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 |  Jun 29 2011, 3:57 PM

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.

[Sources: Motortorque, Gordon Murray Design]

 |  Jan 19 2011, 4:37 PM

Gordon Murray’s most famous project so far has been the McLaren F1. But if the legendary South African designer has his way, his next project will be the one that forms the basis of his legacy, and the T.27 electric city car may just make it after passing a European market crash test with flying colors.

The T.27 showed no cabin intrusion during the 40mph frontal crash test, thanks to its Formula 1 inspired monocoque chassis, which is designer to withstand incredible impacts while being lightweight and rigid. Murray expects to have running prototypes in the Spring, with the eventual goal being the licensing of the technology, as well as Murray’s proprietary manufacturing process, to other car makers.

[Source: AutoExpress]