The Connaught Motor Company revealed its first project – the Type-D sports coupe – at the Goodwood Revival meeting today.

Featuring the first ever V10 hybrid engine, Connaught’s Type-D beats mainstream manufacturers in the race to produce a high performance energy-efficient sports car. The coupe will deliver 140mph, 0-60mph in 6.2s, 42mpg and genuine 2+2 seating configuration, while still complying with ultra-low emissions targets set for 2010.

The brainchild of two ex-Jaguar consultant engineers, Tim Bishop and Tony Martindale, the Connaught Type-D has to date received almost half a million pounds worth of funding from the Energy Saving Trust and has no less than 17 patents pending on its ground-breaking technology.

The car was previewed at Goodwood’s Revival meeting, a fitting venue to resurrect a famous name of 1950s automotive engineering, but the new Connaught Motor Company is no heritage-laden throw-back to past eras.  Connaught is the first virtual car company. It designs the car and manages the project, but out-sources the manufacturing to Derby-based partners EPM Technology, thereby ensuring relatively low start-up investment costs.

The ultra-lightweight construction helps to realise the ambitious fuel efficiency targets while the mid-front north-south mounted engine and rear-wheel drive configuration guarantees maximum driving pleasure without compromising rear space. The cleverly engineered convertible ‘Eclipse’ version will have electrically-powered stacking glass panels which disappear into the boot lid without loss of luggage space.

The Type-D will be competitively priced starting at around £35,000.

“Our aim has been to build a car for the future while keeping the design and technology relatively simple,” explains Tim Bishop, vehicle engineering director, “and to establish close links with our technology partners EPM Technology for the assembly and Coventry University on the styling side. We have met all our own development targets and are confident to gain five-star EuroNCAP crash test results and maximum score for pedestrian safety.”

The directors of Connaught are now seeking further investment to raise the £5 million required to take the project through to production in May 2006.