Sunday, June 7, 2009

The V10 Hybrid Connaught D-Type GT

Car manufacturers have been trying to convince us that modern sports cars need to have a curb weight of almost two tons, need to be wide and long, thirsty and very very expensive. What looks like a law of nature isn't though!
In Wales (UK) a small company is building a sports car that weighs roughly 850 kg, and is with its V10 2 liter engine very economical thanks to a hybrid modul and the overall construction of the car. And it even carries 4 people with a serious amount of luggage. Where else could you find something like this?
What Tim Bishop and his boys at Connaught Motor Company are able to achieve is really impressive! Have a look at a video on youtube that introduces the car and highlights some of its features. It's very lightweight, as said, roughly 850 kg. That's 500 kg less than a Lotus Evora! It still has been constructed with crash tests in mind and the CAD/CAE tools used are the same as the ones used by the large manufacturers. The masterpiece is the front-mid-mounted V10 with a 22.5 degree angle between the two banks of cylinders. The engine is so small that it can be fitted where normally the transmission would be, resulting into a 50:50 kg distribution for the car. Thanks to a hybrid module energy is consumed in small bits giving a CO2 efficiency second to none in the same category. Yes, it's sort of a green car (not just the paint!). Everything has been constructed with ecology in mind, craddle to grave as Tim calls it. What is also highly impressive is the fact that this cars summons 40-50 years of car engineering and takes the best ideas from these years. You find things in this car that were pioneered in Reliants or Tatras, there's more tradition in this car than in any Aston Martin I would guess.
So here's a potential super car with a price tag of roughly 120'000-130'000 Euros, developed with a budget that was a fraction of what the biggies like Porsche, Jaguar or Maserati spend to come up with cars that are far less innovative than this one. Let's hope Tim Bishop and his great team will be able to lead this project to success and influence the motor car industry with it.
P.S. If you believe you heard the name before, yes, Connuaught built racing (and street) cars in the fifties with quite some success. So, there's even more tradition to this ....

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