F1 design guru's EV breakthrough?

2009-11-11 08:35

Gordon Murray's T25 city car could spawn an electric sibling if everything goes to plan.

Although nobody has any discernible details about his T25 range yet, Murray has raised €10 million in funding for his electric T25 test project.

An impressive achievement too, since nobody has seen what the finished T25 even looks like...

Although yet to be unveiled in any meaningful form to media or the public at large, Murray’s T25 would appear to be the stuff of genius – which is generally expected, considering Murray’s talent.

To get an idea of the size (or lack thereof) which T25 represents, its flanked here by Golf6 and Mini at the borders of the frame and features a Fiat 500 and Smart either side.

Three abreast, just like McLaren's F1...

Seating three occupants (much in-line with the McLaren F1 supercar Murray designed two decades ago) yet boasting better cargo capacity than a Smart Fortwo, the T25 will be powered by both atmospheric and turbocharged 660cc Mitsubishi engines.

Materials and construction promise to be revolutionary, rendering very low licensing mass and extraordinarily lean manufacturing efficiencies.

Murray’s track record with regards to innovation - and specifically the practical application of cutting edge materials and technologies - is without peer.

No, it's not a contemporary incarnation of Kermit the Car, just Murray's T25 peaking out from under its hibernation blanket.

Making it happen?

Nobody has seen the T25 though, despite its market debut being pencilled (instead of penned) in for next year.

Despite this, Murray is now planning a T27, which promises to be the world’s most efficient electric vehicle.
The 16-month T27 pilot project should see the construction of four test mules powered by a revolutionary powertrain designed by British electric drive specialist Zytek automotive.

Murray has plainly stated his drivetrain requirements will be extremely demanding, requiring something wholly original with battery and transmission combined in a single, compact unit.

Zytek can expect to be challenged to the extreme by Murray.

This is after all the same man who made BMW build a 6l V12 engine with a gold lined engine bay when they were hardly in the market for such a venture.

T27’s research and development budget is around €10 million, with the British government pitching in just under half, whilst Murray and Zytek have invested €3 and €1.5 million respectively. 

Renowned for wearing loud shirts, Murray is well known for having never designed an automotive lemon either.

Doubters might castigate Murray for already rushing onto the development of an electric vehicle derivative without even having shown the T25 combustion engined car.

The lanky former Durbanite’s record speaks for itself though...

Murray’s design consultancy won’t produce or market the T25/27 cars after they have been homologated for road use.

Instead Murray hopes to sell off the manufacturing rights to a highly regarded third-party assembly specialist with the requisite marketing acumen.

Sony, Apple or Virgin could be possible suitors, yet in these strained financial times Murray's iStream manufacturing system would have to be every bit as good as it's rumoured to offset the risk of start-up manufacturing a new city car brand…