7 September 2004

An historic British motor sport name is to be re-launched on the bonnet of a futuristic hybrid-powered GT car. The Connaught Type-D V10 utilises hybrid technology – similar to that found in the Honda Civic IMA and Toyota Prius – to boost torque and improve economy. It’s claimed to be a ‘showcase of high technology,’ and the company has already applied for 17 patents.

The radical two-plus-two, the brainchild of two ex-Jaguar consultant engineers, is scheduled to start production in 2006 with a projected price of around £35,000. Connaught is described as a ‘virtual company, which designs and manages the project but outsources manufacturing’.

Powered by Connaught’s own 2110cc all-aluminium V10 engine, boosted by an electric motor, the Type-D produces a combined output of 162bhp and 144lb ft of torque from 1000-6000rpm. In a car weighting just 750kg without fluids, even such modest figures equal a claimed top speed of nearly 150mph with 0-60mph in just over 6.0sec.

But the other benefit of such light construction is a touring range of around 600 miles and over 40mpg fuel consumption. The hybrid system recharges the battery on deceleration and switches the motor off in traffic to further aide fuel consumption. Trick heated catalysts should help the Type-D meet Euro4 emission standards and a CO2 output of just 150g/km.

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The front-engined, rear-drive chassis is built using laser-cut sheet and tubular steel sections, onto which is bonded a polypropylene/glassfibre ‘tub’. The aluminium body panels are then attached to this structure. Connaught is also confident of achieving a five-star Euro NCAP crash-test rating.

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