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One of the most respected names in the automotive business is Gordan Murray. Not only was he the designer behind some of the best Formula 1 race cars back in the 1980′s, he was also the mastermind behind the McLaren F1 road car, which is still widely respected as the best supercar ever made.
Having recently worked on such projects as the Caparo T1 and his own Gordon Murray Design T.25 city car, he has now pulled the wraps off his latest creation, the T.32.
Also known as the Teewave AR.1, the project was green-lighted by carbon-fiber specialists Toray Industries Inc. Toray wants to get into the business of making their own car, rather than just supplying panels for other manufacturers.
So Toray employed the services of Gordon Murray to design and develop their new car, which uses the running gear out of the Mitsubishi iMiEV. This 63-hp electric motor can propel this 1,874 lb. sportscar from 0-62 mph in 11.4 seconds, and onto a top speed of 91 mph.
However, the AR.1 is designed to be more of an urban sportscar, and thus its 0-31 mph acceleration time of 4.4 seconds will ensure it can easily keep pace with other traffic.
As with all electric vehicles, most people are more interested in charging times and range. The Teewave AR.1 will take six-hours to fully charge and can travel 116-miles before needing recharging.
Murray reveals that it took just nine months from concept discussion to running prototype. No dates have been given as to when this vehicle will go on sale, in which markets or how much it will cost.
Gordon Murray, the man responsible for not only designing, but conceiving the idea for the McLaren F1, is now a part of Lotus.
Murray joints the likes of industry veterans Tom Purvez and Bob Lutz on the brand’s advisory council, giving input on the future direction of the brand. The purpose of the council, says Lotus, “is to give advice and guidance on strategic issues such as product strategy, technology, quality, brand, marketing and distribution for Group Lotus.”
“For years I’ve been a huge admirer of Lotus,” said Murray. “I have great respect for the legacy that Colin Chapman created and I think what Dany and the team are doing is a really good thing for the brand. He’s taking the strength from Chapman’s principals and taking the business to the next level whilst still keeping the general ethos – not an easy task! I’m really looking forward to contributing to Group Lotus during this exciting time.”
As a member of the council, Murray will also continue to run the recently founded Gordon Murray Design company, where he designed and prototyped the T.25 and T.27 city cars.
For years, Gordon Murray’s pet project has been rumored for a while, like the secret creation of a mad scientist. And after much speculation, it’s finally been unveiled: the T.27 city car, the world’s most efficient electric car.
The electric city car has been Murray’s singular obsession ever since he wrapped up the McLaren F1 and various go-fast consulting projects. £9 million has been invested in the project over the past three years, a car that has been described at various points as “revolutionary“—which in this case means its packaging and size.
At a tick over 7 feet long, it’s even smaller than the Smart car: three T.27s can cram into one parking space. The car seats three with the driver up front and center, just as on the F1, and they climb in through a massive upwards-swinging door that takes over much of the cockpit. As far as McLaren comparisons go, that’s about it.
With a top speed of 60mph and 15 seconds to get there, nobody is labeling it a supercar in the traditional sense. But as far as efficiency goes, the T.27 is as dedicated to mileage as the F1 was to speed: it is 36% more efficient than Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV and 29% more than the electric Smart car, with the ability to reach 100 miles on its charge. It features a 33-horsepower electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries, and still manages to be just 1,500 lbs. The T.27 has also been tested under the strict Euro-NCAP safety standards under Murray’s approval, with results that he claims are “first-class.”
The T.27 will be built in England as an example of low-cost manufacturing, with a streamlined process that adds the powertrain, brakes, and suspension to the chassis before the body panels, which should take full advantage of its lightweight packaging. A sales figure has not been listed yet.