August 24, 2014

Second wind: Gordon Murray back to make his mark once more

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Every so often there is someone who comes along and changes everything, but rarely does the same person come back and turn the world around again. Gordon Murray is one of those people and is about to offer the motoring world something more than revolutionary.

The 65-year-old South African first plied his design genius in the extravagant sport of Formula 1, starting small and then coming up with such ideas as the so called ‘Fan Car’ which used fans to create downforce and make the car generally stick to the floor.

Murray’s major achievements came in the form of championship car designs with McLaren and then his subsequent pinnacle moment of his career with the McLaren F1 which took on many accolades in being the fastest production car in the world for several years, the first $1 million car and first ever road car to have a complete carbon fibre monocoque.

The F1 changed how the world perceived supercars and now with his latest project, Murray is set to do the same for small city cars with the T25 and T27 models.

The idea is to set a completely new standard in which cars are produced, built and utilised thanks to ingenious design concepts that will make it small enough to have two cars per motorway lane, park head-on to the pavement to fit three T models to a single parallel parking space and seat three adults in a car smaller than its immediate rivals.

Both of Murray’s T25 and T27 cars will have a unique system of entry, with the front half of the car’s cockpit frame lifting forward for the driver and two passengers to get in with relative ease and with more than enough space in what looks like the automotive version of the Tardis.

They both differ, however, when it comes down to how they’re powered. The T25 will have a three-cylinder 660cc Smart petrol unit that will give the driver just over 50bhp at their disposal, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but with the T25 having a power-to-weight ratio better than some 2.0 litre saloons, it promises to be a nippy individual.

For the T27, Murray and his team have gone down the electric motor route for their most economical version, staying away from diesel fuels for now and instead powering the car with 25kw ‘eMotor’ unit that will allow for up to 130 miles worth of travel and a four hour recharge time.

In a drive to eliminate emissions as much as possible, the T25 will return 74mpg and emit just 86g/km of CO2, making it both tax and congestion charge exempt. The T27 is the same, but being fully electric will emit zero emissions and represents where we’re trying to get to as a community of car owners in easing the amount of gases being released into the atmosphere, especially within popular city centres.

Neither of these is currently on sale, but the impetus is there to mass produce at least one of these cars and is definitely something that would appeal to a more conscious public, with a price tag of around £7,000 that’s certainly more than alluring. The immediate market will be the UK, but Murray will no doubt want to expand into European countries to get his creation out in the world on a mass scale, with so much potential locked in for nations that are in dire need for a decrease in congestion and emissions.

Sam Bisby writes for European Diesel Cards who supply European fuel cards for UK businesses for refuelling in an across Europe.


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