Connaught and Caparo, two of the newest additions to British sports car making, are teaming up to get Connaught’s 300bhp Type-D into production next year.The steel and composite chassis for Connaught’s Type-D will be supplied by Caparo’s vehicle engineering division, which is rapidly developing into a multinational parts and engineering services supplier.Caparo will source and build the Type-D’s ‘superleggera’-style chassis and body, featuring a laser-cut and folded stainless steel platform, a steel tube upper structure and carbon composite body panels.“We’re delighted to have signed a chassis and superstructure supply deal with Caparo,” confirms Connaught MD Tony Martindale.
New Type-D on sale in 2008
Connaught put the business out to tender earlier in 2007 and had planned to use an overseas supplier, but British-based Caparo sneaked the deal. With a body and chassis supply deal signed, Connaught plans to start building cars in June 2008 with first customer deliveries in August. Those dates mark about a six-month delay in production, thanks to a change in Connaught’s factory planning.Connaught had intended to commission a new factory near its engineering base in Llanelli but that turned out to be less suitable than expected and another site, closer to Swansea, is now favoured. Its patented hybrid delivery truck technology has also taken off, requiring a factory re-think.“Once we’ve decided on a factory for the Type-D, the production line will take ten to 12 weeks to lay down,” says Martindale.In the meantime, Connaught has been refining the design of the Type-D for production, doing a complete computerised resurfacing of the body, the final stage before production tooling is cut.