is now planning its electric comeback. The new era of electric vehicles is to begin with an all-electric four-seater called Bristol Buccaneer EV. The headquarters will be in London, but production is planned in Bristol.
Select models from the classic Bristol Cars range will also be remastered, with Wharton aiming to re-engineer the distinctive vehicles on a build-to-order basis through his company Bristol Manufacturing Limited.
Wharton is a property developer, but sees himself as a “long-term investor in this iconic British brand, so part of my role is to take it forward and develop it so it can finally become sustainable as a premium automotive business, hence our need to move with the times and introduce a fully battery-electric model,” he explained.
“Bristol is a quintessentially British brand that was renowned for creating luxurious and distinctive vehicles,” said Wharton. “We want to revive and reinvigorate this iconic marque, preserving its heritage, while fully remastering it for the 21st century.”
Bristol Cars was originally formed in 1945, as the car division of the Bristol Aeroplane Company. The business was renowned for creating a series of premium, elegant two-door, four-seat saloon models from the Bristol 400 saloon of 1946 to the Bristol Blenheim, before a radical departure with the two-seater Bristol Fighter supercar, unveiled in 2004.
Bristol Cars had a factory in the Filton area of Bristol as well as an exclusive showroom in Kensington High Street. However, the original company was placed into administration and wound up in 2011. Its assets were purchased a month later, but over the last decade it has remained largely inactive and went into liquidation in 2020.
Wharton plans to eventually resume manufacturing close to the original site in Filton, and to reopen a new London showroom.