Connaught Motor Co. announced that it will build the Connaught Type D high performance hybrid sports coupe at a new plant in southwest Wales. Connaught unveiled the hybrid as a concept in 2004. (Earlier post.)
Connaught will begin with a conventional version, the four-seater Connaught Type D GT Syracuse, with a V10 2.0-liter supercharged 300hp engine, to be delivered in early 2008. The Syracuse will be followed by the hybrid version: the Connaught Type-D h V10 sports coupe.
The mild hybrid coupe will deliver a top speed of 150 miles per hour (mph), with 0 to 60 mph acceleration in 6.2 seconds and estimated fuel economy of 42 mpg Imperial (35 mpg US or 6.7 l/100km).
Connaught designed its own engine and powertrain, which combines an all-aluminum, ultra-compact, V10 engine with a Lynch electric motor and a supercapacitor system for energy storage. Future developments could include V8 and V12 versions of the engine.
The Connaught mild hybrid system (C-MHS) provides a flat torque curve across the entire engine rev range. The Lynch electric motor is attached to the crankshaft nose via a variable gearing system designed to exploit the fact that an electric motor delivers its highest torque at its lowest speeds. The motor is powered by, and recharges, a 48-volt electrical supply.
The hybrid offers three modes of operation. Sport mode uses all available motor assistance, but will use up the battery power so it cannot be engaged all the time. Normal mode adds battery charging on deceleration (regenerative braking) and rations the motor assistance. Economy mode maximizes the deceleration charge.
The hybrid sports coupe delivers a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to vehicles in its class, according to Connaught. Connaught anticipates building 100 cars in the first year, 250 in the second year, and ultimately increasing to 1,000 in year five.