If you don’t know Gordon Murray by his iconic supercar the McLaren F1, you would have known him as one of the columnists in magazine Evo which you can pick up locally as Malaysian Evo. His column is a good read, but that’s not the point.
Gordon Murray is at the drawing board again with the T25, named so because it is his 25th car. The McLaren F1 was the T22. This time he’s doing a minicar, or perhaps you can even call it a microcar.
It is supposed to be an ultra-economical, environment-friendly and affordable city car, aimed at the likes of first-time buyers and city dwellers. The target price range? 5,000 pound (RM35,000).
The Murray T25 will not use any funky electric or hybrid powertrain to achieve it’s ultra-economical status, in fact Murray expects the first production version of his car to be powered by a petrol engine instead of a diesel. Instead, it’ll do so through it’s lower weight – we’re talking about a target weight of under 1,200 pounds or less than 545kg – thanks to high-tech materials and an innovative architecture and packaging. The car will also be designed to facilitate low-cost manufacturing and reduced running costs
Murray says the T25 will pay tribute to the Smart, but it will be less compromised in it’s abilities. It will be have a mini MPV form with options for other variants at little extra development cost, but he says “you won’t get in it, sit in it or put luggage in it like a normal car. This will not be just another small big car; it’s just different. I’ve done a massive amount of work over the past dozen years on the financial incentives. People say they want greener cars but they keep buying five-metre, two-tonne cars. But this car will come with a bunch of incentives on things like tax and parking that mean that within four years you’ll pay off the purchase cost with the savings; it’s not just fuel. Basically, the car is free after four years, and if that’s not an incentive I don’t know what else to do. I’ll go back to racing!”
Gordon is doing this through a new company he founded – Gordon Murray Design, and while the company doesn’t have the most creative name ever, it already has funding from the Caparo Group and other investors. They might sound familiar to some of you – remember the Caparo T1? Caparo has low-cost Indian manufacturing facilities that could be used to put the T25 into production when it is done.
Murray wants his company to mainly profit from the intellectual property – it won’t build the T25 itself. Instead, Gordon Murray Design will only produce prototypes, then license the technology to other carmakers to produce it under their own brand with GMD helping with the process of bringing it into production.
The first prototypes are expected to be ready in 2 years.