Bristol Fighter (automobile)

The Bristol Fighter is a sports car of the British car manufacturer Bristol Cars, which was produced 2004-2011. The Fighter was the first complete redesign of the company for several decades; he had no technical or stylistic similarities with the four -seater saloons of the brand, which fell on a conceptual design of the early postwar period. Equipped with hinged doors Fighter was offered a few years in parallel with the Bristol Blenheim. He competed with high-performance sports cars like the Bugatti Veyron or the Mercedes -Benz SLS AMG. It was produced only in small numbers.

The background

Bristol Cars was in the 1990s in economic difficulties. The company had the models Britannia, Brigand Bristol Beaufighter and offered in the past decade that were getting on in years and even could be sold on the domestic market only in small numbers. The successor, the 1993 presented Blenheim, did not yield any lasting improvement. He was in his first execution stylistically not managed according to general opinion, and its performance remained significantly below those of previous models.

1997 had Tony Crook, the longtime sole owner of the brand, to sell shares of his company. New partner was the British businessman Toby Silverton, who was with the investment company Tavistock Group in conjunction. Four years later, Silverton took over the traditional British sports car manufacturer completely.

The involvement of Silverton opened up the company's new financial sources. They allowed Crook and Silverton, to make it more attractive Bristol's product range. Crooks considerations to develop a whole new volume model - this, there had been since the mid- 1990s, first tests with a vehicle known as Bristol Buccaneer - Silverton did not intervene on. Instead of Blenheim in 1998 and 2001 so far updated in two steps that had become a powerful and attractive Saloon from him whose sales could be consolidated. In addition, Silverton saw room for an exclusive and produced in small numbers high performance sports cars, who served as a second pillar and should be in the tradition of the revered in the classic car scene Bristol 404. Silverton led the development of this vehicle as early as 1999 a; it early received the designation of Fighter, which - as it had become a tradition - was reminiscent of an eponymous fighter. A first press release about the project Fighter was published in December 1999; little later, already the website of Bristol Cars contained a note about the Fighter. In December 1999, Bristol presented for the first time from a wooden model of the future sports car in the showroom in Kensington High Street. Development work continued for five years. 2003, the first prototype was completed in mid-2004 and began production of the fighter.

The importance of the Fighter is seen ambivalent today. On one hand, documenting the vehicle, the technical capabilities of the company, on the other hand, the high development costs are considered to be major cause for the 2011 occurred insolvency of Bristol.

The concept

The conceptual specification for the Fighter came from Toby Silverton itself The Fighter should be a lighter and more compact sports cars, the brand's signature comfort have and should have an outstanding aerodynamics. One of the stipulations included a sufficient space for the driver, a small turning radius and stability of the vehicle at high speeds. The costs associated with traditional " supercar " disadvantages as lack of comfort or vulnerabilities should be avoided. In general, Silverton -oriented concept of the American Dodge Viper.

The construction

While the basic concept of Fighter went back to Toby Silverton, the development work in detail by the Canadian engineer Max Boxstrom was done, which was mainly since the 1970s in the field of motor sports as a design engineer for Brabham, Williams, Martini and Aston Martin have worked.

The Fighter rested on a platform chassis, which was developed exclusively for this vehicle. It had no more references to the traditional Bristol chassis, which goes back to a pre-war design from BMW. The lateral parts of the chassis were exhibited widely. They thus allow the passenger compartment a very low seating position. The suspension was completely redesigned. It consisted of front and rear double wishbones and coil springs. On electronic aids in the chassis renounced Bristol.

Was powered by a 8.0 -liter ten-cylinder engine from Chrysler, which in its basic construction in the first generation of the Dodge Viper (1992 to 2002) was used. The engine was revised in detail; among other things installed Bristol self-developed cylinder heads.

In its basic version, the engine generated 385 kW, about 81 kW more than the American original engine. In addition, Bristol offered with the S and the Fighter Fighter T in later derivations with more power. The transmission was either a six-speed manual transmission or a four-speed automatic. Engine and transmission were housed between the front and the rear axle; This resulted in a balanced weight distribution of 50/50 to be achieved.

The body of the fighter was developed with regard to aerodynamic efficiency. The drag coefficient was 0.28. When realized later version Fighter T he ​​could be lowered to 0.255. The goal is to achieve the best possible clarity, resulting in a large glass of the cab. A special design feature was the double doors. The structure is made of aluminum, however, the doors were made of carbon fiber.

Stylistically, the fighter in her own right. The rounded front end with the four recessed round headlights quoted removes the design of the racing car Bristol 450

Overall, the Fighter was narrower, shorter and lighter than most of its competitors. At the same time the roof was significantly higher, so even tall drivers found adequate space.


Bristol Fighter

Basic version is the Bristol Fighter. Its engine produced 525 hp; the top speed was claimed to factory specifications at 340 km / h

Bristol Fighter S

In 2005 presented Bristol Fighter S the power of the motor was increased to 628 hp. Chassis and body corresponded closely to the basic version.

Bristol Fighter T

Top model was the Bristol Fighter T, which had two turbochargers. The turbocharged engine developed by factory specification 1027 hp, maximum torque was over 1400 Nm. Thus, the Fighter T was more powerful than the Bugatti Veyron, the engine gave 1,001 horsepower. The Fighter T was available only with a manual six- speed gearbox. The chassis had been substantially revised; the chassis was fixed by about 30% than that of the standard Fighter. At the same time the weight of the carriage is reduced further. The maximum speed of the Fighter T was according to factory specification over 400 km / h, however, was at 362 km / h blockade. An independent verification of this information does not exist.



The work allowed only a few journalists to test drive a Fighter. The British Evo Magazine received in 2005 as the first journal a ( standard ) Fighter, the same car two years later was test driven by the Financial Times. The British magazine The Independent, however, had drawn on to an impression the car of a private client.

Most reports praised the performance, good handling of the car as well as the all-round visibility. On the other hand, has been criticized. The chassis was " underdeveloped ", and the milled from aluminum blocks switch in the interior looked like " homemade ", which they were.

Volume of production

The Fighter was produced only in small numbers. By the end of 2008 Some publications claim that Bristol had by 2008 completed a total of 45 vehicles, including some prototypes. In a sale ad from 2013, the work of the volume of production, however, amounted to only 13 copies.

Whether ever came a Fighter T for delivery has not been established. The chairman of the Bristol Owners Club doubts this. The production of the fighter ended in early 2011 with the bankruptcy of Bristol Cars. Whether the new owner, the British company Kamkorp, production will resume is unclear. Kamkorp is known for its hybrid technology.