McLaren F1 Designer Gordon Murray Unveils World's Most Efficient Electric Car

Blake Z. Rong
by Blake Z. Rong
mclaren f1 designer gordon murray unveils world s most efficient electric car

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]

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  • Barry Nightinhgale Barry Nightinhgale on Nov 01, 2011

    Jeez, that's ugly. I typed in tick over speed of an F1 car. Around 10,000 RPM compared to your average 1.5 RPM of your average Ford driver at a petrol pump if they don't switch their engine off and observe all safety regulations they'll be stood there for ages filling the petrol tank. I've got a bike you can ride it if you like it's got a bell and it really looks good....