A New Small Car Comes to England

The super-efficient T.25 is compact, lightweight and easy to reconfigure.© Gordon Murray Design

Formula One engineer Gordon Murray of Gordon Murray Design recently released a super-compact, super-efficient car at the UK’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford. It’s called the T.25 and the first running prototypes are due out April 2011.

Designed for city driving, the T.25 rethinks the modern car. With centralized steering and controls, the T.25 is reminiscent of Murray’s racing models. With room for three—the driver sitting front and center and passengers behind on either side—this sleek vehicle is lightweight and small at less than eight feet long and about four feet wide. In fact, it’s half the size of the average British car and, according to Murray’s website, two T.25s could travel in one motorway lane, and three could fit in a parallel parking space. Fuel efficiency is about 74 miles per gallon.

The unique design provides incredible efficiency. The modular interior can be manipulated into six different configurations allowing the passenger to make changes as they see fit. Some configurations allow for extra storage space or increased seating.

Murray’s team also introduced a new concept to car engineering. Labeled the iStream, it is "a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional manufacturing process." Through this new process, all of the major components on the vehicle can be fitted onto the car before the body panels are put in place. This shortens assembly-line time allowing for greater efficiency and a lower carbon footprint for automobile plants.

Murray has also introduced an electric model of the T.25 labeled the T.27, with a fuel efficiency of 80-100 miles per gallon. And super-efficiency has never come so cheap—the T.25 is projected to cost about $9,000 and the T.27, $18,000. But don’t expect to find these for sale in the U.S.

SOURCE: Gordon Murray Design