Pictures just in from Autosport (top three pictures) include Prodrive's starring P2, designed as a one-off to show what Prodrive can do when it brings together its teams of designers and engineers, since the company is better known for working with other makers' vehicles. It took just a year to develop from idea to reality.
It's based on a small, Japan-only Subaru, the R1, but uses Impreza components -- the company was chosen because of Prodrive's considerable experience with Subaru's rallying team.
The P2 weighs 1,100Kg and sports 345bhp and 424lb-ft of torque, and incorporates two of Prodrive's innovative technologies to enhance performance -- ALS (Anti-Lag System) and ATD (Active Torque Dynamics), both used in rallying.
With four-wheel drive and a highly tweaked version of the Impreza's 2.0-litre turbocharged flat-four, it takes off like a rocket: 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 174mph. The running gear is from the Impreza, with a six-speed manual 'box, three diffs -- active LSDs for the centre and rear -- and electric power steering.
The cabin is based on the R1 -- as Prodrive boss Dave Richards said, it spares them the nightmare of making their own doors and door seals. Much of the body is created from sheet metal -- the rear roof for instance.
Come February, the car will be ready for Richards to punt the machine round Prodrive's test track near Kenilworth, in Warwickshire.
If it were for sale, it would cost around £40,000 -- so come on Prodrive, do it!
The new GTM Ballista (fourth and fifth pictures) features a 3-litre V6 Duratec engine and, despite the looks, it's a full production car, not a kit.
The Ballista gets to 60mph from rest in just 3,.8 seconds and weighs just 600Kg -- and it could be lighter since there's a full carbon fibre body kit option, for only £5,000 more than the standard car. The first 15 cars roll off the production line in June 2006, at a cost of £34,995. Looks tasty to us...
Expect to see a road test here on PH in May.
Connaught Type D
Despite costing £62,000 while sitting in the company of kit cars, Connaught brought the new Type D to the show. It sports a supercharged V10 delivering some 300bhp in a car weighing 875Kg. This will be the first product to market and customer deliveries start in April - May 2006 - there are already many orders, according to Connaught.
This car uses the Connaught 22.5 degree V10 with a twin-intercooled, scroll-type supercharger, its aim being to bring some exposure and early revenues to the company.
Joining the range after this will be the hybrid V10 version, without supercharge initially but with the supercharged engine offered later; as well as a normally-aspirated V10-engined car. This last car would come in at around £42,000.
Meanwhile, Z Cars was showing the bike-engined Zolfe Orange -- very orange -- a pre-production track/road car, described as a "high performance race-inspired road car with the emphasis on fun".
Over a tubular spaceframe chassis with integral roll cage is draped a composite body, resulting in a lightweight car. It's powered by a Hayabusa engine delivering some 175bhp and mated to a six-speed 'box. Performance is reckoned to be 0-60mph in 4.5 seconds, Vmax 135mph.
There's a turbo option too, resulting in some 300-350bhp. Zero to 60mph takes a piffling 3.5 seconds and Vmax is 150mph. Production's due to start in mid-2006.