New cars in 2017 aren’t all SUV or electric. This year sees the welcome return of some great car marques
Mainstream new cars in 2017 all seem to be SUV-shaped or electric – practical, responsible but arguably not much for car enthusiasts to get excited about.
Luckily 2017 also sees the welcome return of some legendary car marques such as Bristol, Alpine and Bugatti. While Alvis and Atlanta also return after an absence of more than a generation.
Alpine sports car
After a break of over 20 years and a prolonged concept car teasing campaign. It really looks like there will be a new Renault Alpine sports car on sale by the end of 2017.
With styling echoing the legendary A110, rumour is the mid-engined car will be powered by a turbocharged four cylinder, developing 250bhp, driven through a dual-clutch, paddle-shift gearbox. The only performance figures revealed so far is 0-60mph in less than 4.5 seconds.
With deliveries expected by late 2017 (reservations for the Premiere edition are being taken now). Prices between €55,000 and €60,000 (£50,000) put the new Alpine sports car in direct competition with Porsche’s Cayman.
Atalanta have been away from the limelight a bit longer. The firm originally started making cars in the 1930s. Atalanta cars raced at Brooklands, in the Le Mans 24 hour and picked up a team win in the 1939 Welsh rally. Despite being considered one of the finest British sports cars of the time, production ended in 1939 with only 31 cars built.
The 1939 Atalanta sports car employed a lightness philosophy that would make Colin Chapman proud (long before Lotus) a light body propelled by a powerful four-cylinder engine. Fast-forward to 2017, its comforting to see this hasn’t changed. The new sports car is built around a traditional aluminium over ash, coach-built body. Powered by a 204bhp, 2.5 litre four-cylinder. Owners looking for more power have the option of adding a supercharger, as they could in 1937.
Atalanta will build only a few cars each year, with prices starting from £149,950
After an absence of 6 years, Bristol return with a new sports car the limited edition Bullet.
Previewed last year at Salon Prive, the new car celebrates 70 years of Bristol as a car manufacturer.
Driving through a 6-speed manual transmission is a BMW-built 4.8 litre V8 that produces 370bhp. It sounds fantastic (see video below). Bodywork is made from carbon-fibre composites, which helps keep the weight to a trim 1250kg.
Bristol of old hid behind closed doors. Fiercely traditional and (dare I say) considered a bit old-fashioned. While the Bullet’s bodywork pays homage to the 404/405, the interior is a fusion of tradition and 21st century technology. Nestled in the gorgeous mix of traditional wood, leather, modern carbon-fibre and aluminium is a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system, with smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth and WiFi. British sports car muscle, meets 21st century technology.
Bristol will build just 70 Bullet’s at their factory in Chichester at a price of £250,000.
It may only have been a couple of years since the last Bugatti Veyron rolled off the production line but in 2017 the Bugatti badge returns on its replacement, the Bugatti Chiron.
Numbers matter in the exclusive world of the hypercar. When following up a car like the Veyron, a car never lacking in impressive numbers, it matters even more.
The new car is named after Louis Chiron, a driver who raced for Bugatti in the 1920s and 1930s. Packing a 16-cylinder, 8.0 litre, quad-turbo engine that produced 1479bhp. That’s 25% more power than the Veyron if you’re a number fan. 0-62mph is despatched in under 2.5 seconds, 0-124mph in 6.5 seconds and top speed (a gloriously ludicrous) 261mph.
Bugatti will sell just 500 Chiron worldwide. Saving perhaps the biggest number for last the price. Each car will cost a cool £1.9 million.
Alvis Car Company
It’s been half a century since Alvis stopped making cars but if you have ever longed for a new 1937 4.3 drop head coupe or a 1966 Graber-bodied TF21, the company is back taking orders.
Richard Joyce, managing director of The Alvis Car Company, said: “Our Continuation Cars are as close to the originals as we can get. We have had to make some modifications to ensure they comply with current Individual Vehicle Approval regulations but essentially the idea is to give owners the same supercar driving experience that owners had when the cars were new”.
You can see Alvis at the London Classic Car Show. The Graber-bodied TF21 and 4.3 litre drop head coupe with Lancefield coachwork will both be seen in action on The Grand Avenue.