Fledgling British sports car manufacturer Connaught has completed the first prototype of its launch model, the 300bhp Type-D GT Syracuse.
Created to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Tony Brooks’ historic win for Connaught in the 1955 Syracuse Grand Prix, the new coupé is powered by a front-mid-mounted 2.0-litre narrow-angle V10 petrol engine, supercharged to send 300bhp and 274lb ft of torque to the rear wheels through a five-speed gearbox.
A composite and stainless steel structure with aluminium panels keeps the dry weight down to a claimed 750kg, which translates to a 170mph top speed and 0-60mph in under 5sec.
The Syracuse will make its public debut at Autosport International in January, before production begins in May, and orders now being taken with prices ranging from £60,000-80,000 depending on specification. If you want one you’ll need to be quick, because Connaught claims to have already taken orders for 28 of the limited run of 100 cars.
The Syracuse is the first of a planned range of models based on the 2+2-seater Type-D coupé shell. Next up is the nattily-titled ‘HigherBred’ petrol/electric hybrid version, which mates a normally aspirated version of the same V10 engine to an electric motor to give 162bhp and 142lb ft of torque and goes on sale later in the year for £40,000-50,000.
Despite a weight increase to 850kg, performance remains impressive with 60mph from rest in 6.5sec and 140mph top speed. Perhaps still more impressive is the 42mpg fuel consumption claim.
A normally-aspirated entry-level petrol version is also planned, due to follow in 2007 with a projected price tag of around £35,000.