Iconic car brand Bristol Cars plans to launch an electric four-seater in 2025 with a new investor. For its 80th anniversary in 2026, investor Jason Wharton wants to make Bristol Cars a “leading British electric vehicle company”.
Select models from the classic Bristol Cars range will be remastered, with Wharton aiming to re-engineer the distinctive vehicles on a build-to-order basis through his company Bristol Manufacturing Limited. The aim is to attract further investment to revive the marque into a leading British electric vehicle (EV) company by the time it marks 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. This new era of electric vehicles is to begin in 2025, with an all-electric four-seater called Bristol Buccaneer EV. The headquarters will be in London, but production is planned in Bristol.
“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.”
Wharton, who is actually a property developer, 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,” Wharton explained.
The next step is to appoint a CEO, a CTO and two non-executive directors in spring 2022. Wharton also plans to announce a “significant capital raise” then. He has not given figures, but plans to attract further investors for the project.
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.
The original Bristol Fighter supercar.
In its heyday, Bristol Cars had a factory in the Filton area of Bristol and had an exclusive showroom in Kensington High Street where it showcased its collection of refined grand tourers.
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 has remained largely inactive and went into liquidation in 2020.
Wharton plans to eventually resume manufacturing at Filton, close to the original site, and to reopen a new London showroom.