British Firm Develops Gasoline-Electric Sports Car

The Connaught hybrid system is the brainchild of Tim Bishop and Tony Martindale and has to date received almost half a million pounds worth of funding from the Energy Saving Trust with 17 patents pending on its technology.

Published: 31-Mar-2005

Tests conducted at the Vehicle Emissions Laboratory (VEL) at Millbrook Proving Ground recently have confirmed the viability of the British hybrid sports car developer Connaught’s petrol/electric hybrid system. The tests demonstrated an overall reduction in CO2 emissions of almost 15% over the performance of a regular petrol engine.

The Connaught prototype was tested in both standard and hybrid configurations and at two inertia classes – the standard inertia class for a Ford Mondeo (the test engine currently installed in the Connaught Type-D) and the inertia class based on the proposed weight of the Connaught Type-D. The range of CO2 emissions recorded results from varying set-ups of the hybrid vehicle’s energy management system, for example, differing speeds and load conditions. This gave an overall improvement range of between 5.9% and 14.9%.

Tim Bishop – Connaught’s vehicle engineering director, said: "For the purpose of these tests we used a Ford Mondeo petrol engine, explains Bishop. "The Connaught engine, with bespoke strategies and calibration, will include a unique fast warm up feature with highly efficient water and oil heat transfer characteristics. High compression, ceramic crowned pistons, variable valve timing, low friction/low torque fluctuation for stop/start operation and electrically heated catalysts will all contribute to further energy saving beyond that shown in the official European Emissions (NEDC) test cycle."

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