A car designer better known for his work on super-fast machines like the McLaren F1 and Brabham F1 racers has turned his considerable talents toward super-frugal electric city transportation.
Yesterday, Gordon Murray revealed his company’s T.27 minicar in London, saying it is a new kind of car designed to answer challenges of CO2 emissions, tight parking, city congestion, and cost.
The Gordon Murray Design project was made in only 17 months with a budget of $14.5 million and employs an all-electric powertrain by Zytek Automotive Ltd.
It was built with a manufacturing process Murray calls “iStream” that reportedly facilitates light weight structures while delivering relatively excellent safety.
“[L]ightweight is the most powerful tool we have in our armory in the fight against emissions and fuel consumption,” Murray said, “This is true of all cars, especially electric vehicles, since a lightweight car means a lightweight battery, increasing the levels of safety and reducing the retail price dramatically.”
Powered by a 25-kW motor and 12.5-kWh Li-Ion battery, the vehicle weighs only 1,500 pounds, and achieves a top speed of 65 mph. Its 0-62 mph speed is said to be under 15 seconds, and its range varies from 100-130 miles depending on driving conditions.
The company said the car has already proven itself safe and economical to operate.
In crash testing, the T.27 showed good structural integrity and design by getting high marks in the EuroNCAP 50 km/h impact crash test.
As for cost of operation, Murray said per kilometer, the T.27 uses 29-percent less energy than a Smart EV, beats the Mitsubishi iMiEV by using 36-percent less energy, and crushes the Mini-E by using 86-percent less energy.
The company said it is therefore the world’s most efficient electric car.
Pricing has not been set as the car is only a prototype due for manufacture.